Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Key-Systems CEO discusses Moniker and SnapNames acquisition

    1. BY - Feb 07, 2012
    2. Domain Registrars
    3. 6 Comments

    No dramatic changes on tap but more ccTLDs and other improvements on the way.

    KeyDrive’s acquisition of Moniker and SnapNames last week has shaken up the domain name investor ecosystem.

    I just talked to Key-Systems CEO Alexander Siffrin to better understand what this means for customers. (KeyDrive includes Key-Systems Group and NameDrive Group, as well as the recently acquired companies.)

    If you’re worried about dramatic changes to how you do business with Moniker and SnapNames, it sounds like you should relax: Siffrin says you shouldn’t expect any major overhaul of the businesses any time soon.

    “Our strategic point is to increase service levels and service offerings,” said Siffrin.

    For example, the company plans to dramatically increase the number of ccTLDs on Moniker as well as SnapNames.

    You can also expect enhanced hosting options and other value-added services. SnapNames will also be integrated into the company’s registrars (and potentially others in the future), which will give more exposure to domains for sale through the platform.

    Pricing isn’t expected to change any time soon and customers will continue to use the Moniker and SnapNames interfaces they’re familiar with.

    If you haven’t heard of Key-Systems, it’s probably because most of the company’s customers come through resellers.

    “Historically, Key-Systems started with a retail site but built a very stable API in the back of the retail site and decided to offer that to resellers,” said Siffrin. “The impact it had to our business was more than we expected, so right now most of our clients come from the reseller area.”

    Although KeyDrive is mostly in Germany and Luxembourg, it has existing offices in Austin, Texas and Leesburg, Virginia. With the acquisition it now has a presence in Portland and Ft. Lauderdale. The company is looking to hire several customer support and account management personnel in its Florida office.

    KeyDrive began talking to Oversee.net about acquiring the two businesses about a year ago and closed on the deal the Monday before DOMAINfest. The sales price was not disclosed.

6 Comments
  • Victor Pitts says:

    February 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Good news indeed.

  • @ Victor Pitts, Why is it good news?

  • Sounds promising. Would be great for us–and them–to hire back great folks like Bari and Don; if they’re still available and would be willing.

    They say anything about doing so?

  • they kicked Bari? She was like 24/7 on GFY to assist customers. I would love to have such employee.

    I hope new owner will create new affiliate program for snapnames instead of well known Jeff’s and Monte’s scamming through essociate

  • The Key Systems family of companies is the best thing in the domain industry, that most of you never heard of. They provide backend to many of the registrars, and ccTLD registries out there. Their APIs are solid, and a lot of resellers, regisrars, and registries business flourish because of what they built out on the backend side.

    I can only pray that they clean up the crapy insider deals, drop poaching, and junk “reseller” registrars that Snapnames used. Especially the reseler registrar who uses a “lunar” PO Box. (for real)

    It’s a great win for us, but I can’t understand how Key will clean up the internal Snapnames junk. I hope they air out the dirty laundry once and for all.

  • Victor Pitts says:

    March 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    @Louise – this is good for the employees of the company, who have been on a ship without a captain, or a rudder. While I would not classify my knowledge of KeyDrive as all encompassing, my experience in dealing with them in the past has left me feeling confidence that their intent with Moniker is to fix some areas of need in the company and then fuel it for growth. The combined company is very unique in the domain industry, as it has many complementary parts (businesses) and is a multinational company with a strong international base of customers to mix with Moniker and Snapnames established customer base in the Americas. I care deeply about the people at Moniker, as I hired many, and am close to each of them still after being away from the company for two years. This is a better situation for them I think and hope that time proves that true.

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