Was Compass.com Acquired for $300,000?


Compass, a real estate brokerage firm, filed its S-1 Form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Compass operates its business on the valuable, brand-match Compass.com domain name.

There were a couple of domain name mentions within the S-1, which could possibly reveal the price the company paid to acquire its Compass.com domain name.

On page 126 under the Intellectual Property heading, the company wrote:

“As of December 31, 2020, we had 18 trademark registrations and applications in the United States, including registrations for “Compass” and the Compass logo. We also had 12 trademark registrations and applications in certain foreign jurisdictions. Additionally, we are the registered holder of a number of domain names, including “compass.com.””

While it’s clear the company uses Compass.com, this statement confirms it is the registrant of the domain name.

Further down in the S-1, it looks to me like the company may have revealed the price it paid to acquire the Compass.com domain name. I am not the best at reading these reports, but here’s what I see on page F-33 under the “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements” section. It lists “Domain name” with a $.3 “Gross Carrying Amount.” Because this section is in millions, that would be $300,000.

Oftentimes, companies group all of their domain names into a single line item, but Compass lists this as a singular domain name, suggesting it is for one domain name.

Using the DomainTools Whois History tool, it would appear that the domain name changed hands in late 2014. It is tough to tell for certain due to Whois privacy. However, using Archive.org, I can see the domain name was parked with a “for sale” link at the bottom up until around October of 2014. In December of 2014, the domain name started forwarding to UrbanCompass.com. This corroborates my thinking that the domain name changed hands in late 2014.

I don’t know if this is enough evidence to chart the sale in DNJournal or NameBio, but it appears to me that the company acquired a single domain name for $300k, and the most obvious acquisition would be Compass.com.


    • Without a doubt. In fact, I think $300k would be approaching domain investor wholesale pricing in today’s market.

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