Austin.com domain name sold and will be relaunched.
The domain name Austin.com has been purchased by iEstates, LLC for an undisclosed price.
As an Austinite, I’ve paid close attention to Austin.com over the years. Previous attempts to develop it have fallen flat, and I feel that’s mostly because the previous owners took the wrong approach to developing and marketing it.
I asked iEstates, LLC owner David Wieland for the scoop on why he bought the domain and what he plans to do with it.
Domain Name Wire: Why did you decide to buy Austin.com in particular?
1. one of my favorite cities
2. â€˜cool factor’, music/tech scene, and overall national exposure are trending up nicely, making this a growth play on a flourishing city
3. the only top 15 city .com that didn’t have an optimized site
4. It was the only top 20 city for sale, to my knowledge
DNW: Do you have any past experience with city .com domains, especially of this quality?
None at all. GeoPlatforms is running the site for me.
DNW: What are your plans for the site?
We’ve rebuilt the site to be more SEO friendly and more pleasant to the eye, but we’re far from having a finished product. We’ll be adding a job board (and you’ll start to see a lot of traditional advertising (eg. Billboards) promoting the job site Austin.com/jobs), and some other nice functions. While many city sites cater mostly to visitors, our goal is to make this a site that appeals to residents and Austin-lovers alike. We’ve also enjoyed reading about the success of offering email addresses and sub domains. We’ll be exploring those options as well.
DNW: Who did you buy the site with, or what is your role?
I bought the site on my own through my domain name company, iEstates, LLC. GeoPlatforms is maintaining the site, and I’ll be working with them to make sure the vision of the site is executed, but because I still have a large minority stake (and therefore, significant involvement) in the company I sold last year (Innflux), and recently launched my latest software startup (rivs.com) which automates the job applicant screening process, in addition to getting my MBA from Northwestern/Kellogg on the weekends, I don’t have a whole lot of time to invest into the site. So I’ll be leaning on GeoPlatforms to knock this out of the park.
Thanks for the story Andrew,buyer has a lot going on. Do you visit Austin.com daily as a resident there ?
Andrew Allemann says
@ RH – nope, never have.
Tim Davids says
Congrats David. ..time for a Chicago domainers meetup to catch up on things: )
Tim, I agree. David, Strong and I are trying to get together sooner than later. We owe David a night out after LA
The big takeaway from this seems to be GeoPlatforms, but there isn’t any info on their website.
Their implementations of the geo portals is passable, the design is slightly dated though, which is surprising given the quality of names they seem to be hosting/developing.
Also wonder what it costs to implement a geo portal on their platform and what extras they provide to attract these top names, would be interesting to know.
Josh S. says
As an Austin resident, the only time I have visited Austin.com was when it was announced that the domain was for sale last year.
It’s a great domain, but there is a lot of entrenched competition from austin360.com, statesman.com, austinchronicle.com, and do512.com. It will be interesting to see where the site stands in a year.
Steve M says
Josh (or anyone); do you know where and for how much was up it for sale for last year?
Nice buy. Congrats to the seller also.
Josh S. says
Andrew Allemann says
I don’t think it sold for anything close to $700k
Ramiro Canales says
Austin.com is a good purchase.
I’ve had plans to develop AustinInsider.com for a while. I look forward to seeing how Austin.com is developed in the future.
Fred Mercaldo says
Congratulations. Should be incredibly successful. Fred. CitiesPlanet.com and Scottsdale.com.
David Wieland says
Thanks for the congrats, Gents.
parker c says
Wondering if there were any brokers involved?