George Kirikos: GoDaddy "*definitely* paid $35.5MM for Mike Berkens domain portfolio" |
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George Kirikos: GoDaddy “*definitely* paid $35.5MM for Mike Berkens domain portfolio”


GoDaddy published its quarterly earnings report and had its conference call tonight. In the report, the company had a line item for acquisitions, and George Kirikos has used that to deduce  what he believes the company paid for Mike Berkens’ domain portfolio in December of 2015.

According to a series of tweets from George Kirikos this evening, GoDaddy “*definitely* paid $35.5MM for Mike Berkens domain portfolio.Andrew Allemann also wrote about this, although he posed it as a question rather than a definitive statement.

One thing to keep in mind is that even if this figure is accurate (which I have not confirmed), we don’t know if that is the full amount of consideration involved. There could potentially be stock grants and/or perhaps a payout based on future sales of domain names in the portfolio. I have no idea if these additional pieces of consideration would be included in the “Business acquisitions, net of cash acquired” section of the quarterly report.

I spoke on the phone with Mike Berkens a moment ago, and he said he could not comment on the deal.

If this figure is accurate, Sahar Sarid definitely deserves a pat on the back for guessing  pretty close to the sale price:

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (12)


    One of the best well-kept secrets shared during NamesCon 😀

    February 17th, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Mike Maillet

    As you mentioned, there is more than likely other considerations. I HIGHLY doubt this was a straight cash deal. Stock options that could be exercised at a certain price point plus a set percentage of future sales of these domains were likely used to sweeten the offer, and protect both sides of the deal. Either way, with the Stock Market so beaten up recently, Mike could grow his windfall if he invests it wisely! -Mike Maillet (Toronto, Canada)

    February 17th, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Chip Wilkes

    Just curious!

    How many domains where in the portfolio?


    February 17th, 2016 at 11:48 pm


    Why did Berkens portfolio get so much more per domain than the others? I didn’t see the quality being any better than the other portfolios listed here. I actually thought Marchex had a better portfolio.

    Endurance pays $44.9 million for Buy Domains portfolio of one million domains which works out to about $45 per domain.

    Godaddy pays $28 million for Marchex’s portfolio of 200,000 domains which works out to about $140 per domain.

    Godaddy pays $35.5 million for Michael Berkens portfolio of 70,000 domains which works out to $507 per domain.

    February 17th, 2016 at 11:57 pm


      Berkens got more for two reasons. One, he had lots of Chips – over 100’s with 2/3 being chips (that’s $5M right there). I don’t remember if he had lots of’s. Two, more importantly, Berkens is a much better negotiator than the other two portfolio holders. It’s for the 2nd reason I think godaddy will net more from marchex than Berkens – they won’t get nearly the same prices as he would’ve.

      The $500/ea price is a nice even number that makes sense to me. With the publicly traded nature of godaddy, I knew they couldn’t keep this a secret forever.

      In reply to todd | February 18th, 2016 at 4:42 am


    I agree with Tony, makes sense.

    February 18th, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Back in December valued the portfolio $22.5 million +/- $7.5 million

    Did GoDaddy paid a premium or did the number include other party acquisitions?

    February 18th, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Elliot Silver

      If it was indeed $35.5m, you were off by quite a bit.

      In reply to | February 18th, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Why would GoDaddy overpay if the are already struggling to get into the black? Extra bit from Jamie Zoch offers a solid support of that reasoning too.

      Otherwise, since both parties are under NDA, we may not [officially] learn.

      Skill kudos to Michel for making a great exit and then keeping all doors open.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 18th, 2016 at 12:14 pm
    February 18th, 2016 at 12:06 pm


    I think Berkens made out like a bandit. I follow the transfers from him to NameFind using DomainTools and SO MUCH of his domain portfolio I wouldn’t even pay reg fee for if they were available by hand today. He may have had $5 million of CHIPs and some really great .com domain names in there, but a lot of the rest was just the dregs. Which is to be expected when we’re talking about 70,000 domain names — the more domain names you add to the portfolio, the more “average” each domain name becomes. A smaller, more curated portfolio might have been a better value. Hopefully, Berkens invests the proceeds wisely and GoDaddy is able to crank out a profit on the deal over the next few years before they sell themselves to some bigger IT entity like HP or Oracle who stupidly decides to do some M&A out of their areas of competency.

    February 19th, 2016 at 11:41 am


    Invest wise? At his age he should be using at least $20 bills to wipe with. I think it makes one think about how much more youth is worth. Youth is wasted on the young and having money when you’re old well nice is still something you’d trade it all for to have youth again.

    Enjoy it, it and you can be gone tomorrow.

    February 20th, 2016 at 11:35 pm

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