According to a morning press release from Tucows, the company has acquired the UNR registry platform and has hired 10 employees from UNR. As you may recall, UNR is the registry spin-off that Frank Schilling founded and retained when he sold most of his businesses to GoDaddy in 2020.
In the press release, it seems that the acquihire component of the deal was as important, or possibly more important, than the technology that was acquired:
“With over 150 years of combined experience, these expert engineers and business leaders will be vital additions to Tucows’ expanding team.“
Off the top of my head, I do not believe Tucows owns or operates any domain name extensions. Acquiring the UNR registry platform technology could be a sign that the company is interested in getting into the registry management space. On the other hand, there probably aren’t many companies who operate in the space who need a registry management platform since UNR competitors already operate their own.
Earlier this year, UNR held an auction to sell the 23 extensions it owned and operated. I do not believe a list of the final auction prices or buyers was released by UNR or any of the prevailing companies. Interestingly, I looked at the page within the ICANN website that tracks Registry Agreement Assignment changes, and I do not see any ownership changes involving UNR extensions this year. I am curious to know the status of their ownership since the press release did not mention an acquisition of any UNR TLDs.
The press release is below:
Tucows adds registry platform technology and veteran talent from UNR Corp.
TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Today Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) (TSX: TC), the world’s largest wholesale domain registrar, announced that it has purchased UNR Corp.’s registry platform service. This newly added platform technology will complement Tucows’ existing reseller and retail domain services.
In addition to acquiring UNR’s registry platform service, Tucows will add 10 veteran industry experts to the company. With over 150 years of combined experience, these expert engineers and business leaders will be vital additions to Tucows’ expanding team.
“A critical piece of this deal with UNR is the ability to welcome their technical team to Tucows,” said David Woroch, Executive Vice President at Tucows. “With experience spanning over two decades, they are a very strong team with deep competency in the domain name industry. They have built and operated multiple domain and DNS platforms, and we intend to leverage and integrate their expertise across all of our domain business.”
“While I am slowly getting out of the industry, it’s important to me to know that my businesses are being left in the best hands,” said Frank Schilling, CEO and founder of UNR Corp. “Over the past 20 years it’s been an honour to work with Tucows and I’m thrilled to see our registry platform and technical team join their company.”
This asset agreement was signed and is effective as of October 1, 2021, with certain ICANN approvals expected in the normal course of business.
For more information on Tucows, please visit tucows.com.
Tucows is a provider of network access, mobile technology services, domain names, and other internet services. Ting Internet delivers fixed fiber internet access with outstanding customer support. Tucows’ mobile services enabler (MSE) platform provides network access, provisioning, and billing services for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). OpenSRS, Enom, and Ascio combined manage approximately 25 million domain names and millions of value-added services through a global reseller network of over 36,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover makes it easy for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses. More information can be found on Tucows’ corporate website: https://tucows.com.
Tucows, Ting, OpenSRS, Enom, and Hover are registered trademarks of Tucows Inc. or its subsidiaries.
About UNR Corp.
UNR was founded in 2012 by Internet pioneer Frank Schilling who wanted to help every company succeed by marketing products and services with the right domain name. UNR’s innovative and holistic approach to the domain industry led to the in-house development of one of the most advanced Registry platforms. The platform was key to the growth of the company’s own portfolio of over 20 Top Level Domains. After a successful decade, Schilling decided to move the industry forward for the next generation of participants by setting up a one-of-a-kind auction event where the TLDs changed hands, and continue to grow and innovate. Going forward, UNR will use its marketing and policy experience to provide bespoke consultancy services to existing and future TLDs.
SOURCE Tucows Inc.