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Elliot Noss Comments on USV Investment

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PrintIn a blog post written by Union Square Ventures (USV) Managing Partner Brad Burnham on the USV blog, the New York City-based venture capital firm announced that it "made a substantial investment in Tucows." The VC firm did not mention how much it invested in the company, but the amount may eventually be revealed since Tucows is a NASDAQ-listed publicly traded company (TCX). You should have a look at the blog post to see all of the reasons USV made this investment.

I reached out to Tucows President and CEO Elliot Noss to ask for his reaction to seeing the confidence USV has in what his company has achieved and the company's plans going forward. Elliot was kind enough to reply and had this to say:

I have been bugging Brad to join the board for years. Of course I love all of the folks at USV, but this is really about Brad. As they noted, this is not their typical investment (at all). In fact it is the mirror image in many ways. That being said we have lots to learn from each other and we are both excited to start working on → Read More


35 Layoffs at Rightside Following eNom Deal

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Rightside GroupLate last week, I shared news of Tucows' acquisition of eNom. This is big news for a number of reasons, especially because Tucows will reportedly become the "second largest domain registrar in the world," trailing GoDaddy.

One unfortunate side effect of this deal is layoffs. I ran into Bari Meyerson at NamesCon, and she shared the news that she was let go. I worked with Bari for a number of years at Moniker, and I continued to work with her when she went to work at eNom. On the infrequent occasions that I had an account management issue at eNom, she would either help solve it or connect me with the person who could.

I reached out to Rightside CEO Taryn Naidu to ask about the layoffs, and he told me the company made about 35 layoffs as a result of the deal. The company now has approximately 125 employees following the conclusion of the deal. Taryn felt it was important to note to me that "the 35 layoffs were not a result of performance or ability, but the ugly side of deals of this nature."

It is unfortunate that layoffs → Read More


Escrow.com Announces “Masters of Domains”

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Escrow.com ShieldJust prior to yesterday's live NamesCon domain name auction, there was a brief presentation of "Escrow.com Masters of Domains." This was a list of the top ten domain brokers of 2016 by volume of deals put through Escrow.com. The company awarded a trophy to the winners, some of whom were in attendance at the conference. This was the first time the company listed the top domain brokers by volume.

The 10 Escrow.com Masters of Domains for 2016 were:


  • George Hong, Guta

  • Andrew Rosener, Media Options

  • Giuseppe Graziano, GGRG

  • Muhammad Al-Asadi, TopNames

  • Ryan McKegney, Domain Agents

  • Adam Beebe, Latonas

  • Derek Giordano, Giordano, Inc.

  • David Clements, Brannan's

  • James Booth, BQDN

  • Raymond Liu, 62.com


Escrow.com also set up a website with information about the award and winners: MastersOfDomains.com. The website indicates that this will become an annual award.

I think it would be a great achievement for a broker to be on this list, but it is not necessarily the top 10 domain brokers. Escrow.com is likely the largest → Read More


Here’s How President Obama Acquired Obama.org via NameJet

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Obama Foundation - Obama.orgFormer US President Barack Obama acquired the Obama.org domain name, and it is now being used for the Obama Foundation website. President Obama announced the news on his Twitter handle yesterday:




When researching the Whois records for this domain name, I noticed a domain name industry connection. Prior to the recent privatization of the Whois information for Obama.org, the owner of the domain name was listed as industry veteran Kellie Peterson. Kellie now works on the domain registrar side of Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com.

According to NameBio, Obama.org was acquired via NameJet in 2011 for $2,800. Based on Historical Whois records from DomainTools, it looks to me like this was a privately held domain name that was auctioned instead of an expired domain auction. Kellie was the winning bidder in the auction, and she → Read More


Kevin Fink Interviews Colin Campbell of .Club

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I think the .Club registry is one of the most successful new gTLD registries. I want to share an interview NamePros conducted with Colin Campbell, CEO of the .Club registry. The interview took place at NamesCon last year, so it is interesting to watch it one year later. Kevin Fink conducted the interview.

The NamePros team conducted quite a few interviews with other industry executives, and you can catch them on its YouTube channel. It's neat to witness the growth of NamePros over the last couple of years as it expands beyond a standard forum format and adds videos, interviews, auctions, and other features. I am not an active participant, but I enjoy visiting regularly.

→ Read More


John Berryhill Shares Picture of Yun Ye

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Yun Ye is probably the most mysterious person who has ever been involved in the domain name business. In fact, most people have never met Yun Ye and have only heard about him and his massive $164 million domain name portfolio sale to Marchex.

Yesterday evening on Twitter, noted domain attorney John Berryhill, who represented Yun Ye's company (and still represents Frank's Name Administration company), published this tweet with a photo of Yun Ye that was taken in 2005:




John told me that this is a picture of (more…) → Read More


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