NameFind Sells Large Chunk of its Best Inventory

I monitor thousands of high quality domain names with the help of DomainTools. I use the Registrant Monitor tool to keep track of certain domain registrants, and I also use the Domain Monitor tool to track thousands of great domain names.

Over the last week, I noticed a large swath of exceptional domain names in the NameFind portfolio appear to have been sold. This includes some of its top one word, two word, and short acronym.com domain names. This is in addition to the well-publicized NameFind auction on GoDaddy Auctions.

Many of the domain names I track had been part of portfolios GoDaddy previously acquired. For instance, there were likely names from the portfolios acquired from Mike Berkens, Marchex, and Frank Schilling.

For many of the domain names I have been tracking, instead of having NameFind listed as the Whois registrant, the domain names moved under Whois privacy at GoDaddy. In addition, many of these domain names changed landing pages. For a short period of time, the domain names resolved to a default GoDaddy DBS landing page. They now show a PPC page with a “for sale” link at the top, similar to landing pages many other domain investors use. The domain names I have been tracking also briefly disappeared from Afternic – although some seem to have been re-listed for sale.

I can’t say for certain that NameFind just sold some of its best domain names, but I am pretty sure they did.

I reached out to representatives from GoDaddy seeking comment, but I did not receive a response. This is possibly due to vacations and the holidays. As an investor – and also as an industry write, I would love to know this:

  • Has GoDaddy made a change in strategy related to its domain name portfolio holdings
  • Is GoDaddy getting out of the business of investing in domain names?
  • Does the more aggressive sale of its domain names reflect GoDaddy’s view of market conditions?

I can’t speculate about what this means for the general domain name market or for GoDaddy. It is possible the company is selling to hit an annual aftermarket revenue goal. Without receiving a reply to my questions, I really can’t speculate with confidence.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

15 COMMENTS

  1. It was a bit strange that the NameFind auction had so many great names at very reasonable reserves.

    Maybe these sales are in fact in order to generate revenue before the end of the year.

  2. GoDaddy is probably getting out of the business of investing in domain names.

    They have been hounded by activist investors, specifically Starboard, that want to layoff more employees next quarter, fire CEO, and take the brand private.

    Selling their Namefind portfolio is a good thing, as Domainers know – its a very illiquid game to extract maximum value from domains.

    Lot of value locked in their NameFind portfolio and unlocking it will save a lot of jobs next year.

    Shareholders aren’t going to wait around for profits.

    • I believe they still have a massive portfolio of inventory quality domain names. I didn’t notice any wide scale Whois changes that would make me think the whole portfolio was sold . Frankly, if that was the case I would have assumed they were just adding WhoIs privacy.

    • You could be right though. I don’t really have enough information to speculate on that. My feeling is they did not sell a large percentage of the portfolio – just a great deal of their best and most liquid domain names.

      • Let’s not forget their Namefind portfolio was near 1M names.

        I would imagine even selling 20% of their portfolio would generate big profits. Whatever they are doing, I’m betting it ties back to revenue generation to save jobs.

        The current CEO is not immune to being cut next year if those revenue numbers don’t improve.

  3. I believe this is the company just trying to boost its revenue in the ‘core’ business to hit Wall Street expectations for the year. This is one of the few levers it can pull on short notice.

  4. If I earned a minimum of fifteen percent on the majority of total domain aftermarket transactions, i probably would not invest in domains anymore either. Their commission on a $1,000 sale earns them more than having a customer renew a domain with them for 150 years. It also seemed rather dodgy to me that they even started investing in domains. As if I was funding my competition.

    • The domain name market will exist for the foreseeable future, but cryptocurrency swings have affected former crypto investors. This has made the buyers of domain names less liquid and caused their domain name inventory to be less valuable currently.

  5. Godaddy is a very big company. The Godaddy Auctions/NameFind auction sales probably wouldn’t have a material impact on their results. But a significant sale of some key domain assets from the NameFind holdings might.

    Any idea of some of the names that might have been sold from NameFind? i.e. what quality were the domains?

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