MMX, aka Minds + Machines, are looking forward to a brighter 2021 with the appointment of Tony Farrow, who re-joined MMX at the end of October as Interim CEO, as CEO of the Company. There has also been a settlement with ICM Registry and the company’s former Chair and CEO Stuart Lawley, while domains under management declined by around one-fifth (19%) in 2020 when many other top-level domains saw increases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly ccTLDs. The company is also reviewing its portfolio of top-level domains.
“It is great to be back working with the MMX team,” Tony Farrow said in an announcement. “Our FY 2021 plan will focus on AdultBlock sales, extensive release of inventory to the market, quality registrations with the view of future renewal revenue and standardized promotions for our channel partners.”
“It is a straightforward business where focus must remain on the quality of our domain registrations and promotions with our channel partners. We lost some of the momentum after the initial launch of AdultBlock in FY 2019.
“However, FY 2021 was always the target year for the full rollout of this new product, and I am encouraged by the dialogue with our channel partners to really move AdultBlock in FY 2021. I look forward to sharing more insight and information when we release our FY 2020 results in the Spring.”
The move comes as total domains under management for MMX’s portfolio of top-level domains declined 19% in FY 2020 compared to FY 2019. However according to the Trading Update released Monday “renewal revenue remained consistent in FY 2020 at 68%. FY 2020 new standard registration revenue increased to 24% with reduced dependency on premium domains. Billings declined 3% year on year, reflecting increases in most TLDs but a significant drop in AdultBlock billings in FY 2020 following its initial launch in FY 2019. In FY 2020 98% of billings were delivered through the registrar channel, eliminating the Company’s historical reliance on one-off brokered sales.”
In the new generic top-level domain (new gTLD) space, according to nTLDstats, MMX currently has 30 new gTLDs and 2.1 million domains under management. Back in 2018 when MMX acquired ICM, the registry for the .xxx, porn, .adult and .sex gTLDs, there were around 100,000 registrations in the 4 gTLDs.
Going forward MMX is “reviewing the contribution received from each of its TLDs and the growth prospects for each from new sales initiatives to ensure the carrying values associated with each TLD is appropriate going forward.”
On the settlement with ICM Registry and Stuart Lawley, which MMX acquired in May 2018, the MMX has agreed to pay them in aggregate US$1.0 million as a full and final settlement of all claims that relate to the acquisition of ICM by MMX.
In the Settlement Agreement posted by MMX, the company says “whilst the Directors believe that the alleged claims of the Settlement Parties are without merit, they believe the swift Settlement is in the best interests of the Company and allows it to focus on restoring shareholder value without the distraction of potentially expensive and time consuming litigation.”
“The Settlement Agreement will allow for a more positive relationship between the parties, including in particular Mr. Lawley, for the benefit of all MMX shareholders.”