In its earnings call this afternoon, GoDaddy discussed its acquisition of around 30 new gTLD extensions. The company cited the “efficiencies of scale” for why the acquisition made sense, and I mentioned that I am curious about whether GoDaddy acquired any of the extensions that were offered for sale by UNR in its auction at the end of April. As you may recall, UNR announced it would be auctioning 23 of its TLDs in separate no reserve auctions.
I reached out to Shayan Rostam, Chief Growth Officer at UNR, and I asked him if he can share a status update on the auction and perhaps share some of the results. Shayan replied with a press release (published below) that will hit the wires shortly.
In short, the 23 auctions netted “gross receipts of more than $40 million USD,” according to the press release. There were between 10 – 20 bidders in the auction. Six of the winning bidders are first-time operators who have not operated a TLD before. UNR has decided to keep the individual bidders or winning bid amounts confidential. It is possible this information will emerge at a later date.
I will be surprised if GoDaddy, Donuts, and XYZ did not come away with any of the extensions that were on offer, particularly since some have strong revenue streams. I suspect we will learn more about who acquired what extensions in the coming days as contracts are signed and the extensions change hands.
UNR Sells 20+ Top Level Domains for More than $40 Million
Between 10 and 20 Bidders, Including Six First-Time Operators, Won More Than 20 Top Level Domains in a Historic, First-of-its-Kind Auction Event
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, May 5, 20201 — Uni Naming & Registry Services (UNR.com), a leading internet technology and services company, has successfully concluded the largest public sale of Top Level Domains in history. Following its April 28-30 auction event, the company has announced gross receipts of more than $40 million USD for its 20+ TLDs.
Top Level Domains are owned by the largest companies in the world, including Google, Amazon, GoDaddy, and Microsoft. Now they are owned by people and companies like you. UNR’s April auctions mark a watershed moment. Never before have so many TLDs been made publicly available and first-time registry operators now have the opportunity to participate in the democratization of this scarce asset class. More than 250 businesses and individuals signed up to potentially join in this historic event, and ultimately 17 bidders deposited tens of millions in deposits to participate. Neither UNR nor its affiliates bid in the auctions.
Although the identities of the new owners remain confidential at this time, between 10 and 20 bidders came away as winners, including six who will be operating TLDs for the first time. The broad range of winners include established registries, investment firms, blockchain companies, and high net-worth individuals.
In speaking about the outcome of this event, Frank Schilling, Founder of UNR remarked; “All UNR shareholders should be exceptionally pleased with the final outcome of this first-of-its-kind event. We are deeply satisfied to have seen so much new interest and blood enter the arena. The winners today were not just those who walked away with new extensions, but all participants in the naming arena – including the registrants and registrars vending these valuable domains to the public. UNR is especially proud to have been bold enough to help make this type of event a possibility for the entrepreneurs and dreamers of tomorrow. We are excited to introduce so many new operators to the domain industry and help them further develop their TLDs with our class-leading technology and software.”
The move to sell its Top Level Domain portfolio allows UNR to focus on its growing registry services division and IP rights protection technology, which already supports numerous third-party gTLDs and ccTLDs. Registry operators and .Brands interested in receiving a proposal for UNR’s “Registry in a Box” service, or joining the company’s upcoming UnifiedBlock protection product, should contact email@example.com.