Butterscotch.com Sends Mixed Message from Tucows

Tucows launches Butterscotch.com. Why?

I’m a bit confused. Yesterday Tucows (AMEX: TCX) announced it entered into an agreement to sell its stake in domain registry Afilias for $7.4 million. Investors cheered, sending the stock up 25%. In the press release, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss said:

“This sale is another step in our stated goal to divest non-core assets in order to unlock hidden value for shareholders. The proceeds of the sale provide additional funds that will be used to fund further share repurchases.”

Tucows has definitely been on a path to simplifying and focusing on its core strengths. It sold its web hosting business earlier this year.

So one day later I am baffled as Tucows announces the launch of Butterscotch.com, “a new online video network that offers educational and user-friendly instructional shows designed to demystify technology for the average technology consumer.”

Tucows isn’t just a domain registrar. It is a popular software download site. But creating a site like this is expensive and lots of work (if you plan to execute on it). It certainly seems like a diversion from Tucows’ focus. There’s even a general manager of Butterscotch.com, which scares me. Hopefully he has other jobs within Tucows, too.

It looks like Tucows picked up Butterscotch.com in its NetIdentity acquisition.

Perhaps a Tucows representative can chime in with just what the company’s core mission and objective is right now. Because I certainly can’t figure it out. Here’s the company’s description in its latest press release:

Tucows is a global Internet services company. OpenSRS manages over 8 million domain names and millions of email boxes through a reseller network of over 9,000 web hosts and ISPs. Our Retail group sells services directly to consumers and small businesses through Domain Direct, It’s Your Domain and NetIdentity. YummyNames owns premium domain names that generate revenue through advertising or resale. Butterscotch.com is an online video network building on the foundation of Tucows.com.


  1. erik says

    The popular download site is a core business.
    Butterscotch is part of Tucows.com moving forward in time. Don’t understand that you can see that yourself.

  2. says

    Hi Andrew –

    Leona, from Tucows here.

    Our core mission is to provide simple, useful services that help people unlock the power of the Internet – this mission extends across all our services and lines of business.

    More detail about our company is available here: http://tucowsinc.com/

    I hope this helps.

  3. Jimmy says

    erik – The stock price went up because they sold the Afilias stock, which was sold at a very low number based on what I have heard.

    Tucows is a great company, but they are starting to remind me of another once great company, Yahoo!

  4. erik says

    Still donn’t understand how you can write an artcile like this and claim that you are a serious site.

    If you read Tucows own PR you see that it is part of their core business.

    So do your homework first than think about it and last you write an article

  5. Andrew says

    Erik, I realize you are a fan of Tucows. I don’t have a problem with them in general. But read their company description. It makes no sense. Perhaps they need to split the businesses into 2.

  6. Johnny says

    On the surface it seems like a company in desperate need of cash (selling Afilas), and one that will now blow it on a manager for Butterscotch.com

    Year 2000 anyone?

Leave a Reply