New TLD startup Donuts one of the top 15 venture capital deals of 2012

Company lands on list of top fundings for 2012.

After the holiday VentureBeat posted a story with the 15 biggest venture capital funding rounds of 2012.

Coming in at #10 is new top level domain startup Donuts with its $100 million raise:

Sweetly named startup Donuts has a lofty goal of being a new registry for generic top-level domains that go beyond staples like .com, .net, and .org. Since it will be bidding on new — and most likely expensive — domains, it needs a lot of cash to buy and sell domains. So it raised a massive $100 million round of funding led by Austin Ventures, with participation by Adams Street Partners, Emergence Capital, TL Ventures, Generation Partners, Stahurricane, and others.

In September Donuts was named #14 on a Wall Street Journal list of the top 50 startups.

Donuts applied for 307 top level domain names. Later this year it might start to earn revenue on some of them — but it will be many years before we find out if Donuts is a box of cinnamon twists or a donut hole.


  1. Why wait -- already obvious says

    Really? Do we have to wait? Ain’t it already obvious that they are donut holes? C’mon, that gtld bird just is never gonna fly. Must we really watch this trainwreck occur in slow motion? Can’t we just continue using .com without this time wasting gtld nonsense — especially since we already know that the gtld’s — and Donuts with it — will be going nowhere? The gtlds will be shunned by both registrant and consumer alike AND leak to the .com counterpart like crazy.

    I think Donuts was foolhardy and am not sure what they were thinking. Just don’t get it.

  2. Rob says

    my theory goes roughly like this:

    the “smart” money will always grab a good deal before it ever gets to you (the public). when the “smart” money says no thanks then it goes public and the venture then gets “dumb” money.

    the venture capitalists know this fact well and exploit it to make tons for themselves, not really caring if there is little/nothing left for the investors.

  3. Rob says

    btw, i wonder how much of their own money they put into this, and whether it is at exactly the same risk level as all the other investors. these people have clever methods of ensuring that they get paid out first before all others.

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