This article is the first in a series of interviews with NamesCon 2016 exhibitors and sponsors. The NamesCon domain conference will take place at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas from January 10-13. 1,000 conference attendees are expected to attend this annual domain conference.
Today’s NamesCon Spotlight interview is with Sedo, a marketplace to buy and sell domain names.
Q: What is your company’s mandate, what sets you apart?
Sedo is the leading domain marketing specialist, and the world’s largest and most successful online auction platform and marketplace for buying and selling domain names. We take our role as industry-leading expert seriously, consistently providing the best domain names possible from the most comprehensive portfolio. Our marketplace is a one-stop-shop connecting the right buyers and sellers in a simple hassle-free manner. In addition we offer a variety services and advantages including an award-winning brokerage and consulting team, client support in 25 natively-spoken languages, interactive marketplaces in six languages, reputable domain appraisals, global transfer services, a partner reseller network of nearly 700 Registrars as well as the leading domain parking system.
Q: What’s the story behind how your company was founded?
Like many players in the domain world our company is rooted in its origins as a startup. Sedo began essentially as a class project for four University of Cologne students who recognized the value of premium domain names. Parking supported the company’s initial growth and continues to thrive but marketplace performance rapidly caught up along with our other business lines. Sedo’s founders also realized global reach with a local touch was paramount to our success and eventually opened offices in Boston and London.
Q: What major milestones has your company accomplished?
Being the largest secondary marketplace for premium domain names worldwide is a pretty big milestone especially coming from our history as a startup. Nevertheless we are always striving to perform better and provide user-friendly, accessible services. For example in the past year, we’ve launched innovations such as direct auctions and featured listings to further promote quality domains for sale. Recognition has been awarded consistently because of our high level of service and results for our customers and partners. Among our many accolades is a three-peat in the “Broker of the Year” category and five-time “Best Overall Domain Solution” recipient.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
The new domain names are flourishing and bring so many alternatives into the market and Sedo is a neutral marketplace providing all of these names to our customers. Our main goal is getting the best domains for each individual or business. This sometimes equates to not only the traditional .com or country code available names but now includes the available new gTLDs.
With the new domain names, we also see a lot of new opportunities to create awareness for all domain names in general. The new domains are a great vehicle to enter the marketing and start-up space again and we`re using this momentum to tell a broader audience about the huge world of domain possibilities. To attract as many people as possible we did mayor conferences and shows like SXSW-interactive, Dmexco and Websummit in 2015 and in 2016 we’ve already confirmed 40 events worldwide large and small in our lineup. Collaboration opportunities are made available for Registries and other partners to partake in these event sponsorships. This saves our collaborators the expense and effort of doing costly events on their own while making for successful pairings of ideas and resources.
Sedo also has a gTLD Registry services division partnering exclusively with both established and newly emerging name extensions. Since each domain extension is unique, these partnerships support marketing and sales growth tailored to the individual name and what it represents. Sedo assists with the management of auction events and lead generation to target specific verticals.
Q: Can you tell us about your first time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?
We attended the first NamesCon in 2014. With the event timed at the start of the New Year everyone in attendance is refreshed and comes open to sharing and converging on new ideas. NamesCon brings together the veteran domainers with new investors and industry newbies in a relaxed and intimate environment. The event is full of valuable discussions, engaging conference content, alongside nonstop networking.
Q: How will your company engage attendees at the upcoming NamesCon?
The team representing Sedo at NamesCon is a diverse mix allowing us to engage attendees from various backgrounds in the most effective way. This includes CEO Tobias Flaitz, as well as our two CSOs Dima Beitzke and Solomon Amoako, Director of PR & Marketing, Christian Voss, and Senior Brokers from both our U.S. and European offices; Negar Hajikhani, Dave Evanson and Brian Michitti. We’re excited to meet with everyone at this year’s conference and to field questions while offering our expertise and knowledge to our counterparts and peers. We truly appreciate NamesCon for having us at your top notch event in Vegas.
Q: What was one of the most memorable sessions or keynotes at a previous NamesCon?
The announcement party of vegas.club in 2015!
Q: Who benefits from your product or service?
Domain owners, sellers and buyers of course! But on a more serious note, just about anyone who wants to buy, sell or park a domain name benefits from our services. This expands to end users looking to buy a domain for their business as well as consultants and IP lawyers buying on behalf of their clients. In addition, registries who want to promote their sometimes widely unknown domains can take advantage of our online and offline promotion and marketing activities.
Q: Where can attendees find out more about your company, product or services while at NamesCon?
You won’t be able to miss our booth or Sedo’s large team presence!
Q: If you have a company representative speaking at NamesCon, is there anything you can share about what to expect during your session or keynote?
Sedo’s North American Chief Sales Officer Solomon Amoako will be giving a keynote on Monday of this year’s event– please join us then for direct insights from this industry veteran. Solomon recently presented at the Financial Magnates conference in London, during his NamesCon speech, he will delve deeper into topics facing the world of domains and allow time for Q&A. So please come pick his brain and visit with the rest of the Sedo team during this session.
Q: How would you define your company strategy and vision?
Sedo will continue to expand our reach worldwide to an even wider target group. We`ll continue influencing the influencers. It all starts with a great Domain name and your Domain is your safe and secure harbor that is all your own. Marketers spend millions on facebook-ads, banner campaigns and disappearing traffic instead of choosing the best fitting domain names for their businesses. If they instead looked at their domain and their first impression online identity it could then be in utilized for SEO and SEA. A great domain name is one of the only real assets a startup outright owns – and investors love assets!
Sedo stays true to our vision of providing the best possible domain name, that’s our overarching message and the core of our business.