Minds + Machines Group, aka MMX, who operates 26 new gTLDs with over 852,000 domains under management has announced it is targeting one million .vip registrations as part of an expansion into Asia.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange MMX reported they have successfully launched .vip into the Chinese market with over 586,000 registrations today, making it a leading gTLD in China as well as one of the top 10 new gTLD's worldwide. Following .vip's success in China, MMX is now looking to target other territories within Asia and is pleased to announce that Japan's leading registrar group, GMO, has commenced marketing .vip into Japan.
GMO accounts for approximately 90% of gTLD registrations in the Japanese market and is an important strategic partner for the Company. Alongside .vip, GMO is also marketing .work, another gTLD in the MMX portfolio.
MMX noted there has been interest from certain new distribution partners in South East Asia and India for certain TLDs within its portfolio and is additionally reviewing its options for extending its retail distribution footprint more widely into these regions.
Within China, MMX reports it is participating directly in the auctions of .vip premium names currently being held by eName, one of the leading registrars in China. Within the first five days of the auction, gross sales of .vip premium inventory released by MMX through the auction has reached CNY1.1 million (approx. US$160,000). The eName auctions will run through to the end of March 2017 and continue to evidence the underlying asset value and popularity of .vip in China.
MMX is targeting global registrations of .vip to surpass one million by the end of 2017.
MMX is additionally progressing submissions to MIIT, China's regulatory body for the Internet, on up to a further eight of its wholly owned TLDs, which (if approved) will allow mmx to target the growing Chinese SME market with its extensions. China currently accounts for over 46% of new generic top-level domain registration and remains a growing and important market.
MMX is also expanding in the US strengthening its distribution and sales channels team with the appointment of a highly experienced new business development director who will focus on further monetisation of MMX's premium inventory across its portfolio of TLDs in North America.
Additionally their .boston new gTLD is scheduled to be released for 'general availability' in September 2017. The Company is working together with its distribution and retail partners to implement a strategy to support the launch.
In relation to the Company's geographic TLDs, mmx is also pleased to report that Heads of Terms have been signed with a distribution partner which the Directors believe should lead to a material increase of registrations in two of the Company's geographic gTLDs over the next twelve months.
“Following the positive progress of 2016 reported in January, I'm delighted that the momentum has continued into 2017,” Toby Hall, CEO of MMX, commented. “Significant progress is being made on a range of initiatives that should deliver meaningful standard name registration growth and awareness across a number of our TLDs in 2017, as well as premium inventory sales which typically benefits the profile of our top-line billings. We are well placed for further future growth and, with operating expenses under control, we look forward to the rest of 2017 and 2018 with confidence.”