GoDaddy to acquire domain sales platform that is popular with domain investors.
GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) is acquiring domain name sales platform Dan.com.
The world’s largest registrar will pick up a competitor that had taken a bite out of its aftermarket sales, and the acquisition will surely create consternation amongst domain name investors.
Dan.com came on the scene as Undeveloped and tried a few approaches to crack the market. It initially offered industry-standard commissions of 15% but later lowered them to 9%, ushering in an era of lower commissions from upstart domain sales platforms. In 2019, it rebranded to Dan.com and tried to jump on the blockchain bandwagon. While the blockchain thing didn’t work out, Dan.com started gaining traction as a low-cost way to sell domains via landing pages.
Together with other upstart platforms, it introduced innovation that shook up the aftermarket.
Now, it’s becoming part of GoDaddy, the industry stalwart that it once tried to unseat.
Domain investors will have a lot of questions. Many list domains through GoDaddy’s Afternic DLS to get into the registrar path but point their domains to Dan.com to pay lower commissions on direct sales. Will this option disappear in the future?
I asked GoDaddy President of Domains Paul Nicks about this (and more) via email.
Domain Name Wire: Will Dan.com remain a separate system, or do you envision integrating it into Afternic and/or GoDaddy? If it will be integrated, what’s the timeline?
Nicks: Our initial view based on diligence is that opportunities exist for Dan.com and GoDaddy to join forces, specifically with Afternic. Together, we expect the integration of Dan.com’s automation and lease-to-own options to add momentum to GoDaddy’s goal of offering domain investors an integrated experience within a best-in-class marketplace empowered by sage guidance, cutting-edge data science and the world’s premier brokerage team.
We don’t have specifics to share on timing yet. Shortly after close, we will hold a multi-day planning meeting designed to create a common and deep understanding of our goals and plan with those expected to support the work of the integration. We will spend several days together learning and expect to develop an integration plan, including key milestones from the integration.
Domain Name Wire: A lot of innovation has come from the upstart domain sales platforms, including Dan.com. I’m thinking about Dan.com’s transfer bot, installment plans, domain categories, payout services/timeline, stats, and import-a-lead. Does GoDaddy intend to keep all of Dan.com’s features?
Nicks: Here are a few specific examples of what we expect for integration post-close based on due diligence.
- Dan.com customers will benefit from Afternic’s expansive network reaching more potential buyers, as well as Afternic’s premier brokerage team helping Dan.com customers close lead-based transactions at higher average sales prices.
- GoDaddy also intends to extend some of Dan.com’s best-in-class offerings, including lease-to-own options and automation technology, to Afternic customers establishing a new market of buyers for domain investors transacting via the Afternic marketplace.
- GoDaddy Afternic listings will be enabled with Dan.com sales landers, including customizable landers that are currently in use on Dan.com and unavailable in Afternic.
- Joining GoDaddy provides Dan.com the opportunity to broaden customer success operations and help customers in more time zones and languages.
- Finally, our goal is for Dan.com to become an experimentation engine driving better results on the shared platform.
Dan.com has payment integrations with other services, such as Efty. Will these be impacted?
Nicks: We are still in the early stages and do not have specific plans to share today. We’ll review all partnerships individually once close occurs and share updates proactively.
Domain Name Wire: Many people use GoDaddy’s Afternic DLS to get in the registrar registration path, but choose Dan.com landers because they’re cheaper (9% vs. up to 20%). Will this still be an option or should we expect to pay higher prices for landing page sales in the future?
Nicks: We are still in the early stages and do not have a plan around commission alignment. Once we have updates to share, we’ll share proactively.
Domain Name Wire: What benefits will Dan.com customers get from GoDaddy owning Dan.com?
Nicks: In addition to what we shared above, a message from the Dan.com team: “Rest assured, the great team that made Dan.com an amazing company intends to continue working to help domain customers after the deal closes. We put our customers first and that will remain the same.”
Domain Name Wire: Is the entire Dan.com team coming over to GoDaddy?
As a part of the transaction, all Dan.com full-time employees will be offered jobs to join GoDaddy.