It’s been quite a while (July 2008) since I blogged about why you should ‘forget domains, buy a tld‘ but inspite of all the drama that surrounds the new extensions process at ICANN, there does seem to be a LOT of movement in this aspect.
While it would cost quite a bit ($400,000+) to start your own registry and/or extension, the upside seems to be manifold as shown by the recent success that the .CO registry has achieved ($30 million+ in year 1 revenues).
For the more simple minded, let me clarify, success of a registry is not the same as success of domain investors currently invested in the extension promoted by the registry, no matter how many top investors ‘buy into’ the extension.
Quite a few new companies have come up to help people buy a tld, all of them with excellent pedigree in terms of the people leading them:
1. Minds+Machines: first out of the block (that I know off), they provide consulting and technical expertise for running a registry. The CEO of this is Anthony Van Couvering, who founded and sold NetNames to NBT in 1999, NameEngine to Verisign in 2001, he’s also the CEO of M+Ms parent company TLDH. This is what they say about their services:
Minds — We will guide you from application to approval to operations, with expert assistance at every step. We work with corporate, geographical, market-niche, and not-for-profit TLDs.
Machines — Espresso, our registry platform, offers low flat-rate pricing, a low annual minimum, flexible contract terms, and a built-in sales channel to all the top domain registrars.
2. Right of the Dot: A new company launched by two extremely well known, and well liked individuals within the domain space – Monte Cahn, founder of Moniker, which he sold to Oversee and Michael H Berkens of WWMI and also one of the world’s top domain bloggers at TheDomains. They promise their clients:
We’re a consulting group offering domain industry expertise to help you launch your new TLD and reignite existing Top Level Domains.
3. Architelos: Another new company headed by the ex-CEO of PIR (.ORG) Alexa Raad has just been launched. Alexa was previously with .mobi during its launch phase and more recently responsible for .ORGs success in repositioning itself and increasing registrations to over 9 million. They will also be acting as consultants to new extensions:
Architelos is a strategy and marketing consultation company that focuses on growth, brand, positioning and business development for clients within the Internet and DNS sector. Our mission is to employ the wisdom of experience to help you reach your goals.
As time progresses we’ll have more players in this space, one has just been announced as having being created between AusRegistry and Crowell and Moring, a law firm.
If you’re planning to buy a tld, you could contact any of the companies above for professional consulting and support.
If you could afford an extension which one would you go for?