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Domain name registry Afilias dumps planned IPO

Registry had planned to float in November.

AfiliasDomain name registry Afilias has pulled plans for a $100 million initial public offering, as reported by Domain Incite this morning.

A company spokesperson told Domain Incite, “The final decision to cancel the IPO was based on market conditions at the time.”

Given that stock markets are at record highs, that’s a euphemism for “investors weren’t interested in our IPO”.

While stock markets are doing well, the same can’t be said for domain name stocks. I’m sure this weighed heavily on investors considering Afilias’ stock. Shares in Rightside, Minds + Machines and CentralNic (all competitors to Afilias) dropped by at least 40% last year.

I also wonder how Afilias’ .info and .mobi revenue streams are holding up in the face of new top level domain names.

Afilias planned to use the money to acquire contested new TLDs in upcoming auctions, acquire existing TLDs and domain name businesses, and develop the company’s registrar business to become a vertically integrated operation. Afilias’ competitors for new top level domain names won’t have to fear the company as much in contention set auctions going forward.

The company was to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

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  1. KC says

    .mobi has been going nowhere but down, month after month since its peak of 1,198,143 in January, 2014. Currently standing at 847,936.

  2. David Walker says

    I did a piece on my take of .colors in Japan as they’re primarily being offloaded in the way that .XYZ was to GMO Registry and it appears to be history repeating itself with them literally being painted across the region.

    By that, I mean a .info is recognizable today because of their pricing strategy and marketing in the beginning. It’s not seen in a negative light by being connected with spam here either. In fact, the largest retailer in Japan prints their .info website at the top of all their receipts.

    I was unaware that Afilias had an up and coming IPO on the table though.

  3. Doug Mehus says

    This would’ve been an IPO I’d have bought. They should’ve co-listed, or exclusively listed on the NYSE MKT (formerly AMEX) instead. Or, heck, why not the TSX?

    Afilias, at least, makes money, instead of Box.com or Zynga.

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