Venture Launched As Domain Name Leasing Platform

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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.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Nice memorable domain this Venture.com

    We lease brandable domains at Catchy.com for years, example:
    https://www.catchy.com/zeet.com

    What I find very strange in Venture.com is they talk about lease but it look likes renting because anywhere in their site I see the domain price and how many years one must be paying to optionally complete the lease and get 100% ownership of the domain. Am I missing something or they are not using the good wording with “lease”?

    • Rent is synonymous with lease
      The definition is here
      Lease : a contract by which one party conveys land, property, services, etc., to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment.

      Francois, I think you are referencing Lease to Own

    • Yes lease is lease to own for me.
      I have done a buch of lease to own this past decade, where I was the seller or buyer, I also have escrow hundreds with ecop, but not a simgle time a pure rental. Nobody wants ro rent only.

  2. Kudos to Venture.com owners. Our recently relaunched jvDeals.com takes the venture platform one step further.

    We added the element of connecting investors and jvdeals partners with development sales marketing fundraising and other skills as well as our own aged brand domains to help entrepreneurs bring their idea from concept to profitable business operations.

    • you’ve got a typo on your page here….

      JVDeals and BreandsTek.com have an inventory of short aged premium brand names in multiple verticals.

  3. As an end user, I like the idea of leasing a domain, but I would not want to sign the lease without having first negotiated an option to buy the domain at a fixed price. If, for example, I start a business on mugs.com, and it gets big, all that traffic and brand recognition would increase the value of the domain, and also increase the leverage the seller has, so if I at some point want to buy the domain (like if I get venture capital, investors would want me to own it) the seller could then charge a much higher price than when it is vacant.

  4. I love that Kevin is doing this and hope it does well. Looks like he’s only taking 10% which is great. However, this jumped out at me: Transfer your domain name to Venture.
    I would change my server to Venture, but I would never transfer the name. Maybe I’m reading it incorrectly.

  5. This is a smart move on Kevin’s part, but it’s a bad move for customers. Don’t do it. My 0.02c.

    Domain name values are going down, fast, especially because 1) people type your brand name into the search bar and the top Google result is where you go, and 2) if you build domain reputation on foo.bar, the SEO value of foo.com goes down and switching makes less and less sense over the years.

    Renting for life is fine when you have options and can easily move. But unlike housing, your domain name is the home of your entire business, and is being held hostage without any regulation authority overseeing anything.

    The price grows ~4% a year. That’s insane. You’ll be paying millions if you become a billion dollar co. Good problem to have? I don’t think so. From experience of trying to buy a domain from Kevin over 10 years, his buy now price is always higher than you can afford, or what any reasonably high market value, at any moment.

    Ultimately, your domain name doesn’t matter that much anymore. Spend your startup money on creating customer value, not buying a domain name.

    • People have been saying this type of thing for years, and the top tier domain names continue to sell for substantial amounts of money.

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