Rook Media acquires DomainSponsor
Oversee.net has sold DomainSponsor and its domain name portfolio to Rook Media.
One of the largest domain name parking companies has been acquired.
DomainSponsor is one of the oldest domain parking companies, serving customers since 2002. Rook, on the other hand, just launched in 2011. Rook was founded by former employees of NameDrive, a parking company that was acquired by KeyDrive in 2011.
Oversee.net has previously sold off a couple businesses including registrar Moniker and expired domain service SnapNames. But DomainSponsor was the company’s initial business, so the company has essentially sold off its core. Oversee.net continues to run a number of vertically focused lead generation websites, which has been the area of growth for the company in recent years.
Rook CEO Ash Rahimi told Domain Name Wire today that Rook and DomainSponsor will continue to operate as separate parking platforms for the foreseeable future.
“The customer experience will be the same as it always was,” said Rahimi. “We will be incrementally taking the best features of Rook and DomainSponsor and implementing them across platforms”.
Rahimi said the acquisition brings together the best of international monetization with Rook and U.S. monetization with DomainSponsor.
“We are the largest domain parking company by a fair margin at this point,” he said.
Rahimi says the acquisition has been several months in the making.
“It takes time,” he explained. “We’re two competitors in a pretty small industry. It’s difficult to go out there and get the usual data [necessary to evaluate an acquisition].”
The acquisition, which closed last Friday, includes Oversee.net’s owned and operated domain name portfolio. It does not include the DomainFest conference brand.
All of DomainSponsor’s approximately 30 employees have joined Rook. That doesn’t include Dwayne Walker, who has been the face of DomainSponsor at conferences in recent years. Walker will help with the transition but remain with Oversee.net.
Oversee.net CEO Debra Domeyer told Domain Name Wire that the company wasn’t actively shopping DomainSponsor for sale. It didn’t have serious conversations about an acquisition with any companies other than rook.
“I’m real positive about [the acquisition],” she said. “I feel really good about the Rook team and I’ve gotten to know them really well.”
Domeyer says that Oversee.net now has about 50-60 employees.