DomainInvesting.com » neustar http://www.domaininvesting.com Domain blog featuring domain investing strategy, domain valuation, and domain development commentary from Elliot Silver, founder of Top Notch Domains, LLC. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:50:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Story Behind the .CO Registry Sale to Neustar http://www.domaininvesting.com/story-behind-co-registry-sale-neustar/ http://www.domaininvesting.com/story-behind-co-registry-sale-neustar/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:45:31 +0000 http://www.domaininvesting.com/?p=22079 Neustar closed on its acquisition of the .CO Registry yesterday afternoon, and the $100+ million deal was wrapped up. The Miami Herald had an interesting story that covered the closing, and it also had some of the backstory about how the deal came about with .CO Registry founder Juan Diego Calle offering some comments. I think it’s worth a read when you have a chance. As some people have pointed out, timing played a role in the sale of the company. From the article: “The timing was right for both sides, Calle said. “We are going from a very regulated → Read More

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Neustar closed on its acquisition of the .CO Registry yesterday afternoon, and the $100+ million deal was wrapped up. The Miami Herald had an interesting story that covered the closing, and it also had some of the backstory about how the deal came about with .CO Registry founder Juan Diego Calle offering some comments. I think it’s worth a read when you have a chance.

As some people have pointed out, timing played a role in the sale of the company. From the article:

“The timing was right for both sides, Calle said. “We are going from a very regulated environment where there are a limited number of domain extensions into a world where there is essentially an unlimited number of options for consumers,” said Calle, referring to the thousands of new domain name options coming into the marketplace. “There’s this movement by the larger players in the industry to consolidate their positions of power and be market leaders in the new paradigm, and here we are, .CO, the most appealing of the new alternatives, so you can grab that asset and make it your flagship brand.

The team that helped build the .CO brand will be staying on board. From the article:

“Calle said Neustar’s plan is to keep the offices – and the jobs – in Miami and Colombia for the forseeable future. There are 20 full-time employees going to Neustar, plus a few consultants.”

The .CO Registry team worked hard for the last several years, attending events and making a considerable effort to build the .CO brand, just like the people using their .CO domain names would for their own brands. The sale is a big win and a major validation of the effort they put forward and money they spent to make .CO a viable entity.

I think the outcome of the .CO Registry sale is probably the goal of many new gTLD operators. It remains to be seen if any of the new TLDs will have the same amount of success as .CO, but the company has built a blueprint. Perhaps we will see a repeat with some of Juan Diego Calle’s new gTLD registries.





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7 Thoughts on the .CO Registry Acquisition http://www.domaininvesting.com/thoughts-co-registry-acquisition/ http://www.domaininvesting.com/thoughts-co-registry-acquisition/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:17:40 +0000 http://www.domaininvesting.com/?p=21847 Now that I’ve had some more time to process yesterday’s news about Neustar acquiring the company that operates the .CO Registry, I want to share some of my thoughts about the deal. I’ve come to know some of the .CO executive team over the last several years, and it’s been exciting to watch the company grow and prosper. Here are some of my thoughts about the news: Over the course of the past few years, the team at .CO has built .CO into a “cool” brand. What makes this all the more interesting is that they built this brand while → Read More

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Now that I’ve had some more time to process yesterday’s news about Neustar acquiring the company that operates the .CO Registry, I want to share some of my thoughts about the deal. I’ve come to know some of the .CO executive team over the last several years, and it’s been exciting to watch the company grow and prosper.

Here are some of my thoughts about the news:

  • Over the course of the past few years, the team at .CO has built .CO into a “cool” brand. What makes this all the more interesting is that they built this brand while marketing their product to entrepreneurs as a means of building their own “cool” brands.
  • Making this 9 figure deal more exciting for me is the fact that the company was founded by domain investors. The executives have been involved in the domain investing space for many years, and it’s neat to see people succeed like they have succeeded.
  • With a reported sale price of $109 million and revenue of $21 million (assuming I am reading the numbers right), I think a 5x revenue multiple is a solid sale price. Some people speculated that the deal was made by the registry because of the new gTLDs that are coming, but to my untrained finance eyes, it seems like the price was very good and was made from a position of strength.
  • I also think Neustar got a good deal. If I am reading the numbers right, it seems like a 5x revenue multiple was a good buy considering that Neustar currently trades at a 13.99 P/E. I am not a finance guy, but that seems like a pretty good value for Neustar.
  • I am not sure what Juan’s future plans are considering that he can probably not work for another day in his life and live like a king, but don’t forget that his other company, STRAAT Investments, applied for 13 new gTLD extensions. I would assume he could invest some of the sale price into the auctions for other extensions if he so chooses.
  • I am interested to see how Neustar leverages the human capital that is included in the deal. According to a blog post from Juan, the plane is for Neustar to “leverage our team’s innovative domain marketing and brand building capabilities within and across Neustar’s broader domain portfolio.”
  • I appreciate the fact that .CO has been an advertiser on my blog for three or four years. .CO has spent quite a bit of money on brand awareness and marketing, and I am curious how the new leadership will impact this. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Neustar take some cues from the .CO marketing team for some of its other extensions.




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Unique .US Marketing Effort from Neustar http://www.domaininvesting.com/unique-us-marketing-effort-neustar/ http://www.domaininvesting.com/unique-us-marketing-effort-neustar/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:36:41 +0000 http://www.domaininvesting.com/?p=20243 Neustar operates the .US ccTLD domain registry. I don’t see .US domain names used very often, and I don’t believe the .US ccTLD is used nearly as regularly as ccTLD domain names in other countries, especially those in Europe. I don’t recall ever seeing mainstream marketing for .US domain names until this weekend. A major running event was held in Alexandria, Virginia over the weekend. The .US National Road Racing Championships featured exceptional runners from around the country, and the races were the culmination of the USARC, “a series of races that annually provides nearly $1 million in prize money → Read More

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Neustar USNeustar operates the .US ccTLD domain registry. I don’t see .US domain names used very often, and I don’t believe the .US ccTLD is used nearly as regularly as ccTLD domain names in other countries, especially those in Europe. I don’t recall ever seeing mainstream marketing for .US domain names until this weekend.

A major running event was held in Alexandria, Virginia over the weekend. The .US National Road Racing Championships featured exceptional runners from around the country, and the races were the culmination of the USARC, “a series of races that annually provides nearly $1 million in prize money to American runners. ”

Here are more details about the event and .US sponsorship (from the event website):

To culminate the 2013 USA Running Circuit (USARC) season, in February USA Track & Field announced its biggest single-event sponsorship in more than a decade when it launched the .US National Road Racing Championships. It’s the beginning of a three-year deal between USATF and Neustar, the administrator of the .US top-level domain, to initiate and grow a national-championship, mass-production road race.

I am not sure if this is a one-off sponsorship or if we are going to see more promotion of the .US ccTLD. It wouldn’t surprise me if we begin seeing legacy TLDs advertising more as the new gTLD domain names roll out. There will be a lot of money spent on consumer awareness campaigns, and tieing the .US TLD with this race was pretty neat.

It will be even more momentous when Neustar sponsors the annual US Open tennis tournament.





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Ken Hansen Leaves Neustar to Become CEO of co.com Registry http://www.domaininvesting.com/ken-hansen-leaves-neustar-ceo-co-com-registry-115/ http://www.domaininvesting.com/ken-hansen-leaves-neustar-ceo-co-com-registry-115/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:10:00 +0000 http://www.domaininvesting.com/?p=20220 For the past four years, Ken Hansen has been Senior Director of Business Development, GM, ,nyc at Neustar. In that role, he has been working to promote the .NYC registry, which has the backing of New York City. I just learned that Ken is leaving Neustar to become CEO of the co.com Registry, a recently formed venture that will offer .co.com domain names. The new co.com registry will sell subdomain names from the primary co.com domain name. The registry is being led by three people with extensive domain industry experience and connections – Ken Hansen, Gregg McNair (Chairman), and Paul Goldstone → Read More

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Ken HansenFor the past four years, Ken Hansen has been Senior Director of Business Development, GM, ,nyc at Neustar. In that role, he has been working to promote the .NYC registry, which has the backing of New York City. I just learned that Ken is leaving Neustar to become CEO of the co.com Registry, a recently formed venture that will offer .co.com domain names.

The new co.com registry will sell subdomain names from the primary co.com domain name. The registry is being led by three people with extensive domain industry experience and connections – Ken Hansen, Gregg McNair (Chairman), and Paul Goldstone (President).

Paul Goldstone was the original owner of the co.com domain name and opted to sell domain names because of the popularity of the .co.cctld country extensions (I am told 61 countries use .co. in their ccTLD).  co.com believes “demand for domains ending in .com will not be going away“, and aims to meet the demand with short recognizable co.com domain names. The company’s tagline, is “Get the .com you’ve always wanted”.

The company plans to begin selling domain names in the first quarter of 2014. co.com will have a traditional Sunrise Period for trademark holders, and that will be followed by a Landrush Period and General Availability. The company also plans to privately sell some of its premium domain name assets. Those interested can sign up for launch updates at co.com.

The Registry scored a major coup in hiring Ken Hansen as its CEO. Ken has a ton of knowledge in this space, both on the marketing and policy side. As Gregg McNair said in the press release, “today our CEO is among the most respected and savvy operators in the registry space. Ken’s appointment along with his knowledge and understanding of the co.com opportunity is turning heads in a sea of confusion.”

The press release with the news is below:

Buenos Aires, Argentina, November, 15 2013 – Three well known domain industry leaders have teamed up to launch the co.com registry that will allow users to register the .com domain names they’ve always wanted!  Ken Hansen,(formerly Neustar) will lead the new venture as CEO, joining Paul Goldstone (President), and Gregg McNair (Chairman).

“When Paul asked me to work with him to build a ‘dream team’ for co.com, I immediately thought of Ken Hansen as our leader. Today our CEO is among the most respected and savvy operators in the registry space. Ken’s appointment along with his knowledge and understanding of the co.com opportunity is turning heads in a sea of confusion. To him the co.com solution was so simple and obvious” McNair said.

Sixty-one countries currently offer domain names ending in “co.countrycode” such as co.uk and co.jp, with registrations for those extensions totaling over 11 million.  Additionally, each year over ten million new .com domains are registered.  co.com Registry intends to capitalize on this strong demand, and the current lack of available domains, by opening up a new tract of land in .com.

“The demand for .com names is not going away”, says Hansen.   “We intend to meet that demand by offering short memorable domain names ending in .com”.

The co.com registry will have an open registration policy, meaning that any company, organization or individual will be eligible to register domain names like companyname.co.com, organization.co.com, or anything.co.com.   “I couldn’t be more excited with the team and the future of co.com domains, where users will be able to pick the perfect .com domain to fit their online and branding needs,” said Goldstone.

co.com domain names are expected to become available in the first quarter of 2014. Plans call for a “Sunrise Period” for trademark holders, followed by a first-come-first-serve “Landrush Period”.  Premium domain names like travel.co.com, tickets.co.com, wine.co.com, insurance.co.com and spa.co.com, are also available.

Those who wish to receive launch updates and additional details, as they become available, can subscribe to the email list at www.registry.co.com.  The co.com team is attending ICANN Buenos Aires and is also available to meet with registrars interested in becoming distributors of co.com domains.

About co.com LLC – The co.com domain registry offers businesses, organizations and individuals, short, memorable and recognizable .com domain names, through a worldwide distribution network of domain name registrars and resellers.  co.com LLC is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.





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O.Biz: Overstock Building .Biz Awareness http://www.domaininvesting.com/o-biz-overstock-building-biz-awareness/ http://www.domaininvesting.com/o-biz-overstock-building-biz-awareness/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:33:09 +0000 http://www.domaininvesting.com/o-biz-overstock-building-biz-awareness This morning, Overstock.com announced that it will be going live with the website O.biz on October 31,2009. The new site will sell mostly restaurant, office, and hotel products, with a focus on small businesses and consumers looking to buy in bulk at greater discounts than are found on the Overstock.com website. Some people might ask why Overstock would want a .biz domain name for this project. You can’t argue with the fact that it’s memorable and short, two things that an established brand cares about. Likewise, the .Biz registry will have a showcase website, one step in building consumer awareness. → Read More

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This morning, Overstock.com announced that it will be going live with the website O.biz on October 31,2009. The new site will sell mostly restaurant, office, and hotel products, with a focus on small businesses and consumers looking to buy in bulk at greater discounts than are found on the Overstock.com website.

Some people might ask why Overstock would want a .biz domain name for this project. You can’t argue with the fact that it’s memorable and short, two things that an established brand cares about. Likewise, the .Biz registry will have a showcase website, one step in building consumer awareness.

In my opinion, consumer awareness is what drives domain registrations after the initial speculative period ends and domain speculators choose whether or not to renew their domain names. The more that consumers are aware of a specific domain extension (and familiar with brands that use them as standalone sites rather than redirects to a main .com site), the more value the domain names have. This drives both consumer and business adoption of these domain names.

In the press release this morning, Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne commented, “The .BIZ extension is appealing to growing, innovative businesses. Our goal is to have O.BIZ help small to medium-size businesses save money by leveraging the purchasing power of Overstock.com.”

If this new site is a hit for Overstock, it will certainly be a boon to .Biz domain names, which in my opinion aren’t very coveted right now, despite being listed as a “Top Seller” on registrar websites like Godaddy, which is an effort to upsell or downsell additional extensions. With new gTLDs presumably coming, the .Biz registry will end up fighting for this valuable real estate with up and coming domain extensions, and it needs to prove that that people will buy them.

Godaddy Top Sellers





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