MicroStrategy (MSTR on NASDAQ) held its earnings conference call on July 30, 2019. As you likely know, MicroStrategy sold Voice.com for $30 million in the second quarter of 2019. This was the largest all-cash domain name sale of all time, and it had an impact on the company’s earnings.
During the conference call yesterday, MicroStrategy CEO Michael J. Saylor made some comments about the sale of Voice.com. He also offered some insight about the valuation of domain names.
You can read the entire transcript on Yahoo Finance, but below is an excerpt with Mr. Saylor’s comments about Voice.com and the value of great domain names:
A final note on the Voice.com sale. I think there’s an emerging awareness that crypto assets or digital assets are real. There’s never going to be more than 21 million Bitcoin in the world. And as people start to think about that, and the fact that they can’t be inflated and that’s a limit, it gives value to that cryptocurrency argument.
I think if we consider the domain as an asset class, once upon a time, people thought that Voice.tv or Voice.bu or a Voice-dot-something-else would matter. And it turns out it doesn’t. Voice.com matters, and we have pretty good evidence here that the difference between Voice.com and Voice.io or Voice.it or Voice.net, was $30 million. That’s the difference, because that’s what we sold it for. If it had been an open auction with multiple various bidders, that might have been more.
So when you go on Google, and you Google something like voice, you get 2.4 billion hits. If you Google Nike, you get 2 billion hits. The value of a great name, especially a dot com name is amazing because it catapults you above 2 billion other pages. Anybody that ever saw an ad that said Voice.com on it would remember immediately how to find that brand.
And so these things are great. They’re great assets for branding a network or branding a mobile app or branding a consumer application. And we own — we literally own hope in the English language. I mean, how would you like to own hope? We own Hope.com, H-O-P-E. It’s a noun. It’s a verb. It’s a name. You could use it to brand all sorts of things. We own Emma, and Usher, and Strategy, and Speaker. We own Michael. We own William. Most of these generate multiple billion hits if you type them into the Google Search machine. And a strategy will get you billions of hits.
So I have a belief that, at some point, sometime in the future, we’ll find well-endowed, well-capitalized companies that wish to rebrand themselves or wish to rebrand a product or a service with a really compelling name, and when they do, then we’ll monetize some of these other assets. Until then, we’re very patient with regard to these investments. And just like with the other things we’re doing on our business, we take the long view. And we just focus upon making sure that we provide value to the customer.
Notably, MicroStrategy still owns a small portfolio of valuable generic domain names, including Wisdom.com, Alert.com, Strategy.com, Hope.com, and others. When I put these names in a poll, readers felt that Alert.com, Hope.com, and Strategy.com are MicroStrategy’s most valuable domain name assets.
Thanks to Mike Sallese for sharing this article with me.