Voice is “Winding Down Operations”

Yesterday evening, Michael Cyger shared an email that he received from Voice, the company that paid $30 million to acquire the Voice.com domain name in 2019. In the email Michael received, the company announced it will be shutting down.

In a series of tweets posted last night, Voice shared why it made the decision to shut down:

I think a big takeaway from this is that a great domain name is an important asset that can help a business, but it takes more than a valuable domain name for a business to succeed. Even with this business seemingly failing, Voice.com still retains considerable value and could be the most valuable asset owned by the company.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
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 closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

35 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s face it, we all liked the sale but as a professional investor, the domain is incredibly overpriced.

    To give you an idea, they could have bought the next 35-40 domains on The DNJournal top 100 chart of reported sales for 2019 and still had enough change to buy NFT.com for $2 Million.

    Great domain, not a great bargain. RIP!

  2. You are both correct.

    But from a prospective buyer’s standpoint, there’s no doubt that a domain used (recently) to brand a failed venture is tainted. It’ll likely take years for memories to fade enough to remove that taint.

    And even though the average consumer has never heard of Voice (the business), any firm that would potentially purchase Voice.com would definitely be(come) aware of the history: So numbers like $30M are very unlikely to be realized for many years to come.

    Ironically, this scenario perfectly reinforces the value of a great domain name that has NEVER been used in commerce.

    Sure, vintage cars can be worth more than new ones, but the market for the former will almost always be much smaller than that for the latter – and requires greater efforts from the seller to convince the buyer.

    • I don’t totally agree.

      Yes, a company in that field or a related field might be less likely to use that domain name/brand due to the recent failure. That said, in the short term, I doubt the company would even consider selling the asset.

      On the other hand, a fully established brand called Voice or Voice something would likely still want the domain name because it matches their brand and would make it easier for customers and partners to find them.

  3. That’s a great point, Rick – and, yeah, 8-figures seems very high for that name.

    Compare that to your Property.com; an online HQ through which millions of actual transactions per year can occur – innately.

    Voice.com is a great “brand,” but not conducive to (itself) generating ongoing transactions.

    Hence, the huge difference in valuation of one versus the other.

  4. Thanks for saving me some of the trouble, David.

    I never bothered looking into what anyone did with voice.com after the big sale.

    So let me get this straight: they used it for “technologists, artists and curators using the transformative power of NFTs to make digital art collectable” – for $30 million?

    Appalling beyond measure.

    Who could’ve seen this coming? (Everyone.) Lions and tigers and bears, oh…

    Follow the bouncing ball: Naming and branding mistake. Big time. Colossal. Blunder. And yes, I’m real creative and imaginative, and know full well there is *merely* a *sense* in which the word “voice” applies – big whoop. As they say, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should… So sadly ill conceived, I feel for them, but you’ve got to be blunt here too, for the cause, both of truth and the field.

    Okay well this was just too much. I just had to say something instead of just lurk and read.

  5. Okay, here’s the short version, let’s see if it goes under David’s this time:

    David’s statement could not be more spot on. For our purposes – “dot on.”

    Sad waste of such a great domain. And please see my longer comment below that was meant to go here.

    • Unsure what’s up since it didn’t nest here, but your first reply to Rick did nest. I asked my developer to have a look but I don’t know when he will get to it. Thanks for bringing to my attention. Nobody else noticed or mentioned.

    • Test #2. I think comment nesting when not logged in is fixed. There was some javascript exec. getting delayed for optimization, but that was preventing the parent comment id from loading into the reply form.

  6. Fyi for your developer, I mainly used Firefox in a private window with VPN, US IP address. For one or two of these comments I may have used both Firefox and Chrome in a non-private window but still with VPN to try to get it to stick. Yes it was curious that some of them did nest just fine.

  7. I saw the $30 million voice.com sale as promotional-spin on a trusted generic. A lot of crypto and NFT investors had money-to-burn, per se. It was more of a marketing ploy for global attention to a company that was gambling on reaching a wide audience in its virtual currency platform. When it comes to global marketing, $30 million is cheap. The gamble failed.

  8. I would still consider it an 8 figure domain, not 7. 7 would be the bargain/discount agreement. And I’m primarily a buyer/end user. Your brother is absolutely right. This domain is world class, and you would have expected a more sensible consumer-resonating “proper” use.

  9. Voice is a super premium domain, and with a high valuation – how high?

    I’ll leave that to the experts.

    I don’t believe the winding down of voice.com will ding its value, as the company kept a low profile and no violations, etc are associated with the company.

  10. On significant capital expenditures such as this one, entrepreneurs answer to the VC’s that fund them, and executives of publicly-traded companies answer to the shareholders.

    Either way, you typically have some sort of responsibility to invest the funds granted to you in a prudent manner.

    In this case, it looks like the $30 million “investment” will possibly end up in a $25-$28 million loss, almost the entire purchase amount.

    So, whose money was it that was lost? What do they have to say about it?

  11. When I replied to Michael just up a bit, it did it again too, even though it explicitly said I was replying to him.

    Note for developer: used Firefox, VPN, US IP address, private window.

  12. Now back to the topic of this domain.

    Personally, for best use, I’m thinking:

    One might assume telecom/phone related first, but I like music, video, TV. However, maybe even both. Possibly also add components involving chat, and maybe even dating.

  13. EOS, The parent company, raised I believe $2-4 billion over the year long ICO. Then they buy it from M. Saylor who never likes to sell his names. co-Founder of EOS was a former URL buyer so when you have billions in OPM, they really did not care if it was a good value.. After 2-3 pivots, RIP.. Execution wins over IDEAS and more domain owners should consider when trying to max the url portfolio..

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