This week GoDaddy Registry announced it was expanding its registry services with the acquisition of more than 30 new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs), including 28 from Minds + Machines, .club and .design, plus the provision of registry services for .basketball and .rugby and Ally Financial’s branded .ally domain. The move will see the company add over 3 million domains under management to their portfolio, although GoDaddy Registry already provides registry services for .club’s 1.1 million domain names. Upon close of the acquisitions, it will see GoDaddy Registry own, manage or operate more than 240 top-level domains, with more than 14 million DUM.
As the domain name industry matures, a number of smaller companies are being acquired by larger ones. For the company doing the acquiring, it’s mainly about mainly synergies gained through the combined firm. In recent years in the domain name space there has been a significant number of acquisitions by larger companies in both the registry and registrar space with the goal of creating those synergies.
GoDaddy Registry had its genesis as AusRegistry, becoming the ccTLD registry for .au back in 2002, rebranded as ARI Registry Services in 2011 as planning for the new gTLD programme kicked off, was acquired by Neustar in 2015 which then made Neustar one of the largest provider of top-level domain registry services, and was then acquired by GoDaddy to become GoDaddy Registry in 2020.
In the new gTLD space, the acquisitions will see GoDaddy Registry cement its position as the second largest backed registry with 231 new gTLDs closely behind Donuts with 241, while when it comes to domains under management the company will be third behind CentralNic’s 12.978 million and Donuts’ 4.569 million. GoDaddy Registry also provides registry services for a number of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) including .co, India’s .in, the United States’ .us and Vanuatu’s .vu.
“GoDaddy Registry is committed to making more meaningful, memorable domain extensions available to all registrars, so their customers can find the perfect domain names for their business, brand or big idea,” said GoDaddy Registry Vice President and General Manager, Nicolai Bezsonoff. “All three acquisitions support our growth strategy in unique ways by expanding our portfolio of generic, geo-targeted, and vertically-focused top-level domains.”
The move was welcomed by .club in a post on the company blog. “Just weeks away from the 7th anniversary of the .Club launch, we are excited to announce that GoDaddy Registry is acquiring the .Club domain extension. … We pass the torch to the GoDaddy Registry team with full confidence that they are committed to furthering our mission of bringing passionate consumers, clubs and businesses online.”
“We’ve always strived to get .Club domains into the hands of those with the ideas and passion to build their online dream, and as part of the GoDaddy Registry family, a leading brand in the Global Domain Industry, we’re excited that .Club will have the resources and expanded team to continue to fulfill that mission,” stated Michele Van Tilborg, .Club President.
“It seems like it was just yesterday I literally rang the bell to signify .Club domains were available for all to register. It is particularly fitting today that I rang that bell seven years ago from an office at GoDaddy, Inc. as part of our launch events. It is rewarding and exciting to come full circle and see .Club now in the very capable hands of GoDaddy Registry,” added Colin Campbell, .Club Founder and CEO.
Colin added, “We are so grateful to all of our team members who worked so hard to make .Club a success. Jeffrey Sass our CMO, and Dirk Bhagat our CTO who helped launch the domain extension. Michele Van Tilborg who took over as President almost 2 years ago and did an exceptional job accelerating the adoption of .Club. Special thanks to Thomas Campbell, CFO and Jonathan Frost, General Counsel, who both worked tirelessly to support our success. In addition, Nivu Hussain and Abby Xiao Zhang who helped us grow internationally, and of course — the entire .Club team. Thank you all so much!”
Terms of the deals for .club and .design were not disclosed. GoDaddy Registry is acquiring the relevant assets of MMX for $120 million (subject to customary adjustments).
The move will see some juggling of backend registry services. The two sports gTLDs, .rugby and .basketball, operated by the ROAR leadership team, recently chose GoDaddy Registry to support their market launch but registry services are provided by CentralNic, itself a major acquirer in the domain name space and related services in recent years. Another, .ally, has registry services provided by Afilias, while Nominet provides registry services for the Minds + Machines portfolio. The only gTLD that already has its registry services provided by GoDaddy Registry is the aforementioned .club.