For many years, the Jet.com domain name was owned by Canadian domain investor Garry Chernoff and his NetIncome Ventures, Inc. In January of this year, the Whois registrant information went private, and according to reports I read, the buyer was Mark Lore, founder of Diapers.com.
According to an article on Fortune / CNN Money, “Lore confirms to Fortune that he acquired the domain Jet.com, which has a placeholder that says “Coming 2015.” Jet.com Inc. was incorporated in Delaware on April 4, according to the State of Delaware’s website.” An article by Jason Del Rey in Re/Code suggests that Lore has big plans for this project, and Lore may be “interested in raising as much as $50 million to get his new company off the ground. One source said that number could go higher.”
Knowing the quality of Chernoff’s domain name assets and some of his prices, I would bet that this domain name had a seven figure price tag, but perhaps it was more. In 2009, the domain name was listed for sale in the DomainFest auction with a $500,000 – $750,000 reserve price, and it did not sell. Whois records indicate that Chernoff’s company had owned it since at least 2003, which is the oldest archived record I could find for this domain name. I reached out to Chernoff to see if he could share information about the sale, and he declined to comment on it due to a customary non-disclosure agreement.
The scope of the startup is not publicly known at this point, although the Re/Code article mentioned that it may be “geared toward mobile devices and may focus on appealing to the type of shoppers who frequent warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club.” The temporary landing page suggests the start up will launch in 2015, so until then, we will have to guess how this domain name will be used.
With Lore’s background building brands from descriptive keyword domain names (like Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, Look.com…etc), it will be interesting to watch how Jet.com is used.