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  • .Club raising more money, valued at $25.4 million

    1. BY - Dec 18, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 12 Comments

    .Club to be valued at $25.4 million after investment.

    .ClubThe .Club top level domain name registry is raising more funds, and the latest round will value the company at $25.4 million after the investment closes.

    .Club previously raised $7.5 million, with about $3.5 million of that in debt. The company is conducting two additional fundraising rounds, both of which are fully subscribed.

    The first is a raise from existing shareholders that will effectively convert the $3.5 million of debt to equity.

    The second round will be a $3 million equity investment, bringing the total raised to $10.5 million. That round is expected to close in February and will give the company a $25.4 million post-money valuation.

    In addition to existing investors, a few strategic investors will participate in the equity round.

    .Club founder Colin Campbell told Domain Name Wire that the funds will be used to support a $3.5 million marketing plan in 2015.

    Fort Lauderdale-based .Club has the most paid registrations of any new top level domain name, with over 150,000 registrations to date.

    Campbell and Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Sass will be guests on the Domain Name Wire Podcast on January 5.

  • Blast from the past: Tucows relaunches RealNames (and it’s very different)

    1. BY - Dec 11, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 9 Comments

    Tucows uses name of bubble era company to launch new service.

    RealNamesRemember RealNames?

    Tucows has brought back the name of the the bubble darling, but for a very different purpose.

    RealNames was a system designed to replace or circumvent domain names. Instead of typing a domain name like in your browser, you could just type “Money”. RealNames would resolve the query to whomever had registered the keyword “Money” with RealNames (at a cost, of course).

    The company raised over $100 million in capital, and Michael Arrington (who later joined and then founded TechCrunch) was once an employee.

    RealNames was highly dependent on both internet browser creators and search engines. I recall that when I bought a keyword through the service, the key benefit was showing up at the top of search results for that term at various search engines. (Here’s info on an example deal with Google for this search engine placement. Remember, this was before PPC search ads were widespread.)

    When Microsoft later decided to divert browser queries in Internet Explorer to its own search engine, RealNames shut its doors. Click here to continue reading…

  • Donuts and Rightside release 6 new domains on Wednesday

    1. BY - Dec 09, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 6 Comments

    …And they’re some of the better domains released so far.

    Remember the good ole’ days of the middle of 2014, when mega-registry Donuts would release four of five new top level domain names every week?

    Well, they’re back. For one week, anyway.

    Donuts will launch four new domain names at “regular” pricing this week after the conclusion of their early access phases: .business, .network, .immo and .pizza.

    .Business and .Network are interesting because they are long-form versions of the existing TLDs .biz and .net, respectively. Donuts has priced them competitively — you should be able to find them for under $20 each.

    I think .business will do really well. Donuts’ .company domain, for a comparison, has about 35,000 registrations.

    .Immo (abbreviation of the French term “immobilier”, meaning real estate) is priced in the next highest tier, and .pizza is one higher than that.

    Rightside launches .Auction and .Software at regular prices starting on Wednesday, too. Expect to pay around $30 for a one year registration. I think these are two of Rightside’s strongest TLDs to date.

  • Name Collision domain names – is there opportunity for domainers?

    1. BY - Dec 02, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 3 Comments

    The release of blocked second level strings is good for the domain name industry. Is there opportunity for domainers to profit from it?

    Today, .XYZ will release 18,000 second level domain name options that previously could not be registered.

    They join hundreds of thousands of other second level domains under new TLDs that have “dropped” in recent weeks, and will do so going forward as well.

    These domains were blocked because of “name collisions”. Basically, someone (or something) tried to access one of these domain names during some random days of testing over the years. This means there’s a slight chance that activating one of the second level domains will break someone’s system, so ICANN mandated that the domains be held back for a period.

    Are these recently released domains a good opportunity for domainers to swoop in and get good domain names? After all, all domains that were blocked received at least one visit in the past. By definition, they “have traffic”. Click to continue reading…

  • Headliners added to NamesCon: Atallah, Alexander

    1. BY - Nov 25, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 3 Comments

    Akram Atallah and Fiona Alexander have been added to the NamesCon agenda.

    Akram AtallahNamesCon, taking place in Las Vegas January 11-14, has added a couple big names to its agenda for the first full day of the conference.

    On Monday, January 12, I will have a fireside chat with the president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division, Akram Atallah (pictured). Atallah is in charge of generic domain operations, domain name industry engagement and web services at ICANN. This includes new top level domain names.

    Fiona Alexander has also been added to the schedule for Monday, and will give opening remarks. Alexander is Associate Administrator, Office of International Affairs, NTIA, US Department of Commerce. It’s the Department of Commerce that is involved with Verisign’s contract to run .com, and it’s also the group that currently assigns the contract for IANA functions. This is the contract currently at the center of much discussion about the U.S. government “giving up control” of the internet.

    These are two big additions for NamesCon, and it shows the breadth of the conference. NamesCon is shaping up to appeal to all segments of the domain name industry.