Did Microsoft Sell Rapt.com Domain Name for $25,000?

16

Microsoft has many excellent domain names in its portfolio, and the company rarely sells its domain name assets. Yesterday, Jamie Zoch noticed that Rapt.com appears to have been sold by Microsoft.

Rapt.com had been publicly registered to Microsoft (at MarkMonitor), and the domain name recently transferred to GoDaddy where it is now privately registered. A Whois search at DomainTools shows the domain name transfer likely took place last week. Microsoft had acquired the Rapt.com domain name when it acquired a company called Rapt Technologies, in a deal announced in 2008.

If you visit Rapt.com right now, you can see the domain name is forwarding to the website for FLX Bio, Inc. Although there is nothing about Rapt on the company’s website, a search of the USPTO website shows a trademark filing has been made by FLX Bio, Inc. involving the word “Rapt.” I reached out to the company yesterday morning to see if it could comment about the domain name, but I have not yet heard back.

I reached out to Microsoft’s media team yesterday to ask about the sale, and they told me they would look into my questions. I have not heard back yet.

Ordinarily, I would have assumed this was a private deal and I would have guessed the price was well into the six figures. Well, I would have been wrong. In fact, I started writing this article yesterday and put it on pause while waiting to hear back from Microsoft. Here’s what I was going to publish:

“Assuming Microsoft sold Rapt.com, my guess is that this was a substantial, six figure transaction. Rapt.com is a great domain name, and I do not see a record of it being listed for sale in the past. As such, the company would have had to make a very strong offer to entice Microsoft to part ways with the domain name. Of course, there is the possibility that there is more than cash to a potential deal (ie stock, convertible note…etc.) for the domain name.”

I don’t like quoting myself, but that was my draft, and it all seems silly now because Sedo just released its weekly sales report. Rapt.com was the highest sale of the week… for $25,000.

What a deal.

16 COMMENTS

  1. On par with the acquisition prices of firefly.com and jellyfish.com by the Booth Bros from Microsoft a while back, five figures a piece.

  2. I read that you would have paid $25,000 for this as an investment? Really? Doesn’t seem like that great of an investment at 25k.

    • I would have paid a bit more.

      Aside from potential “radio” issues, Rapt is short, easy to spell, simple to remember, and will make a great brand. I am sure MSFT paid a lot of money for Rapt Technologies when that was acquired.

      There’s usage of that term and I like the name. Good names like these have been getting expensive.

      I would have guessed this was a mid six figure deal had I not seen the Sedo report. I even double checked with Sedo to make sure the number was correct.

  3. Extremely obscure, awkward, archaic vocabulary word. Not a good domain for an end user AT ALL. Was definitely not rapt by this news item. HUGE radio test issues.

    But why do you love this domain so much, Elliot? Because it’s one short word. Ooh, aah, oh – aaaaaaaah!

    Listen to what Rick the king said before about Lane.com vs. FastLane.com and ExpressLane.com, aside from my comments on such things…

    • This is what Rick said about Lane.com

      I don’t even like the domain.
      I don’t see the value that others see in it other than it’s 4 letters and a word.
      I think FastLane or ExpressLane would have more meaning, would be more desirable and would be more valuable. But good luck to all bidders.

      Seriously? Fastlane.com and ExpressLane.com is more valuable then Lane.com? LOL 😁 I respect what Rick says most of the time but not this time. Adding the prefix Fast and Express totally narrows the niche which lowers the value. Makes no sense.

      Sounds like a great post to write Elliot. I don’t understand his statement and would love to hear other pro domainers give their opinion.

      • “Seriously? Fastlane.com and ExpressLane.com is more valuable then Lane.com?”

        I don’t know that Rick actually said that.

        “Fastlane” might be more likely to be used by existing brands than “Lane” (because it is so commonly used and an extremely positive term) but John’s posts are mostly in justification of his own extremely long 3 and 4 word names. Lane.com would sell for significantly more in my view than Fastlane.com, even if it is used less than longer variants, because one of the biggest factors that adds or detracts from a domains value is length.

    • Both of you are so clueless. I’m not saying that to be nasty either. I know you’re smart and you went to NYU and all, right (?), but perhaps you are simply too much of “left hemisphere” kind of guy to see how obvious it is. Names/titles like “Express Lane” and “Fast Lane” are extremely evocative and “resonating” as attractive and enticing metaphors. “Lane” is extremely vague, beyond ambiguous, and as dead and un-enticing as it gets. So Todd – all you did was quote something good that makes great sense. And rather than narrow anything, Rick’s correct understanding of this matter is about how broad the possibilities are.

      • My NYU degree aside, I have made my living solely from domain names since 2007 – selling millions of dollars worth of domain names in that time.

        Saying I am “clueless” as it pertains to domain names is, um, clueless.

        • You’re completely right, that would be clueless, which is why I’m only saying you are clueless about this particular topic of discussion here.

          No matter how smart people are, and even successful, there are often big holes, flaws and blind spots. You’re married to a doctor, right? I could write a book about that when it comes to doctors even. Your wife doubtless knows that even medicine is often not as simple as 2 + 2 = 4, and you can have two truly brilliant and extremely successful and sometimes even famous specialists in the exact same field disagree in ways that are literally the mirror opposite of one another. Both of them are without question brilliant, even geniuses, but one of them could be the one who is right, while the other is flat out wrong. Not partially, not “somewhere in the middle,” just one of them right and the other wrong. And yet, if they both were in the same field and both extremely accomplished, why was one of them wrong, even absurdly wrong? I don’t just know this, I’ve literally lived it. But even after the one was 180 degrees wrong, they both simply go on making their great 6 and 7 figure incomes and enjoying the respect of many.

Leave a Reply