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VPN.com buyer wants to be the Hotels.com of VPN services

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 13:37

Big domain name purchase is starting to pay off for VPN.com owner.

VPN.com was purchased for close to $1 million this year.

Many entrepreneurs have a story of chasing down their dream domain name, but few fought as long as Michael Gargiulo.

After four years of trying, Michael Gargiulo successfully acquired the domain name VPN.com from its original registrant in January 2017.

Gargiulo had his sights on VPN.com since he got traction on his anonymous browsing service ProxyServer.com. The service has been used by over five million people.

And while that’s a successful service, Gargiulo believes he can be even more successful with VPN.com. It took years of trying to finally secure it.

“He [the previous owner of VPN.com] was the original registrant of it in 1997,” Gargiulo said. “This guy had owned it for a very long time and he knew the VPN space was exploding. He was waiting for the right offer to come along.”

During the time between when Gargiulo first inquired about buying the domain to closing the deal, talk of VPNs exploded as internet security and privacy became part of the daily conversation. Searches for VPN on Google increased 10x during that time.

Gargiulo’s company paid close to seven figures for the domain name with the bulk of it up front in cash. He can’t disclose the specific terms until the middle of 2018.

The domain name provided instantaneous value, but in a somewhat different way than Gargiulo expected.

“In terms of respect inside the market and with customers that don’t even know us, they know exactly who you are and what’s on your site because of the domain name,” he said. “In terms of payback of the domain and how we’re monetizing it, we’re still figuring it out.”

The domain gets hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of type-in visitors per day, but Gargiulo said becoming the number one search result in Google for VPN is the ultimate goal.

VPN.com currently offers an in-house VPN, but Gargiulo is shifting the focus in the next couple of months. Competition in the space is fierce, and it will take millions of dollars of technology investment to compete. So VPN.com will become more of a comparison site for VPN services, similar to what Hotels.com is for hotel rooms.

DNW will check back in with Gargiulo when he can reveal the full details of the transaction next year.


© DomainNameWire.com 2017. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com.

Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

The post VPN.com buyer wants to be the Hotels.com of VPN services appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Website Stuff.

Related posts:
  1. The Beijing company that is building a “Great Wall of Domain Names” in China.
  2. S.club sells for $38k, leading .Club domain name auction
  3. Chinese buyer of TS.com also buys GH.com
Categories: Domains

15 end user domain name sales

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 18:28

A screencasting company, film producer and Irish dance school bought domain names last week.

Film Writer and producer Wesly Lapioli smartly bought Wesly.com.

This week’s end user sales list has a couple of solid five-figure sales, including an agricultural chemicals firm that has been using the domain Infofilcc.com paying $25k to buy Indofil.com. I also like the descriptive domains BusSchedules.com (bought by a new company) and IrishDance.com (bought by an existing company that teaches Irish dance.)

Let’s jump into the list. Here are the 15 end user sales I discovered from Sedo over the past week.

(You can view previous lists like this here.)

Indofil.com $24,990 – Indofil Industries Ltd is an agricultural chemicals company in India that uses the domain name Indofilcc.com.

EZCast.com $20,000 – EZCast is a screencasting technology from Actions Microelectronics.

Spela.com $9,888 – The buyer has set up a gaming site on the domain. Spela is Swedish for “Play”.

BusSchedules.com $8,000 – The buyer is using Whois privacy but promises “a Huge step forward for bus transportation”.

Contract.ai $4,999 – Investment firm Cota Capital likely bought this for one of its portfolio companies.

On-Demand.com EUR 3,726 – Technology training company Global Knowledge, which offers both online and offline training.

SupplyAndDemand.co.uk GBP 3,500 – JD Sports Fashion PLC might have purchased this for a new clothing brand. Here’s its current lineup.

BSCard.com $3,500 – What will BS Card sell? I don’t know, but its buyer is setting up a shop with Shopify.

GPIL.com $3,500 – Greenply Industries Limited bought its acronym. The company manufactures interior products like doors and floors.

Wesly.com EUR 3,000 – Wesly Lapioli is a film writer and producer.

IrishDance.com $3,000 – The domain now forwards to CelticSteps.org, a company that offers Celtic dance classes.

RaceReceiver.com $3,000 – Innovative Spectator Products Inc. sells the RACEceiver, which lets race car fans listen in on racer communications. It owns the domain Raceceiver.com.

Quick-Mix.cn EUR 2,500 – Quick-mix Gruppe GmbH + Co.KG, which uses the domain quick-mix.de.

BoxOffice.ch EUR 2,490 – GeneralMedia SA is a publishing company.

Kertu.com $2,000 – This was a surname purchase by someone in Dubai.


© DomainNameWire.com 2017. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com.

Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

The post 15 end user domain name sales appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Website Stuff.

Related posts:
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  2. 15 end user domain name sales
  3. The latest end user domain name sales
Categories: Domains

An Amazon coin? Amazon.com registers cryptocurrency domain names

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:56

Tech giant registers three domain names related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The Whois record for AmazonEthereum.com.

Amazon.com registered three domain names yesterday related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies: amazoncryptocurrencies.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazonethereum.com.

The domain name registrations might suggest that Amazon is getting ready to do something on the Ethereum blockchain or release its own cryptocurrency. However, I caution that Amazon is overzealous when it comes to defensive domain name registrations. I believe that some of the registrations are done at arms-length by a brand protection agency.

The registrations come a week after Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin graded tech giants on their blockchain readiness. On Amazon, Lubin said “Amazon, we’ve not seen that much, so we’ll see.”


© DomainNameWire.com 2017. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com.

Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

The post An Amazon coin? Amazon.com registers cryptocurrency domain names appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Website Stuff.

Related posts:
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  3. Amazon.com wins .Book top level domain name battle
Categories: Domains

Directnic acquires domain name registrar Fabulous.com

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 20:00

Directnic acquires Fabulous.com but brands will remain separate.

Domain name registrar consolidation continues as Directnic has acquired Fabulous.com from Dark Blue Sea Pty, the companies announced today.

Mike Robertson, Directnic Director of Business Development, will now help manage a portfolio and business he worked for nine years prior to joining Directnic.

The businesses will continue to be operated as separate brands, with Directnic focused on business customers and Fabulous.com on domain name investors. But Robertson says Fabulous will be improved.

“Work is already in process to update the Fabulous site and infrastructure,” Robertson told DNW. “Loyal Fabulous customers need not worry though, all the tools and features will remain, with the addition of new functionality, designed to heighten the user experience. These updates will be rolled out in Q1 of 2018.”

Robertson noted, “Having spent 9 years at Fabulous previously, I have a strong understanding of what domain owners need to be successful and we will continue to focus on delivering the best service possible to our customers.”


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Categories: Domains

Uniregistry gets patent for domain management and transfer system

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 15:22

Patent is related to its system for monitoring domains not registered at Uniregistry.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent number 9,807,053 (pdf) to Uniregistry for “System and method related to domain name tracking and transfer”.

The patent describes various aspects of Uniregistry’s account management system. In particular, it focuses on the ability to monitor domain names owned by the customer that are registered at different domain name registrars. It also has claims related to transferring domain names:

What is described is a system and method providing an improved customer experience for the Registrant. The Registrant is able to use a single interface to monitor multiple domain names as well as to transfer its domain names between Registrars. The single interaction with the single interface works out just as well and just as conveniently regardless of whether at the time a Registrant commences use of the system, a single Registrar happens to be handling all of the domain names, or whether each domain name is handled by a different Registrar.

Frank Schilling and Ryan Smith are listed as inventors. The patent was filed in August 2015 but was based on a provisional application filed in August 2014.


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Categories: Domains

ICANN files response in Donuts lawsuit

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:09

ICANN reiterates that Donuts agreed not to sue.

ICANN has filed its response (pdf) in Donuts’ appeal of a lawsuit to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th District.

The lawsuit stems from the $135 million auction for .web. Donuts was one of seven applicants for the domain name. One applicant, Nu Dot Co, decided that it did not want to hold a private auction for the domain name, thus forcing ICANN to hold an “auction of last resort” for .web.

This was a big financial blow for Donuts. In a private auction, the losers split the proceeds. If a private auction concluded for $135 million, Donuts would have received over $20 million.

Donuts said that Nu Dot Co had a change of control that required updating its application. It turns out that Verisign struck a deal with Nu Dot Co to fund its auction in return for Nu Dot Co assigning rights to .web after it won and entered into a contract with ICANN.

Nu Dot Co denied any change of control. ICANN investigated and came to the same conclusion. It seems that the deal was similar to some others in which Nu Dot Co and Verisign agreed to a transfer deal that would take place after a contract was signed with ICANN.

After going through ICANN’s normal accountability mechanisms, Donuts sued. A district court rejected the claims because Donuts agreed not to sue ICANN when it applied for top level domain names. Donuts appealed.

In ICANN’s response, entered into the docket yesterday, the non-profit states:

Throughout the process, ICANN followed the letter and spirit of the agreed-upon procedures. [Donuts company] Ruby Glen, on the other hand, has taken several steps aimed at highjacking the process for its own financial gain, not the least being this lawsuit, which violates the parties’ agreement to resolve disagreements through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, not litigation.

The answering brief says that Donuts brought up several new arguments in its appeal but argues that none of them apply to the case.

Even if ICANN prevails, the appeal will take a long time to resolve. The 9th circuit’s median time from filing a notice of appeal to disposition is 13.3 months.

Meanwhile, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is still investigating Verisign’s plans to run .web.


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Categories: Domains

Trump’s nominee for NTIA administrator is still on hold

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 13:18

Democrat Brian Schatz places hold over concerns about deal struck with Republican Ted Cruz.

It has been nine months since Donald Trump took office but the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) still does not have an administrator. Trump’s appointee, David Redl, has been stymied mostly by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

The NTIA is the U.S. entity that interacts with ICANN and officially “set if free” last year. Texas Senator Ted Cruz was opposed to the transition out of U.S. government hands. He said it could lead to Russia and China taking over the internet.

During a June hearing, Cruz asked Redl what he thought about the decision to cut U.S. government ties with ICANN last year. Redl said that he was confident the U.S. is in a position to protect its interests, Bloomberg reported.

Concerned about Redl’s position, Cruz put a hold on Redl’s nomination. He then met with Redl and members of Trumps administration. Afterward, he lifted his hold.

Now, according to Washington Internet Daily, Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) has placed a hold to block a full Senate vote on Redl. Redl is apparently worried about what kind of deal Cruz struck with Redl and the Trump administration and wants to learn more.


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The post Trump’s nominee for NTIA administrator is still on hold appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Website Stuff.

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Categories: Domains

Google publishes their TLD registry software: Nomulus

Domain Name News.com - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 09:42

Google announced this morning that they are releasing their TLD registry platform, Nomulus, which is written in Java, under an Apache 2.0 license. The company uses the software to run their own registry for their TLDs. Portfolio TLD applicant Donuts has partnered with Google and contributed to the source code – they will also be running a public test instance of the system, which is geared towards being run on the Google Cloud Platform. So far, Rightside (NASDAQ: NAME) has been operating Donuts’ registry backend.

Also covered by:

Here’s the full press release:

Introducing Nomulus: an Open Source Top-Level Domain Name Registry

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:00am PT

Author: Ben McIlwain, Software Engineer

Today, Google is proud to announce the release of Nomulus, a new open source cloud-based registry platform that powers Google’s top level domains (TLDs). We’re excited to make this piece of Internet infrastructure available to everyone.

TLDs are the top level of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS), and they collectively host every domain name on the Internet.  To manage a TLD, you need a domain name registry — a behind-the-scenes system that stores registration details and DNS information for all domain names under that TLD. It handles WHOIS queries and requests to buy, check, transfer, and renew domain names. When you purchase a domain name on a TLD using a domain name registrar, such as Google Domains, the registrar is actually conducting business with that TLD’s registry on your behalf. That’s why you can transfer a domain from one registrar to another and have it remain active and 100% yours the entire time.

The project that became Nomulus began in 2011 when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the biggest ever expansion of Internet namespace, aimed at improving choice and spurring innovation for Internet users. Google applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs, and built Nomulus to help run them.

We designed Nomulus to be a brand-new registry platform that takes advantage of the scalability and easy operation of Google Cloud Platform. Nomulus runs on Google App Engine and is backed by Google Cloud Datastore, a highly scalable NoSQL database. Nomulus can manage any number of TLDs in a single shared instance and supports the full range of TLD functionality required by ICANN, including the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), WHOIS, reporting, and trademark protection. It is written in Java and is released under the Apache 2.0 license.

We hope that by providing access to our implementation of core registry functions and up-and-coming services like Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), we can demonstrate advanced features of Google Cloud Platform and encourage interoperability and open standards in the domain name industry for registry operators like Donuts. With approximately 200 TLDs, Donuts has made early contributions to the Nomulus code base and has spun up an instance which they’ll be sharing soon.

For more information, view Nomulus on GitHub.

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