Neustar closed on its acquisition of the .CO Registry yesterday afternoon, and the $100+ million deal was wrapped up. The Miami Herald had an interesting story that covered the closing, and it also had some of the backstory about how the deal came about with .CO Registry founder Juan Diego Calle offering some comments. I think it’s worth a read when you have a chance.
As some people have pointed out, timing played a role in the sale of the company. From the article:
“The timing was right for both sides, Calle said. “We are going from a very regulated environment where there are a limited number of domain extensions into a world where there is essentially an unlimited number of options for consumers,” said Calle, referring to the thousands of new domain name options coming into the marketplace. “There’s this movement by the larger players in the industry to consolidate their positions of power and be market leaders in the new paradigm, and here we are, .CO, the most appealing of the new alternatives, so you can grab that asset and make it your flagship brand.
The team that helped build the .CO brand will be staying on board. From the article:
“Calle said Neustar’s plan is to keep the offices – and the jobs – in Miami and Colombia for the forseeable future. There are 20 full-time employees going to Neustar, plus a few consultants.”
The .CO Registry team worked hard for the last several years, attending events and making a considerable effort to build the .CO brand, just like the people using their .CO domain names would for their own brands. The sale is a big win and a major validation of the effort they put forward and money they spent to make .CO a viable entity.
I think the outcome of the .CO Registry sale is probably the goal of many new gTLD operators. It remains to be seen if any of the new TLDs will have the same amount of success as .CO, but the company has built a blueprint. Perhaps we will see a repeat with some of Juan Diego Calle’s new gTLD registries.