Report: “sale price of PIR > $1.135 billion”

Caroline Greer, Head of European Public Policy at Cloudflare, posted a tweet with the reported sale price of PIR, the operator of the .org registry. I do not have a way to independently verify the report or confirm it’s accuracy, but I reached out to Ethos Capital to confirm the sale price:

Kieren McCarthy also reported this sales figure on Twitter, although I do not know if his source is the same as the one I shared:

Kieren also shared some back of the napkin math to illustrate how big of of an opportunity this is for Ethos:

As a .com domain name investor, I do not agree with ICANN’s decision to remove price caps for .org domain names because it will likely lead to the same for other legacy extensions like .com. That said, this was a shrewd acquisition for Ethos Capital, and it has the potential to be very lucrative for the company and its investors.

I will try to share an update if I read any independent confirmation of the sale price.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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


  1. $20m /year costs to run.
    $100m /year revenues from renewals at current price cap.

    What an insane low multiple for a nearly risk free / easy to predict kind of business. Ridiculous..

  2. Because .org domain names are highly inelastic – this is a great opportunity for Ethos Capital to increase its prices on a captive base of users, who has no reasonable substitutes.

    Ethos Capital now has a fiduciary duty to increase prices to maximize its returns for its new shareholders (including ICANN past CEO Fadi Chehade.)

    ICANN is no longer fulfilling its competition mandate. Because .org does not compete against any other domain extensions – it is a natural monopoly. ICANN has been operating under the misguided belief that the new gTLD program has created more competition – but this is not true. This is especially not true with existing registrants – who have been using their .org domain name for many years – they are simply not able to switch.

    Any price hike (either small or large) will be forced upon the base of 10+ million registrants.

  3. Yes, they are going to raise prices, get serious cashflow on the books, then flip this for $4B.

    Everyone at ICANN will get rich YAHHHHH

  4. Richard is exactly correct. Although at 10% escalating prices per year, the wholesale cost will be $26 in 10-years’ time.

    Despite the fact that the cost to operate .org continue to go down. It costs $18,066,321 to operate in 2018.

    Get ready – PIR / Ethos Capital will have one of the highest margins of any company on earth!

    Operating a monopoly is a dream for any private equity company.

      • Such a shame. Curious what regulation agencies are looking to finally dismantle ICANN as it is clearly operating a racket. Protecting the monolpolists. CRAZY

        • My understanding is that with the removal of US oversight they are accountable to nothing and to no one and are free to run every racket they please and sell out everyone to the highest bidder.

          There’s plenty of evil and corruption to go around on every side of the spectrum here in the US, but nonetheless US oversight was working, was not broken, did not need fixing, and was a huge mistake (or deliberate “mistake”). I doubt anything like this could have gotten this far were it not for that, including the removal of .org price controls, and not even under the last few pro-elite, pro-plutocracy, pro-oligarchy administrations.

    • How dare you! Do you think mansions, private islands and mega-yachts maintain themselves, or buying favorable legislation and regulation pays for itself? It takes money for that, and it has to be extracted from somewhere (unless you’re the Fed private bank cartel and can print it as interest debt others have to pay, that is).

  5. ISOC sold out way too cheap.

    And in their rush to sell out to private equity, they threw their nonprofit “community” under a bus.

    Naivete and greed on ISOC’s part. Opportunism and greed on the part of those behind “Ethos.”

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