GoDaddy has announced they have acquired one of the leading domain name aftermarket companies Afternic from Name.com. The move has been described by GoDaddy as creating an unprecedented level of domain name aftermarket inventory from one source and a frictionless marketplace â enabling buyers to purchase registered domain names offered for sale quickly and easily. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The move was also described as bolstering ICANNâs upcoming Top Level Domains (TLD) program by fuelling a more diverse aftermarket. Afternicâs Domain Listing Service (DLS) displays domain names at more than 100 different registrars â including 18 of the top-20. This gives new TLDs registries and resellers the best chance and easiest way to showcase their aftermarket domain names. As an example, instead of choosing a single registrar to sell an already registered name like Pizza.NYC â the name can be offered across the entire DLS network â giving the seller the most exposure and customers the best experience.
âHaving the right domain name is vital, no matter your venture,â said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. âGoDaddy is working to bring the âdomain aftermarketâ together with new registrations and make both super-simple to access. Our customers need an easy way to buy the name they want, regardless of whether itâs new or has been registered previously. This acquisition forms a registrar-led process that creates faster and more trusted transactions across the board.â
DLS gives buyers a more diverse range of results and affords sellers more exposure to customers searching for domain names. A domain name can be listed at a single registrar and also displayed across the registrar network â without any more work from the domain owner. GoDaddy plans to incorporate the DLS into its domain search results and add its aftermarket domain name inventory to the DLS in the coming months.
âThe success of the new TLDs and the aftermarket relies on a tight-knit group of diverse registrars and Afternic has done tremendous work to bring everyone together,â said GoDaddy Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin.
Industry partners Web.com, operator of Network Solutions and Register.com, and Tucows.com fully support GoDaddyâs new registrar-led model. “This is a terrific move by GoDaddy and a real milestone for the domain industry,â said Tucows CEO Elliot Noss. “Making it easier for customers to find, buy and manage aftermarket domain names is important. That is why GoDaddy, Tucows and other large registrars are working together for the industry and for customers.”
Afternicâs Fast Transfer network completes the transaction instantly, and will leverage the full security of GoDaddyâs world-class architecture, without requiring days for a domain name to transfer or having to negotiate confusing industry regulations.
âGoDaddy’s adoption and endorsement of Afternic as the standard for Fast Transfer will accelerate the growth of the domain aftermarket across the entire industry,” said Afternic SVP of Business Development Bob Mountain â who will remain Afternicâs Chief Revenue Officer. âRegistrars around the world are realizing that the aftermarket presents a significant opportunity for revenue growth. GoDaddy’s acquisition and investment in Afternic is a win for registrars, domain owners, and customers, and will provide the necessary scale to grow the aftermarket for years to come.”
âAfternic and GoDaddy share a vision for creating a unified domain aftermarket,â said Kelly Conlin, the Chairman and CEO of NameMedia, Afternicâs parent company. âBy operating Afternic with the interests of the registrars and their customers first and foremost, this transaction not only fulfills this vision, but reinforces that registrars are the very best place to find all available domain names.â
GoDaddy plans to keep the Afternic staff in the Boston area. GoDaddy is also acquiring SmartName, a domain parking service, as well as NameFind, a new service for helping entrepreneurs brainstorm a brand name for their business. NameMedia will continue to operate its BuyDomains.com marketplace of proprietary domain names and its website development group. Conlin will remain Name Mediaâs Chairman and CEO, while also becoming a strategic advisor to the Afternic management team following the acquisition.