Domain lease expires, forcing company to switch domain names.
Kit, a service that lets influencers profit by recommending products, is about to lose the domain name it has used for years.
Patreon acquired Kit in 2018 and then sold it to GeniusLink a couple of months ago.
But the Kit.com domain wasn’t part of the transaction. In fact, Patreon didn’t own it; the original Kit founders leased it. The company explained in a message to its customers:
When we took Kit under our wings a few months ago, the fate of the Kit.com domain was not completely settled as it was owned by a third party. However, we did own Kit.co, and we knew that no matter what, we could fall back on it if needed. Unfortunately this last Thursday, November 21st, the owners of the Kit.com domain (not Patreon) informed us that they were no longer interested in selling it to us, and they were going to repurpose the domain for a different property in the very near future. We were given two weeks to prepare.
The company is moving everything to kit.co and fighting to prevent business interruptions:
Preserving your traffic and search engine presence is our top priority. We are creating redirects so that visitors to Kit.com links will be routed to the newer Kit.co addresses while we await the domain handoff. Additionally, we are working with the owners of Kit.com to hopefully maintain these redirects for some time after they assume control of the domain. However, we cannot guarantee these redirects will last forever. So, we highly recommend you update any links to your kits that you control.
I looked at the Whois history for Kit.com to see who owns it. The last public Whois record in DomainTools points to KIT Electronics Limited in London.
Whoever owns it might be able to profit from the years of linking activity and content on Kit.com. In all domain leasing deals, both parties should consider what their termination and purchase options are and negotiate these into the contract to prevent something like this from happening.
Hat tip: Joel Runyon