Face.com: From $160k Domain Sale to Rumored $100,000,000 Sale

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Not only is  Face.com  a fantastic domain name, but it’s become “a technology company with the best-in-class face recognition software.” TechCrunch is  reporting  that there are “rumors that it is being acquired by Facebook for up to $100 million,” although the CEO didn’t confirm (or deny) the rumor.

I do not know much about company that owns Face.com (Vizi Labs), but it’s interesting to see one of the  Whois contacts  is “John Berryhill Attorney Trust Account,” so perhaps there are domain industry connections there. In any event, there are at least two domain industry connections associated with Face.com.

According to  Nat Cohen’s blog, domain investor Andy Booth once acquired Face.com for $160,000:

Securing Face.com was a big deal. It was not easy to acquire, but I saw a listing on Afternic, where it had a $130,000 bid on it. I contacted the owner and established that he was looking to sell it, but wanted the market to dictate its value. After numerous calls, I convinced him to accept my $160,000 offer, and we got the deal wrapped up. I felt that given the general domain market, this kind of money was more than value for such a premium, generic domain and later DNF appraisals and the resultant sale would affirm this belief.

It looks like Andy owned the domain name sometime around  August 15, 2007, and it appears to have been subsequently re-sold to a company called Vevron  shortly thereafter. I reached out to a representative from Vevron (someone with many domain industry ties), and they confirmed that the company sold the domain name to its current owners, but details are covered by a non disclosure agreement.

It’s interesting to follow the history of a fantastic domain name like Face.com and see it grow into a big business.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Same reaction as lots of other people. Instagram $1B and facial recognition tech company with not only great domain name but key domain name for FB worth only 10% of Instagram when FB just raised nearly a bazilion dollars?

    Goes to show folks, dont work too hard. Better to make something simple to sell for $1B than something complex that took a lot of time and cost a lot of money for $100M.

  2. Keep in mind that this is just a rumor while Instagram is confirmed. That said, like everything else, the devil is in the details. We don’t know the details that would be used to valuate so it’s a bit silly to compare the two companies and deals.

  3. “… I saw a listing on Afternic, where it had a $130,000 bid on it. I contacted the owner and established that he was looking to sell it, but wanted the market to dictate its value. After numerous calls, I convinced him to accept my $160,000 offer, and we got the deal wrapped up

    Incredible stupidity on the sellers part.

    No doubt what the thought-process was here; he’d sell it outside the auction, save on final value fees, plus the buyer was offering an additional $30K over the existing bid, probably with some sort of sob story about how he was willing to pay it right now but wasn’t willing to bid that at auction… so, yeah, I’ll just end the auction with a 130 bid and sell it to this guy for 160…

    Fuck. Wow.

    Let this be a lesson, folks.
    You can’t judge a mans intelligence solely by his apparent wealth. Even people who own six- potentially seven- figure assets can be dumber than lowland primate.

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