Impact Voice.com Sale Will Have on My Business

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By now, you have read about the $30 million cash sale of Voice.com. From what I have been reading, it is the largest domain name sale of all time when considering the domain name was acquired on its own, without any website, business, or other goodwill. It is a monster deal, but the impact on my business will be relatively minimal.

The sale of Voice.com is record breaking and inspiring. My company has quite a few one word .com domain names, but I am not racing to reprice them. Voice.com shows that it is possible to get a massive deal on one domain name, but it does not mean that all domain names are more valuable as a result of the sale.

I will definitely reference the Voice.com sale when I am negotiating to sell a one word .com domain name. No, I am not going to increase a price to $xx million because of the Voice.com sale, but when I get push back on a six figure price tag, I will certainly reference this sale to show that my price is both reasonable and realistic. Having a public company like MicroStrategy publicly report a $30 million cash deal for a domain name gives a huge boost to the credibility of a large sale. GoDaddy’s confirmation of the sale makes it even more official.

I do not think this sale will impact domain name values on the whole, much like an anomalous low four figure sale of a LLL.com domain name wouldn’t really impact the value of all LLL.com domain names. I do think this sale offers a level of support for domain investors who seek the highest prices for the best domain names though. It proves that when a company is unwilling to compromise on its asking price and a well-funded buyer understands that it needs a particular domain name, a massive sale can be done.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot, understanding that you have much more experience in the domain name business, versus my only expertise is in the pure City .com category, I must disagree with your assessment. I agree that you should not rush to reprice everything; but I believe this $30M sale will send a strong message to the world about the importance and value of having the right brand name as your digital brand. I do believe it will have a positive impact on your future sales. If anything, the publicity from this sale brings more end users into play….end users that have no idea what the value of domains are.

    Years ago, and it may have been in a message string on your blog, I stated we are still in the infancy of the domain business. People disagreed (mostly domaines!) but even in 2019, I still get 10 people per month that approach me in Scottsdale, and while 5 say things like “OMG…you own Scottsdale.com….how did you do that? Awesome!” but the other 5 say “I hear you own Scottsdale.com….what is that?” I am talking about 40 year old professionals….and when I explain the domain business, many are hearing about it for the first time. If you tell someone you are a Stockbroker, everyone knows what that means. If you tell someone you are a domain broker, many times it needs explaining. For this and other reasons, we are in the infancy, and this is why the publicity to the masses of this $30M sale will enlighten many companies and end users and start ups about the importance of spending money on the right brand.

    • @Fred — I have another job (a company I founded), but I’ve been investing in domains since 2002 — yes, I missed the gold rush days. I never tell people I’m a domain investor, unless they work in marketing, branding, domaining, naming, etc, otherwise, some wise a** inevitably will chirp, “Oh, you mean like a cybersquatter?” which leads to snickers, groans, and guffaws.
      But per this sale, I agree with Elliot, it will create an upside for folks with quality domains. I’ve had 2 decent sales this week, post Voice sale, and whether they’re related to the sale or just a coincidence, I have no idea.

    • That is true, but most people can’t afford to say “no” to multi million dollar (or even six figure) offers.

      MicroStrategy is a large publicly traded company with a market cap of $1.5+ Billion. Turning down tens of millions would probably have had an immaterial impact.

      I wonder if investors even considered their domain names to be valuable assets.

      • Sure, if you get yourself in a position where you have to say yes to every six figure offer that comes along in order to pay for renewals, back taxes and whatnot – you probably will never get anyone near these kind of deals. MicroStrategy had the luxury to say no a lot of times. So keep your portfolios small guys 🙂
        Avoid the overhead!

        • “to pay for renewals, back taxes and whatnot ”

          By “whatnot,” do you mean important things like salary, quarterly estimated taxes, domain name acquisitions, business expenses…etc? Most domain investors who do this for a full time living and continue to grow their portfolios have those “whatnot” expenses to consider.

          I would guess 99.99% of the top pro investors would be hard-pressed to turn down a $25 million offer hoping to get $30 million out of it. Maybe there are one or two people who have tens of millions in cash and cash equivalent investments whose lives and lifestyles wouldn’t change with an extra $25m in cash.

          It’s a bit easier to say “no” when you represent a publicly traded company with a $1.5 Billion market cap rather than your own company.

          • “I would guess 99.99% of the top pro investors would be hard-pressed to turn down a $25 million offer hoping to get $30 million out of it.”

            I agree!

            “It’s a bit easier to say “no” when you represent a publicly traded company with a $1.5 Billion market cap rather than your own company.”

            I disagree. Publicly traded companies are owned by the shareholders. The board of directors has a fiduciary duty to maximise shareholder value. They can’t just ignore or say no to a $10m, $20m or in this case $30m offer. They have to discuss each offer and decide what is best for their shareholders. Completely different ballgame and set of rules. A one man shop can easily say no to an offer because he is the sole shareholder and there is no board. Even for a $1.5b company, $30m is a significant amount of money, hence the SEC filing.

            “By “whatnot,” do you mean important things like salary, quarterly estimated taxes, domain name acquisitions, business expenses…etc? Most domain investors who do this for a full time living and continue to grow their portfolios have those “whatnot” expenses to consider.”

            You describe your setup as a domainer and I’m sure a lot of full time investors can relate to that. But there are different setups and different type of investors. Some don’t pay themselves a salary but take out a dividend, some are located in low or zero tax jurisdictions, some are just holding their portfolio and are not buying any additional domains, some pay $1500 /month for office space, some work from home and lastly some have $5k in annual renewal costs, some have $500k… 🙂

      • “I wonder if investors even considered their domain names to be valuable assets.” I sometimes wonder if brands considered their brand domain name/s to be valuable assets or just throw money at the Adword ferryman …

  2. Microstrategy is not a one hit domain wonder, they had $500M in revenue in 2018.

    It was the right buyer, and they weren’t going to the poor house if they said NO.

    So I wonder if they were paid with EOS tokens, which have fallen in price?

    • Hate to say it, but probably much less. Including Rick. But there is value in saying it, now, and it should be said. Saying it is good for us all. Even the great ones need reset and recalibration sometimes. We all do. And we all need humility, without which we will tend to make wasteful haste and everyone can lose out.

    • It is a very unusual circumstance, who can really turn down $10million, $20million, $25million? Only a billionaire and even they would sell for $10million most of the time. This is going to push prices up on singular one word .com’s but I wouldn’t expect the sale to be beaten for a couple of decades. It will push more enduser sales into the 7 figure range, that is my feeling.

      • Yes, $30m won’t be the new normal , but the 7 figure range sales will likely increase.
        Premium domains are still far away from mainstream and far from their real value.
        Slack went public yesterday. They paid only $60k for slack.com but over $20million in fees to Wall Street to get listed. A complete disparity.
        The domain community needs to grow, become more self confident and ask or more money for their premium assets. Wall Street is asking for ridiculous fees for decades and no one complains. It’s pay to play and they’re all fine with it.

        • Premium domains will never be a mainstream asset, it is a niche. Slack.com would have been bought when the company was small and they probably just went with a cheap name much like stripe.com did. The term has mostly negative connotations and the buyer pool would be low, “characterized by a lack of work or activity; quiet.”

          On its own it isn’t a particularly good name and there is thousands of similar one word .com’s unsold.

  3. Didn’t streaming.com and stream.com get acquired recently? By Google, Amazon, or Microsoft? Anyone know the sales prices on these domains. No doubt NDAs were in place, but public companies?

  4. I watched Morgan Linton’s 5 minute video from Lisbon and NamesCon, where GoDaddy provided the “back story” of this $30M transaction. It basically said nothing of substance….there was no “secret sauce.” And while most of us, including myself, have stated that offers of $20M and $25M had to be rejected….we do not know that for sure. It could have simply been a number that MicroStrategy placed on the name from the beginning….basically “It will take $30M to acquire this name….period.” And Block.one simply stepped up and purchased it. We are all mesmerized by a sale of this magnitude….myself included, and we want to know everything. Very cool development for everyone in the industry….

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