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Analysis: Thought Convergence Acquires Name Intelligence

It’s official: domain monetization and management company acquires Name Intelligence.

If “Thought Convergence” and “Name Intelligence” don’t mean anything to you, perhaps these two names will: TrafficZ and DomainTools. Thought Convergence, the parent company of TrafficZ, has purchased Name Intelligence, which is perhaps best known for its DomainTools services.

Domain Name News first broke this story last month, but neither party would confirm the pending acquisition until this morning.

Thought Convergence has been a major sponsor of Name Intelligence (NI) events including Domain Roundtable, so they’ve had a cozy relationship for a while. Why would Thought Convergence acquire Name Intelligence? Here are many reasons:

1. Eyeballs. DomainTools is one of the top 1,000 web sites on the internet according to Alexa and Compete. Think of all the marketing power this brings to Thought Convergence.

2. Registered users. I understand that TrafficZ generates a ton of cash. But I think it does it with a relatively small user base compared to some other parking companies. DomainTools, on the other hand, has a huge stable of loyal registered users that the company can tap into.

3. Analytics. DomainTools is all about analytics, and you better believe that will help Thought Convergence in its business.

4. High power relationships. Name Intelligence has a deal with Google to link directly to whois information in Google results when someone searches ‘whois domain.com’. This could be just the start of a bigger relationship. (Wait a minute — isn’t TrafficZ a Yahoo partner?)

Now for some of the downside and questions that will be asked, similar to when Oversee bought SnapNames and Moniker.

1. Should other domain parking companies sponsor Domain Roundtable going forward?

2. How will NI founder Jay Westerdal do when he’s not the number one decision maker? He’s counting a wad of cash right now, but that feeling wears off quickly.

3. Many of DomainTools’ customers are large companies that use its service to go after domain owners. Does this create a conflict of interest?

What other benefits does this bring? Drawbacks? Please provide your two cents.

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  1. Rob Sequin says

    The domain industry is growing up. We are squarely in the consolidation phase of a maturing market so I expect to see more mergers and acquisitions in 2008.

    With regards to this merger/acquisition I like the marriage. I think the parts will fit nicely together and now TC establishes itself as one of the big dogs.

    Are they looking to buy more companies or are they positioning themselves to be bought by an even bigger player? Of course only time will tell.

    Congratulations to all involved.

    My only question is “What does Rick Schwartz have to say about this?”

    I understand that he and Jay had a falling out (not sure of the status now) and TrafficZ is the diamond sponsor at TRAFFIC. Does that mean they cannot advertise Domain Roundtable there?

  2. Andrew says

    Rob, good questions. I think Rick has good reason to be upset with Jay after Jay claimed he backed out of one of the .mobi auctions at TRAFFIC, which was not true. But TrafficZ has been sponsoring Domain Roundtable for a while, so I think Rick will take the sponsorship where he can get it.

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