There was an article published in TechCrunch this morning about a startup called Taster, which announced an $8 million round of funding. Crunchbase shows that this company has now raised $13.1 million in total funding to date. A quick search showed me that Taster operates on the brand match Taster.com domain name.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) June 27, 2019
Taster was founded in 2017, so I was curious to learn more about how it was able to acquire its Taster.com domain name, which was created in 1997. Using the DomainTools Whois History tool, I was able to see that Taster.com had been owned by YummyNames, Tucows’ domain name portfolio business. Within the last couple of years, the domain name was acquired by GoDaddy via its NameFind domain name portfolio business in a larger portfolio acquisition.
Because it looks like GoDaddy sold the domain name to the startup, I wanted to see if the comparable sales section in GoDaddy’s Appraisal Tool offered any intel about the sale. GoDaddy’s Appraisal Tool says Taster.com is currently worth $16,293. On the right side of the appraisal page, GoDaddy lists a comparable sale of Taster.com at $15,000. Since it does not list the date of those sales, I can’t confirm this was the price of Taster.com when the startup acquired it, but that would be my guess since there do not seem to be any other public sales records:
Assuming the company did acquire Taster.com for $15,000, I think that is a great deal for the startup. Prior to GoDaddy’s acquisition of the smallish portfolio from Tucows’ YummyNames, I believe the asking price was in the mid five figure range (below $50,000).
When GoDaddy started making domain name portfolio acquisitions, I believe one of the stated goals was to be able to sell domain names to end user buyers at reasonable prices. The top tier domain names would still command super premium prices, but other inventory would be priced affordably enough to move inventory regularly. I think $15,000 for Taster.com would be a very good price for the startup and a decent sale for GoDaddy. It seems like this was a no-brainer for Taster and I am sure they are glad to have their brand match .com domain name.