The Gradient.com domain name was sold in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions last week. GoDaddy Aftermarket VP Paul Nicks told me that the $125,001 sale of Gradient.com set a GoDaddy Auctions record for the largest sale on its auction platform.
This morning, the Whois record updated, and the new registrant is listed as Anna Patterson. Although there is no organization listed in the Whois record, a Google search showed me that Patterson is the Founder and Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures. According to Crunchbase, “Gradient Ventures is Google’s new AI-focused venture fund – investing in and connecting early stage startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in artificial intelligence.” Gradient Ventures was founded earlier this year. I presume the domain name acquisition was related on behalf of the venture fund, despite the Whois record bearing Patterson’s name.
After the auction closed, some people expressed doubt about whether or not the sale would close. Because of the way GoDaddy Auctions works, domain registrants have some additional time to renew a domain name after an auction closes. GoDaddy announced its expiry process is changing, but the Gradient.com auction was subject to the old policy. Since the Whois record updated, I can only assume the auction was fulfilled.
Gradient.com is currently resolving to a generic GoDaddy landing page. It will be interesting to see if Gradient Ventures opts to continue using the Gradient.Google domain name for its corporate website and forward Gradient.com to it, or if the company decides to use Gradient.com for its website instead. I will keep an eye on this.
With the sale completed, Gradient.com will rank as the 34th largest public domain name sale of the year on DNJournal, assuming there were no other larger acquisitions since the last update.
A commenter name Naji seems to have nailed this acquisition. He was the first person to mention Google’s Gradient Ventures in a comment last week.