The MutualFunds.com domain name was the main attraction in the innagural Heritage Auctions (HA) domain auction held at the end of last year. Although MutualFunds.com was not sold during the live segment of the auction, HA’s Aron Meystedt announced that a deal had been reached after the close of the auction, and the domain name was sold in private for an undisclosed amount of money. MutualFunds.com had been owned by Internet entrepreneur Mark Ostrofsky, and it originally had a reserve price of $1 million.
I recently learned who the buyer of MutualFunds.com was, and I also learned the company acquired the singular MutualFund.com in a separate private transaction consummated around the same time. The acquirer is Paul Rubillo, founder of Dividend.com, and he teamed up with a company called Mitre Media on these two domain name acquisitions. According to Rubillo, the purchase prices are both private, but suffice to say the total spent was seven figures. He did tell me that MutualFunds.com was slightly more expensive than MutualFund.com though.
Here’s what Rubillo told me about these two acquisitions:
“I was able to acquire both MutualFunds.com and MutualFund.com at the end of 2013 and have been in development stage work the last few months. I am teaming up with Mitre Media, the company that acquired my Dividend.com company in June of 2012. We signed a JV agreement and both domains are now going to be under the Mitre Media umbrella of financial sites, including Dividend.com, ETFDB.com, MunicipalBonds.com, and more.”
The company intends to develop MutualFunds.com with a goal of replicating the success of Dividend.com. Obviously the focus on this business is the expansive mutual fund space that has many large financial companies competing with various mutual fund offerings.
Buying both of these keyword domain name was a smart decision despite the high cost associated with separate large transactions. BankRate owns CreditCard.com and CreditCards.com, and that defensive move could help eliminate a competitor from entering the same space with a competing offer. I also believe the pair of domain names has more value than the domain names individually, especially given the fact that a business is being built on MutualFunds.com.
I am looking forward to seeing MutualFunds.com grow, and I hope Rubillo keeps me (and all of us) posted.