Want to invest in new TLDs through the stock market? Here are some options.
On Friday I wrote about how Top Level Domain Holdings’ stock shot up 25% on news of the contract signing for the .London top level domain name.
TLDH, which trades on the London AIM under TLDH, has seen its shares nearly triple since early October. The company is a pure-play new TLD applicant.
There are other public companies you can invest in if you want to bet on the success of new top level domain names.
CentralNic – CentralNic floated on the London AIM (CNIC) in early September. Compared to its opening price on September 2, the stock closed Friday up 74% in just over two months. The company is best known for offering third level domain names, but it is also the backend registry behind 60 different new TLD applications. Although not as pure-play as TLDH, its success will depend a lot on the success of new TLDs.
Tucows – Domain name registrar Tucows (TCX) is the rare public company that has already profited handsomely from new TLDs. It did this by striking deals to abandon its applications. Its stock shot up after pocketing around $3 million from dropping its bids for .marketing and .media. The company also holds a minority interest in the contested .online, .group, .tech and .store applications. Regardless of if its on the winning teams for these domains and how they do, Tucows can benefit from new TLDs as a domain name registrar.
Demand Media – Demand Media (DMD) is getting ready to spin off its domain name businesses into a new company called Rightside. If you want a piece of Rightside, for now you’re also going to have to buy into Demand’s content business. Rightside is positioned to profit from new TLDs in several ways. First, it’s an applicant. Second, it’s the backend registry provider for Donuts’ domain names, and can participate in about 100 of them. Third, it owns domain name registrars (eNom, Name.com) that will profit from selling new TLDs. Finally, its NameJet service is handling auctions for some new TLDs.
Web.com – Web.com (WWWW) owns Network Solutions and Register.com, as well as a piece of the aforementioned NameJet. Its registrars will benefit from registrations of new TLDs.
Verisign – If you believe new TLDs are going to shift the namespace away from .com, Verisign is a stock you might want to short. The company has a nifty business as the .com registry. It’s also the backend registry for several hundred new TLD applications, but almost all of them are .brand applications.
(Note: I do not have positions in any of these stocks, unless it’s through a mutual fund.)