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Frank Schilling new TLD auction grosses more than $40 millon

All 23 top level domains sold in auction last week.

The words "domain name auction" overlayed on photo of auctioneer gavel

Frank Schilling’s UNR business sold 23 top level domains in auctions last week, grossing more than $40 million.

The company says that 17 bidders deposited money to participate in the auctions, and more than 10 different bidders won the top level domains. Six of the winning bidders are new to the space and will be operating a new top level domain for the first time.

While identities of the winners have not been disclosed, the company says that established registries, investment firms, blockchain companies, and high net-worth individuals won auctions.

All 23 domains in the auction sold:

.audio, .blackfriday, .christmas, .click, .country, .diet, .flowers, .game, .guitars, .help, .hiphop, .hiv, .hosting, .juegos, .link, .llp, .lol, .mom, .photo, .pics, .property, .sexy, .tattoo

Auctions started at prices between $0 and $2 million and none of the domains had reserves.

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  1. Samer says

    Congrats, on the exit plan. Best of luck, and thank you for being a great role model.

    I miss your presence in the industry.

    • Mark Thorpe says

      The average end-user doesn’t know that new TLD’s exist.
      .COM is a brand, it’s what they know and understand, other TLD’s are just fumes.

      Sounds like a broken record, but it’s true.

      • Ethan says

        People learn something new every day. It’s not a good idea to think that things aren’t changing. Check Cash.app’s Twitter account. It has 1.2M followers at time of writing.

      • Anonymous says

        LMAO ok boomer.

        The fact that you’ve used the phrase “sounds like a broken record” shows your age an inability to be innovative.

  2. Romero Calicos says

    Translation: the registrar and marketplace operations of Uniregistry, sold to Godaddy for just under $200M, were worth far more than the registry.

    Subtitle: don’t cheat on your wife until you have Bill Gates money if you think half of this is going to spend forever.

    • Andrew Allemann says

      I know the article says that, but I suspect he paid a lot less when you consider the auction loss payoffs he got from other TLDs he applied for. I’m also perplexed by the statement that it was all his own money, because he had investors. I don’t think his portion alone would have been $60M.

      • snoopy1267 says

        That is UNR’s spin answer.

        They made a very bad bet with this, not dissimilar to the loss of value that other New TLD co’s have have since the 2014 rollout.

        These co’s have typically seen a ~40-50% loss of value. Other examples, Rightside, MMX.

    • Richard Burrows says

      Right, but that article says he applied for 50+ extensions which we now know materialized to half of the actual extensions he won. He also probably made some money on auctions from the extensions that he applied for but didn’t get.

      • snoopy1267 says

        Every registry has claimed this, like MMX and Rightside. If you look at the actual numbers these registries were sold for a huge discount. They burned through tens of millions of investor dollars.

        Now the final act is playing out and it is Godaddy buying them for 50 cents in the dollar.

        • Chikflick says

          You don’t understand the economics behind the TLD game. Most portfolio applicants in the first round got their extensions for free (or made money) after private auctions [truth]. Frank made money all along the way and sold for more money at the end. If you think anything else you don’t know the game.

          • snoopy1267 says

            Do you wonder why these companies are getting bought out at 50% of their 2014 values?

            These companies spent money on some auctions and got some money back but overall the blew though investors money and the actual assets that they hold are worth a lot less now because they have a shrinking registration base.

            UNR peaked at 1.72 million registrations in 2016 whilst today it sits at 280,000 registrations.

            They did not put up prices 10X a few years ago because they were “making money along the way”.

  3. Cogito Ergo Sum says

    Not a bad result. At $1.7m per string notably below the MMX portfolio that yielded $4.3m though. But the MMX TLDs also have more than 60k DUM on average as compared to a tad above 10k for UNR. All in all, the results make sense IMO.

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