According to a tweet from Techmeme referencing an article in The Verge, German automaker Audi spun out its VR division and partnered with Disney to launch a startup called Holoride:
Audi spins out its VR division into a new startup called Holoride that announces a partnership with Disney to make VR experiences for back seat passengers (@sokane1 / The Verge)https://t.co/WWVHfZHbVhhttps://t.co/Rirpo7YqTt
— Techmeme (@Techmeme) January 7, 2019
Smartly, the startup is using the exact match Holoride.com domain name for its website.
With a brand name like Holoride, I instantly knew the matching domain name would have been taken years prior. As a result, the company would have needed to acquire the domain name from the registrant. Whois records show that the Holoride.com domain name was created in August of 2008.
According to NameBio, Holoride.com was sold in a private transaction on October 14, 2018 for $5,499. Prior to the sale of Holoride.com, the domain name appears to have been parked using an Efty landing page.
It’s easy to say once a deal is closed and the buyer’s information is revealed, but it seems like a pretty good deal for the startup.
sucks for the seller.
Yep. Agree. Great name and 2 buyers with deep pockets. Most likely the seller had no idea who was buying the name.
If they didn’t know, then the name by itself sucks, so you can’t blame the seller. It’s not like selling a clearly valuable domain for peanuts, which many people hiding their identities are trying to get you to do.
IMHO, to get the most fair price it is important to understand both the industry and types of buyers the domain most likely targets. There are ways to know something about the buyers, like potential budget, even by how they try to conceal their identities (in addition to market research and other data).
What matters is the value of a quality, brandable domain name to the end user with the highest and best use. That end user is likely a large, global corporation with billions in profits for whom the domain name will make them millions more over the next five to ten years than a lower quality domain name would.
Even at a $100,000+ acquisition price, the large corporation with highest and best use will break even in less than one year of deploying the domain name in its business and its ROI over five years will be off the charts. Far better than they will achieve investing $1,000,000 in one retail store serving only a 25 mile radius of customers. And, they will pay about that much each year to rent the store. Once acquired, the domain name will cost them only $10 per year in “rent”.
As such, HoloRide.com should have been priced at high five figures or low six figures. Mid four figures was much too low. We have our brandable ‘ride’ .com domain names set at low six figure BIN prices for this exact reason. We’ve priced them to sell at those prices within the next 10 years. It only costs $100 to hold onto them for that timeframe and we have the patience of Job. The end user with highest and best use can make a lower offer and negotiate, of course, but our expectations for such brandable ‘ride’ names over the next 10 years is set, especially with the autonomous vehicle and ride hailing markets firming up and converging over that timeframe.
Some very good points made here, but the domain sucks. Unless and only unless there was publicly available info at the time to enable one to surmise it might be highly sought after for a big money enterprise, or to refute my contention that it sucks, the domain sucks. If there was any knowledge out there to enable one to believe the public would have an interest in a “holo ride” then I’ll withdraw my opinion. Maybe there was, but otherwise I hate the name. As a real person, not just as a “domainer.” Listen to Todd below.
So what happened to Konstantinos, why hasn’t he posted in so long?
Maybe New Year happened, did it not happen to you as well?
In my opinion Holoride.com isn’t a top tier brandable name. $5,500 seems like a fair value. In hindsight if they knew what company wanted to buy it then obviously they would have priced it higher. The problem is you won’t sell any brandables if you price low tier names at six figure prices. I bet this name never had an offer until this sale occurred.
Rare to see a “future technology” name like that sell, them normally sit in a portfolio forever before inevitably dropping.
Further to Todd’s comment, and this is me speaking wearing my buyer broker hat, domainers should keep in mind that with two-word brandable domains a lot of the times the buyer client and/or their buyer broker is working with a specific budget and somewhat flexible name criteria, such as:
– two-word .com that ends in “ride”
– max budget $10,000
– available for quick purchase / BIN priced
So you can go ahead and put a five or six figure asking price on *your* ends with “ride” (or whatever) domain name, but the buyer/broker working with a specific budget/criteria is simply going to buy a different domain name because (in theory at least) there are plenty of others to choose from, potentially dozens or even hundreds depending on the criteria.
Note: I didn’t broker this holoride.com purchase, and I agree with Todd it’s a mediocre name choice, but it’s a great sale for the domainer all things considered and especially if the buyer/broker was working with a specific budget/criteria. Congrats to the Seller.
Thanks for sharing your perspective. I have a lot of respect for your insights and always love to learn from you.
In this case, though, don’t you think that the combination of “holo” and “ride” make the name more than just any brandable ending with “ride”? That combines 2 modern/future technologies into a short brand that is perfect for the buyer’s product. And, as a seller, I wouldn’t put a price on the name because there isn’t enough data on similar sales. Companies like VW/Audi and Disney have big marketing teams that study meticulously names for new brands. I don’t think they would go with that name if they weren’t pretty much set on it.
I agree that “holo” is (or perhaps was in 2018, not so sure these days) a hot keyword, and “ride” is a great keyword, however here’s my very candid thinking about “holoride” as a brand name:
– two words of equal length
– ends with “ride” so perfect for intended use
– syllable imbalance (two-syllable+one-syllable)
– “holo” doesn’t pass the radio test, sounds like “hollow” or “hollo” or maybe even “hola” or “holla”
– first word ends in a vowel (“o”) so risks bleeding into second word when you try to parse it visually … is it “holo ride” or “holor ide”?
– “oride” reminds me of medical names, like fluoride, so some people seeing “holoride” may think it’s a new drug!
– risk of “holo” being overly trendy keyword that will not age well over time
It’s not a horrible brand name, but I’d give it a B.
As for seller’s pricing strategy, that really depends on the seller and their financial goals. Having a BIN price on a domain always leaves the door open for people to claim that “seller left money on the table” but the counter-argument is that “seller sold the domain”. There’s also the fact that domains that are not priced risk not getting an offer placed on them because the buyer (sometimes incorrectly) assumes that the price will be beyond their budget. “make offer” is a somewhat risky strategy if you want to maximize your sell-through rate, but of course I ‘get’ the rationale for choosing “make offer” for sellers.
Finally, you’d be surprised how flexible some large companies are or will be when it comes to picking a new brand name. I often work, directly or indirectly, with some of the top naming agencies and in most cases the naming agencies and clients narrow the list down to three to five names/domains (not just one) and quite often the one they ultimately choose is the BIN priced domain (or the one that can be hand-registered). Clients don’t like the uncertainty and perceived risk of domains that are “make offer” or are not listed for sale at all. They’d rather just buy the one that is clearly for sale and has a price on it that is within or close to their budget, whatever that budget may be.
Hope you will be attending NamesCon later this month. This is a great topic to discuss in person.
Great answer. Yes, I will be at NamesCon. I would love to discuss this topic with you further in person.
“Holo” just makes me think of Microsoft’s investment in holo technology such as hololens.
This sale brings back memories of one I made few years ago for 7K that ended up being to a Fortune 100 company and was a perfect match for one of their product lines. Which is probably why I posted here so much. Lol. 😉
HoloRide.com sold to cheap. RideScout.com sold for 79k, so how’s RideScout a better name then HoloRide as a brand-able?
It appears that the seller is using Efty landing pages with MAKE OFFER and NO BIN option on all his names. IMO using MAKE OFFER is silly at best.
Make offer will:
1.scare prospects away that don’t want to negotiate;
2.you will get low ball offers 99.9% of the time.
3.tells me that you don’t know and are not sure of the value of your asset. (great from a buyers perspective)
BIN pricing is a different topic. For high value domains ie: one words I would avoid BIN pricing as it would scare a bunch of prospects away also. Instead I recommend a landing page with a simple contact form. Also don’t be a dum dum and use whois privacy and complain why you don’t have any sales! 🙂 IMO is better to get the lead and work it then NO lead at all.
Today these “top naming agencies” usually contact sellers incognito hidden behind disposable emails etc. It happens all the time, and yes they mention they are looking at 3-5 other names, and ask for a BIN price. Most often then not, the deal goes to the CHEAPEST BIN price, or the hand reg. Usually very rude and short, “we just want a price”, “what’s the cost” “we don’t want a negotiation”. So you give your price and never hear from them again.
If you agree to these type of deals then you the seller are entering a bidding war that you have 0 control over with 3-5 other people. Very silly thing to do also! 🙂
So for the prospect buyers that say there are looking at multiple names and asking for pricing, I recommend stating a range 4figures, 5figures etc and I usually say I wouldn’t be interested in entering a bidding war against other people and if that is the case count me out. If they come back to me fine, if not I am losing the deal quick and on my terms. 🙂
I can continue but I will stop for today..
That’s my 2 cents for today: If you are going to lose a deal, do it quickly and on your terms! 😉
Wow…such a great analysis! 🙏
Excellent points, Bill.
Nameoptions, it is not a lack of data for similar names, it is a lack of sales, because they rarely sell.
There has been tends of thousands of “holo” names registered over the last 15 years and according to namebio this is the highest price for any name started with that term.
For a domainer who say owns 100 holo names of this quality they’d get very few inquiries and to try and price them high would be like expect a lottery win.
You’re right, Snoopy. Whether it is “holo” or “vr” or “IoT” or some other new tech, there are way more domains reg’d than there is current demand for. And most are of poor quality. Similar sales data is only one of the many criteria useful in negotiations. And that data should be used with extreme caution.
I was the seller of HoloRide.com.
So here is a little background…
Surprisingly, the buyer didn’t start the conversation off with, “Hi, I work for a Fortune 500 company that’s partnering with another Fortune 500 company to launch a product that we want live for CES 2019 and WE WANT YOUR NAME!”.
I dealt with a very Professional individual who initially offered $500 for the name. Negotiations were quick and with very little comparables to work from regarding “holo” as a prefix, I was happy to part with the name for $5,499 USD. It was a $10 hand-registered name from 2008 so I’d say it’s still a decent ROI. (The conversion to Canadian dollars in my bank account always looks nicer too). I have about 30 other “holo” names some of which are much stronger than HoloRide so quite honestly I thought an advertised comparable could potentially help my other names appreciate in value. I don’t always report my sales to Mr. Jackson at DNJournal and I kind of regret reporting this one now ha ha ha.
After posting the sale on a NamePros thread, most of the immediate feedback was how could such a blah name sell for that high of a price? so it’s quite funny reading the comments that I should have asked low $xxx,xxx for the name now that this Audi/Disney product has launched.
Domaining is my side hustle. I have reduced my portfolio to 650 names, so with one sale I basically have covered all of the renewal fees for my names for one year and now any additional sales I make will be sweet delicious gravy.
Did I leave money on the table? Absolutely. Do I care? No.
My #1 priority in life being a full-time single father to an amazing 8 year old daughter who misses her mom after I had to take her off of life support two years ago.
I spent most of the $5,499 and took my daughter to California for two weeks in November. Drove the PCH, went to Disneyland, and absolutely rocked LEGOLAND.
The ROI on that in my life is priceless.
Thanks for reading. Wishing everyone health, happiness and absolutely flawless foresight in your business decisions in 2019 and beyond.
Congratulations on the sale. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks about it.
It’s a great ROI and you used the proceeds to make great memories with your daughter.
Elliot is right — never mind us in the chattering crowd. What matters most are the facts, and you’ve certainly got a handle on those. Congratulations on the sale and the happy daughter!
@ Robert, thank you so much for sharing the true story of this domain sale here, especially the amazing ‘investment’ you made with the proceeds of the sale to give your daughter the vacation of a lifetime. From one Canadian to another, congratulations on a fantastic sale, eh.
Clearly Disney won twice in this deal…
You’re happy with the sale and it made your daughter happy too. That’s all that matters. Congrats.
Thanks Robert. It was a good sale.