While evaluating a domain name that had a message of “Lease this Domain” on the top of its parked landing page, I noticed the link directed me to Venture.com. Venture is a recently launched business that offers “premium domain leasing with transparent and affordable pricing.” Venture was founded by Dr. Kevin Ham and it is operated by his company.
The company’s about us page explains the idea behind the domain name leasing concept that drives its business model:
“After decades of experience in the internet business, we figured out a way to address the supply and demand issue surrounding valuable domain properties. The idea came during a visit to California and introduction to the Irvine Ranch, a 93,000 acre plot of private, masterly planned urban land. The Irvine company’s commitment to good stewardship of their land inspired us to build a model that would connect unused digital properties to startups, entrepreneurs, and big ideas.
Thousands of premium domains lie vacant, waiting for a great idea to be built on them. Unfortunately, many of the entrepreneurs and startups with these ideas can’t afford the multi-million dollar asking prices. So, we decided to bring the commercial real estate model to digital real estate and made it even better.”
The Venture platform stands out for several reasons. The most obvious factor is the quality of the brand name. Venture.com is a (multi) million dollar domain name and it is a great brand name. There is a level of trust established with a great brand name, and the design of the website is also modern and crisp.
Similarly, because a portion of Kevin Ham’s domain name portfolio is listed for lease on Venture, the quality of the available domain names is stellar. For instance, here are some of the highlighted domain names for lease on the homepage: Rack.com, Mugs.com, Beat.com, OH.com, HO.com, CheapTravel.com, and ET.com. There are thousands of others that are great.
Perhaps the biggest differentiating factor is the monthly lease prices are listed right on the landing page. If someone clicks the lease inquiry button on the Uniregistry parked page and lands on Venture.com, they will know exactly how much the monthly lease rate is. It also looks pretty easy to get started (and terminate the lease) although I did not test this out.
It looks like the company is allowing third parties to list their domain names on Venture as well. Here’s the call to action on the Owners page of the Venture website: “Make your domains available to entrepreneurs who can bring their ideas to life on your digital properties while you receive a healthy stream of cash flow.”
I reached out to Kevin for a comment about Venture, and here’s what he told me:
“The entrepreneurial spirit sees the problems in the world and seeks to solve them. The big ideas come and measured risks are taken but given the fact that less than 5% of ventures work out over a 5 year period and less than 0.2% over 30 years, the odds are highly against any entrepreneurial endeavour.
I’ve always believed in the potential of each person to build and grow their big ideas and passion. We just need to see that vision, believe in it and then have the right ingredients. It’s certainly not an easy journey.
We think having a great brand to start will help but the great domains are very expensive, just like commercial real estate in Manhattan. The commercial real estate or car lease model made a lot of sense to apply to domains with the added benefit of no cancellation fee, right to use forever to de-risk using a leased domain. I recall how hard it was to register a good domain for my very first venture in 1997. Everything I came up with was registered. Finally settled on inc-blot.com as a play on the word inkblot. That was 20 years ago.
In this age of rapid disruption, mediocracy will not stand. To make a mark in the world and gain attention, your big idea not only needs 80/20 focus but be able to stand out in the plethora of mediocracy. Naming your big idea is almost as important and exciting as naming your newborn baby. Be bold, have faith and venture forth.”
With the breadth and quality of Kevin’s domain portfolio, I presume this new venture is going to work out.