I know there is an active discussion about the e.CO auction happening on Mike’s Blog and TechCrunch, but I want to share my thoughts on it because I have a unique perspective. It was reported that B52 and its CEO Lonnie Borck won the domain name for $81,000. Lonnie is one of my closest colleagues in this industry as well as a good friend outside of the business, and I was with him at the auction and after.
In my opinion, this was a very strong speculative acquisition. The .CO registry and it’s registrar partners are spending a lot of money on marketing the extension to ensure consumers know about it. .CO makes total sense for companies to use, and in fact, many companies use similar extensions in other countries – think .CO.UK and .CO.IL. I already gave some of my thoughts on .CO.
With the news that Twitter will be integrating T.CO into its system as the preferred URL shortener, and that there are many applications for the .CO Founder’s Program as well as already awarded domain names (Angel.co and Disrupt.co as examples), I think .CO is going to be big. As a one character domain name in this extension, E.CO will be worth much more than the purchase price assuming things play out like we believe they will, although Lonnie’s team acquired this domain name for a specific reason and may not be inclined to sell it.
I want to address a couple of comments made about Lonnie in the two aforementioned articles.
1) Regarding the charity being kept private: Lonnie is a fiercely private person, and he does not wish to disclose the charity recipient(s) publicly. Some people like to flaunt who they support and by how much, but that’s not Lonnie’s way to do things.
2) Regarding Lonnie’s smarts in this space: Keep in mind this public information – his company sold Scores.com for $1,200,000, owns Funding.com, Bookmarks.com, Shock.com, Winter.com, Camera.net, and Baby.net. He also owns a number of other considerable domain names that aren’t publicly known.
I think the acquisition of E.CO was a shrewd investment, and the charitable organization(s) that will benefit will certainly be very appreciative.