This business model might look familiar.
The company that acquired IT.com for $3.5 million has a business plan that might look familiar.
Intis Telecom’s main business is SMS marketing. But it recently acquired it.com for $3.5 million on a payment plan. It paid $1.5 million upfront and is paying the rest off over three years. (James Booth represented the seller.)
It.com has nothing to do with the SMS business, however. The company is offering subdomains like example.it.com, with an emphasis on action words like explore.it.com and remember.it.com.
It plans to do this with lots of other domains. Over the past ten months, the company has acquired 10 ‘it’ domains in various extensions. But it.com is its biggest investment. Before this domain, the most it had paid was $25,000 for it.kz. (That’s the country code for Kazakhstan.) Update: The $25k was the most expensive this year. Last year, the company paid $235k for it.co.uk.
Selling subdomains was CentralNic’s business model many years ago, although it focused on domains that were very similar to country codes, such as example.us.com.
A challenge for businesses using a name like this is that they aren’t regulated by ICANN. There’s no recourse if the company that owns the second level domain decides to stop offering the service. CentralNic ended up doing just that with a number of the domains. It’s also worth noting that CentralNic offered its domains when there was a lot less choice for domain extensions.