A look back at smart domain name company acquisitions.
There’s been a lot of consolidation in the domain name industry over the past couple years. Here are five acquisitions that have (or will) payoff handsomely for the acquirer.
Thought Convergence acquires Name Intelligence. Thought Convergence runs the TrafficZ domain parking network, LeaseThis.com, and the soon-to-be-launched Aftermarket.com. Name Intelligence runs the popular Domain Tools site, owns a registrar and hosting business, and the Domain Roundtable conference. For Thought Convergence, they instantly added hundreds of thousands of registered users to cross market other products too. They also get access to Domain Tools’ treasure trove of data for business purposes, a contract with Google for whois data sharing, and a well known domain conference. Running a domain conference will probably prove more beneficial than just paying big sponsorship fees.
Marchex acquires Name Development (UltSearch). This famous transaction started consolidation of domain portfolios and gave Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX) a headstart to building out a massive destination network. It now owns both advertiser relationships and its own traffic. UltSearch came with some trademark headaches, but overall it was a winner.
Name Media acquires Afternic. Name Media bought exchange Afternic for $3.7 million in 2006 (with possible bonuses of up to $1.55 million.) This gave Name Media inroads into the domainer community to cross market its parking services and boost its inventory available to sell to small and mid-sized business.
VeriSign acquires Network Solutions. But wait! Didn’t they take a bath on this and later spin out the registrar business? Yes, but this gave them the lucrative monopoly on managing the .com and .net registries. (Disclaimer: this deal happened way back in 2000).
Demand Media acquires Enom. Why start your own registrar when you can buy the second biggest in the world? Demand Media bought a huge crowd of resellers to push its other products, including .tv domains (for which it has a marketing agreement).