Juan Diego Calle’s STRAAT Investments Reveals gTLD Applications
Earlier this morning, Paul Sloan published an article on CNET about the new gTLDs, and he mentioned that Juan Diego Calle, founder of the .CO Registry, “is going after 13 new TLDs through the investment company that backed .co Internet.” I just received a press release from Calle’s STRAAT Investments detailing the company’s newest investment in gTLDs.
STRAAT Investments is applying for 13 domain extensions, and they will also be assisting one other applicant with a 14th TLD which will be revealed publicly tomorrow. The 13 TLDs are:
Straat will be leveraging its existing infrastructure and the assets of .CO to efficiently launch their new TLDs, but the .CO team will stay focused on growing the .CO space. Each TLD under management will have its own brand team, although I am quite sure they will also leverage its learnings from the past few years marketing .CO domain names.
One big question is how potentially hundreds of new TLDs will impact .CO, and the company acknowledges that there will be an impact. According to Jose Rasco, Managing Director of STRAAT, “New TLDs will definitely add some competitive pressures to .CO when they are launched. But in the long run, they will help us in transmitting the message to the general public that there is much more to the namespace than .com, that there are credible alternatives as evidenced by our successful launch, and that there is an unmet demand for new products.”
One thing that is apparent is the corporate TLD applications. One reason many .CO are buying .CO domain names is because .CO can stand for “Company.” STRAAT likely has seen this with its clients, and they are applying for TLDs like .LLC, .LTD, .INC, and .GMBH to sell to companies using these various business abbreviations.
ICANN’s “Reveal Day” is scheduled for June 13, 2012. All gTLD applicants and extensions will be announced during a press conference.
STRAAT Press Release follows:
STRAAT Investments announced today that it has applied to ICANN for 13 generic top level domains (gTLDs). Among other things, STRAAT is the parent company of .CO Internet, the registry operator of the fast growing .CO domain extension.
STRAAT and its partners have committed the resources and capital to successfully acquire and launch the following gTLDs:
“We are confident that significant unmet demand exists for more relevant, alternative TLD options,” said Jose Ignacio Rasco, Managing Director at STRAAT, “and given our experience with the .CO launch, our team is uniquely qualified to maximize the value of these gTLDs.”
While STRAAT intends to acquire these gTLDs outright, it anticipates an orderly and rapid resolution of contested strings, without the need for a formal auction. According to Rasco, “while all 13 of our applications should face contention, we expect our fellow applicants will be equally motivated to focus their resources on operating the extensions, minimizing risk, and improving the underlying economics.”
The success of .CO has widely been referenced as the case study for the potential of new TLD’s. Less than two years from launch, the .CO registry has achieved over 1.3 million domains registered by individuals and businesses in over 200 countries worldwide.
Leveraging its experience and proven methodology, .CO’s management team has an existing platform ready to successfully brand and market these exciting new affinity domains. Acquired TLDs will be added to .CO’s product portfolio, where they can benefit from economies of scale and scope.
With respect to registry operations, STRAAT has decided to expand its existing relationship with Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) to serve as the back-end operator for all thirteen TLDs, as it has for .CO since 2010. Neustar’s proven experience and reliability will be paramount for the successful launch of these new extensions.
We are STRAAT, an investment company run by entrepreneurs and internet geeks. We make domestic and international investments across the capital structure, primarily focusing on technology and real estate. With roots in the acquisition and development of real estate since the early 80’s, our principals began investing in technology in the late 1990’s. Our goal is to create value by focusing on what we know, backing entrepreneurs with the right experience and incubating companies ourselves, when appropriate. We are inspired by our entrepreneurs’ vision, drive, and passion. We continue to seek opportunities to deploy our own capital and that of our extensive network of partners and high net-worth family offices, into exceptional web-based product and service companies. For more information, visit www.straat.co.
Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Google + | Facebook | Email