Tag Archives: CentralNic

GoDaddy, Tucows, CentralNic Announce Positive Financial Results Benefiting From Global Pandemic

The global COVID-19 pandemic is not hurting domain name registrars, with three of the largest, GoDaddy, CentralNic and Tucows, all announcing financial results to 30 June over the last week showing each company is doing well.

Continue reading GoDaddy, Tucows, CentralNic Announce Positive Financial Results Benefiting From Global Pandemic

CentralNic Acquires Domain Monetisation Company Team Internet

CentralNic Group plc has announced they have acquired the web services provider, Team Internet AG Germany, a leading domain name monetisation services provider, for $48 million ($45m in cash and $3m deferred), with the acquisition expected to immediately benefit the company financially.

The acquisition means CentralNic will become one of the world’s leading providers of domain name monetisation services with a proprietary platform that enables domain name investors to generate recurring advertising income from their assets.

“The acquisition of Team Internet is a natural extension of CentralNic’s domain sales business and a major step in adding domain related web services to CentralNic’s service offering,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic. “It is another web-based recurring revenue business that will be significantly earnings enhancing for the financial year ending 31 December 2020.”

CentralNic has been on an acquisition splurge in recent years having acquired the German/Canadian registrar Hexonet and Ideego, a New Zealand registrar and the Australasian registrar TPP Wholesale, all in 2019. Other acquisitions have included the domain name portfolio of failed discount registrar AlpNames also this year while they acquired GlobeHosting Inc., a leading registrar and hosting provider in multiple markets including Romania and Brazil and the German Key-Systems, KeyDrive, both in 2018 as well as the Australasian instra group in 2015.

Team Internet is based in Munich, Germany, and has been around for 10 years. According to CentralNic’s announcement of the acquisition, Team Internet experienced an increase in revenues in the year ended 31 December 2017 due to the collapse of a competitor. Following a period of rationalisation and focus on retaining high quality customers, Team Internet’s revenues have reduced to levels that are stable and highly recurring in nature. From this revised base, Team Internet has returned to month on month revenue growth in Q3 2019.

Team Internet has approximately 35,000 individual customers signed to rolling contracts to monetise a total of more than 20 million domain names using Team Internet’s proprietary technology for matching domain names with the highest paying advertisers. These contracts earn revenues for Team Internet on a monthly recurring basis with high levels of retention.

The acquisition will add an additional 40 staff in Germany, shifting CentralNic’s critical mass with almost 200 engineering and other staff members based there. Team Internet is an extremely efficient automation-focused company which derives around $1.6m in revenues per staff with CentralNic’s focus being on opportunities to grow the business through CentralNic’s existing global sales and marketing networks and by bundling and cross-selling as opposed to cost savings. The Directors believe that domain monetisation is a service that could potentially be bundled with an estimated 30% of all domain name registrations. This represents a significant opportunity to the Group as CentralNic currently has 18.6 million domains under management as of 30 June 2019.

CentralNic Group Acquires Hexonet

The CentralNic Group announced another acquisition Monday, with the domain name registry and registrar group announcing it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire the German/Canadian Hexonet for up to €10 million. Hexonet comprises Hexonet GmbH, Germany, and Mediasiren Advertising, Inc., Canada, and their respective subsidiaries.

It’s CentralNic’s fourth acquisition in the past 12 months, and is the next step in CentralNic’s strategy to rapidly consolidate the global recurring revenue domain name industry. The Group announced in May its acquisition of TPP Wholesale, Australasia’s leading domain name and hosting reseller platform business.

Other acquisitions for the rapidly expanding CentralNic Group have been picking up the domain name portfolio of failed discount registrar AlpNames in March, acquiring GlobeHosting Inc., a leading registrar and hosting provider in multiple markets including Romania and Brazil in September 2018, the parent company of the German Key-Systems, KeyDrive, in July 2018 and the Australian and New Zealand instra group in 2015.

Hexonet has more than a thousand resellers in over 110 countries, managing over 3.8 million domains on its proprietary software platforms. The acquisition will increase by about 28% the number of domains under management on CentralNic’s reseller platforms.

“We are delighted that the Hexonet reseller platform, expert staff and customers are becoming part of CentralNic, boosting not only our recurring revenues and profits, but also our market share and competitiveness,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic. “Added to our existing capabilities, the Hexonet acquisition makes us the clear global leader, combining two of the most technically advanced global reseller platforms in the domain industry, and the formidable teams that built and run them.”

In their announcement, CentralNic says Hexonet, like themselves, has a high level of recurring revenues and excellent customer retention. In 2018, Hexonet’s revenues were around €16.5 million (US$19.4m), representing a CAGR of 8% on a US$ basis for the two preceding years, with an EBITDA of c.€0.8m (c.$0.9m). Further, CentralNic is filling staff vacancies budgeted at €0.3m ($0.4m) with staff from Hexonet. Integration is facilitated by the close physical proximity of the German operations of CentralNic and Hexonet.

CentralNic in their announcement state they will provide Hexonet customers with continuity of service, while also upgrading the service with new products, with Hexonet’s CEO and CMO remaining with the business under CentralNic ownership. CentralNic will integrate the innovative technical features, its web apps suite and dropcatching capabilities of the Hexonet platform with those of its own Key-Systems platform, to create an augmented domain platform and service offering, to be released in 2020. Further, the Canadian operations provide CentralNic with an enlarged base from which to cover the Americas in general and specifically the important Pacific time zone markets.

What’s That Coming Over The Hill: Is It A .MONSTER? With A .BABY To Follow.

OK, apologies to The Automatic, but it’s come over the hill on 1 April and .monster has now launched its General Availability. It will be followed by another new gTLD relaunch from the people behind .xyz with .baby’s relaunch commencing on 2 April. Both new gTLDs were originally delegated to other parties and subsequently acquired by XYZ.COM.

XYZ.COM now has 9 new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) under their stewardship, with CentralNic providing backend registry services, with over 2.3 million domains under management. This makes them the fifth largest new gTLD registry by DUM. Over 99% of all their registrations is for .xyz, which has almost 2.3 million registrations and is the second largest of the new gTLDs by registration numbers according to nTLDstats.com.

.Monster is being promoted as a TLD for creative thinkers, masters of their craft, and modern-day renegades. The team says .Monster domains are for scary good ideas. .monster was originally delegated to online employment company Monster Worldwide, Inc.

The launch, or rather relaunch, of .baby will see over 50,000 .baby domain names released at standard pricing on 2 April at 14:00 UTC. The list of .baby domains dropping is available here.

The .baby gTLD was originally applied for by 6 applicants, including Google, but Johnson & Johnson won it at auction, paying $3,088,888. This was the ninth highest amount paid to date for a new gTLD at an auction to resolve a contention set but way below the $135 million paid for .web by Verisign, the $41,501,000 paid for .shop by GMO Registry and 25,001,000 paid for .app by Google.

However Johnson & Johnson didn’t ever seem to have their heart in it. After hitting General Availability in April 2016, registrations peaked at around 600 when it seems to have been transferred to the .XYZ registry.

CentralNic’s Ben Crawford’s 2018 Highlight Was KeyDrive Merger, While nTLDs Offer Great Opportunities

Today’s Q&A sees CentralNic’s CEO Ben Crawford open up on 2018 and look ahead to 2019. Crawford’s major highlight and challenge, all rolled into one, was the merger of CentralNic and KeyDrive and re-listing on the London Stock Exchange. GDPR was a “familiar challenge” that exacerbated ‘tensions in the multi-stakeholder governance model’. Looking ahead Crawford sees more mergers and less “old-fashioned role delineations” with private equity groups becoming more involved.

In 2019 Crawford sees fewer new gTLD launches, which may create issues for those relying on continued launches for new registrations, but “a long-term significant market for affordable generic domain names, and the most remarkable fact is that so many industry veterans totally missed the opportunity.” And while the future of domain names is challenging, Crawford also sees “opportunities for using the DNS for the Internet of Things, and blockchain applications.”

Domain Pulse: What were the highlights, lowlights and challenges of 2018 in the domain name industry for you?

Ben Crawford: For us the obvious highlight and challenge was the merger of CentralNic and KeyDrive and our re-listing on the London Stock Exchange as the first industry player to be a world class competitor as a registry, registry backend provider, reseller platform, retail registrar and corporate registrar. We believe the rest of the industry will inevitably follow in moving away from the old-fashioned role delineations, and we see the large number of acquisitions by private equity funds (Dada Group, web.com, Donuts, one.com, etc.) in 2018 as the next step towards significant consolidation.

DP: GDPR – good, bad and/or indifferent to you and the wider industry and why?

BC: As a global company focussed on ccTLDs, we are specialists in working hand-in-glove with Governments – in many cases helping them with drafting of policies and even legislation to situate domains in a framework covering privacy, security, IP protection, etc.. So for us GDPR was a familiar challenge. By contrast it was evident that it exacerbates the tensions in the multi-stakeholder governance model for the internet when certain stakeholders have the rule of law behind them.

DP: What are you looking forward to in 2019?

BC: Delivering even more excellent service to our customers and returns to our investors. From a wider industry perspective, the development of a replacement for WHOIS that works for all stakeholders is a subject close to our heart and our Registry CTO, Gavin Brown is one of the members of the working group that ICANN have pulled together to deliver on the next phase.

DP: What challenges and opportunities do you see for the year ahead?

BC: On the challenge side, there will be very few domain launches, and that makes it tough for companies in our industry who have become addicted to launches to achieve their revenue targets. On the opportunity side, many companies that created spam fatigue among their customers with too frequent new gTLD launch emails may now have an opportunity to recover their most effective form of marketing by building the consumer confidence needed to improve open rates and click rates – GDPR permitting

DP: 2019 will mark 5 years since the first new gTLDs came online. How do you view them now?

BC: As CentralNic Registry is the most successful backend provider for new gTLDs – with over 25% market share and 10 of the top 25 nTLDs – we actually delivered to our investors what they hoped for from the new TLDs. We are happy to see continued strength from .xyz and the Radix domains, as well as strong performances from our clients .icu and .ooo from the moment they migrated to our platform in 2018. There is obviously a long-term significant market for affordable generic domain names, and the most remarkable fact is that so many industry veterans totally missed the opportunity. Meanwhile the DotIndustry newTLDs like .design, .art and .press have strong support from their communities, while others have decided to keep their powder dry waiting for Google and Amazon to do the heavy lifting of building awareness of nTLDs before relaunching.

Similarly as a leading registry back-end provider for DotBrand TLDs, we are seeing a lot of interest in our solutions which allow DotBrand registries to minimise their costs by integrating registry and registrar services with a single provider who is happy to provide true expert advice when they want it at no charge , instead of having pushy sales people hassling them to “activate”.

DP: Are domain names as relevant now for consumers – business, government and individuals – as they have been in the past?

BC: There is no doubt that the tech platforms like Facebook/WhatsApp, WeChat, Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay have done a great job providing SOHO/microbusinesses with tools allowing them to do business online without the need for domain names or their own websites and corporate email addresses. And indeed I believe it has harmed our industry that it is so fragmented that no company has the market power yet to successfully launch domain-based responses to those challenges. Of course, with the backlash against platforms misusing user data and enabling fake news, there is a grassroots movement towards independence from them, which means more people building their own independent websites on their own domains.

There are also opportunities for using the DNS for the Internet of Things, and blockchain applications for domains like those pioneered by .xyz and others. But again history tells us that even if these are the best technical solutions, they won’t win the market share war without the backing of bigger companies.

Previous Q&As in this series were with EURid, manager of the .eu top level domain (available here), with Katrin Ohlmer, CEO and founder of DOTZON GmbH (here), Afilias’ Roland LaPlante (here), DotBERLIN’s Dirk Krischenowski (here), DENIC (here) Internet.bs’ Marc McCutcheon (here), nic.at’s Richard Wein (here) and Neustar’s George Pongas (here).

If you’d like to participate in this Domain Pulse series with industry figures, please contact David Goldstein at Domain Pulse by email to david[at]goldsteinreport.com.

The Year in Review and the Year Ahead From Internet.bs, A Domain Investor Registrar’s Perspective

The latest in the Domain Pulse series of Q&As looking at the year in review and the year ahead comes from a domain investor’s registrar perspective. Today Marc McCutcheon from Internet.bs, part of the rapidly growing CentralNIC group, discusses how CentralNIC’s merger with Key-Systems brought a lot of hard work and some incredible opportunities, GDPR is a good thing, registrars offering below-cost .com domain names is unsustainable, there are too many new gTLDs for investors to make money and domain names will continue to be relevant for the foreseeable future.

Domain Pulse: What were the highlights, lowlights and challenges of 2018 in the domain name industry for you?
Marc McCutcheon: Highlights and challenges are the ongoing consolidation of the industry. Our parent company CentralNIC merged with Key-Systems in the middle of 2018 and that has brought with it a lot of hard work as well as some incredible opportunities. Having access to Key-Systems’ full set of ccTLDs has been a huge gain for Internet.bs and we are currently in the process of adding as many as we can to our offering.

No real lowlights!

DP: GDPR – good, bad and/or indifferent to you and the wider industry and why?

MM: It has been a pain from an operational point of view but I think overall it is a very good thing, I personally would rather not have my data thrown about and stored so it is good to know that some responsibility has been forced on all companies. In reality there has not been much of an impact to any of our customers or us, we have always offered free WHOIS privacy and all we have had to do is make sure that customers are aware if we are passing any of their personal data to a Registry or supplier which is a good thing anyway.

DP: What are you looking forward to in 2019?
MM: Mostly just letting all of the changes from the past year settle in. We went through a transformation last year to bring our website design up to the high standard our service deserves, and I am looking forward to doing some marketing this year and hopefully growing our customer base. A lot of people worked very hard last year and hopefully we will see the benefit of it this year.

DP: What challenges and opportunities do you see for the year ahead?
MM: It is going to be a highly competitive year amongst domain investor registrars next year. Some registrars have been pricing under cost for .com and I expect that this year that will discontinue as it can’t be sustained, so there will be opportunity to gain customers via transfers. With an expected .com price increase in Q4 of 2020 we will be trying to encourage customers to renew for multiple years at the backend of this year so that is an opportunity for us.

I don’t know what ICANN is going to throw at us with respect to accredited privacy providers or WHOIS changes but we are well prepared to tackle anything no matter how horrible!

DP: 2019 will mark 5 years since the first new gTLDs came online. How do you view them now?
MM: I get excited whenever I see one in the wild and I’ll point them out to whomever is with me, they usually don’t care though. It is a bit like that. I think that they are a great branding tool for businesses but there isn’t a lot of money in them for Registrars or Domain investors, there are just too many TLDs.

DP: Are domain names as relevant now for consumers – business, government and individuals – as they have been in the past?
MM: Of course! The internet continues to grow and they are the primary addresses for the content it holds, they’re not going away anytime soon.

Previous Q&As in this series were with EURid, manager of the .eu top level domain (available here), with Katrin Ohlmer, CEO and founder of DOTZON GmbH (here), Afilias’ Roland LaPlante (here), DotBERLIN’s Dirk Krischenowski (here) and
DENIC (here).

If you’d like to participate in this Domain Pulse series with industry figures, please contact David Goldstein at Domain Pulse by email to david[at]goldsteinreport.com.

CentralNic Spreads Its Wings Into Romania and Brazil

The CentralNic Group plc has spread its wings into Romania and Brazil with the acquisition of the business assets of Delaware-based GlobeHosting Inc., a leading registrar and domain hosting provider in multiple markets including Romania and Brazil.

This transaction is CentralNic’s third acquisition in nine months, as it continues its industry consolidation strategy, expanding into key markets that offer significant growth opportunities.

“GlobeHosting plugs very easily into CentralNic’s business operations and enhances the quality of the Group’s earnings,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic. The transaction adds to CentralNic’s access to the Romanian and Brazilian markets, which each exhibit attractive characteristics for sustained growth, as well as taking advantage of the upselling capabilities and economies of scale that CentralNic brings to the companies it acquires.”

GlobeHosting is a recurring revenue business operating as a registrar and retailer of domain names and SSL certificates, and a hosting provider servicing principally the Romanian and Brazilian markets. Its businesses fit comfortably into CentralNic’s Retail and Reseller divisions, two of the four key industry channels alongside Corporate and Registry, all of which are well-served by CentralNic following its August acquisition of KeyDrive S.A. for a maximum consideration $55 million.

The total consideration of €2.56 million comprises an initial consideration of €1.5 million, coupled with a deferred payment of €608k due on the first anniversary of completion and €450k due on the second anniversary of completion. It is 3.0 times GlobeHosting’s revenues of €849k for the 12 months to 31 July 2018 and 6.1 times its EBITDA of €419k.

Romania’s country code, .RO, is undergoing significant adjustment from which GlobeHosting is expected to benefit, with imminent changes to its pricing structure involving all existing .RO users renewing their domains. Internet penetration in Romania is growing with an approximately four per cent increase in 2017. Currently approximately 60 per cent of Romania’s circa 20 million population uses the Internet.

Africa Registry Launches World’s Leading Gateway Solution for Domain Names in Africa

Africa Registry, part of the CentralNic Group, is a leading provider of domain names for Africa since 2005, is delighted to announce a new programme from its gateway service RRPproxy to empower domain name vendors, registrars and resellers in Africa to sell domains using over 1,000 TLDs, and to benefit from a $50 free credit for all new accounts.

As well as offering almost five times more domain name choices than available through other African gateways, Africa Registry’s RRPproxy service enables registrars and resellers to immediately start selling lucrative add-on services such as hosting and SSL certificates – and many more attractive features

To receive an immediate $50 credit, anyone in Africa wishing to upgrade their business selling domain names is invited to register with Africa Registry’s RRPproxy now at:


Africa Registry stated: “African companies selling domain names today or planning to in the future deserve the same range of products and services to sell enjoyed by their peers in Europe, the US and Asia. Africa Registry now provides this service through RRPproxy, the world’s best technical solution for domains.”


About Africa Registry

Africa Registry is a CentralNic (CentralNICGroup.com) brand. CentralNic Group Plc is a London-based AIM-listed company which develops and manages software platforms allowing businesses globally to use the internet for their own websites and email, as well as protecting their brands online. Its core growth strategy is identifying and acquiring cash-generative businesses with annuity revenue streams and exposure to emerging markets and migrating them onto the CentralNic software and operating platforms.

CentralNic operates globally with customers in over 200 countries. It earns revenues from the worldwide sales of internet domain names and hosting on an annual subscription basis.

For more information please visit: CentralNICGroup.com

This is a CentralNIC news release. CentralNIC is the parent company of instra, which is responsible for DomainPulse.com.

More Domain Industry Consolidation as CentralNic Acquires Key-Systems

CentralNic logoThe British-based CentralNic has acquired the parent company of the German Key-Systems, KeyDrive, for $35.8 million it was announced today. The acquisition will see the combined group become the 11th largest registrar globally by generic top level domain volume and will be among the top 5 registry service providers by number of registry clients.

Key-Systems, which his owned by a holding company called KeyDrive based in Luxembourg, includes a number of prominent domain name registrars and related businesses include new gTLD registry KSregistry, Skyway Data Center, nic.saarland, BrandShelter, Domain Discount 24, PartnerGate and Thomsen Trampedach, among others.

“The acquisition of KeyDrive is a milestone for the company,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic. “On completion, the enlarged group will have doubled in size and will have the technology platforms, expert staff, vision and drive to rival the industry’s traditional leaders.”

Alex Siffrin, the founder and CEO of KeyDrive will become Chief Operating Officer of the Company and will also be a significant shareholder.

KeyDrive logo“I am personally excited to be welcoming Alex to CentralNic,” continued Crawford. “His experience, shared values and standing within the industry will be a tremendous benefit to the group and a great addition to the management team.”

According to an announcement from CentralNic, the acquisition represents a reverse takeover under the AIM rules for Companies and is conditional upon shareholder approval.

CentralNic has been on an acquisition spree in recent years having acquired the Australian-New Zealand registrar instra for A$33 million in 2015, the rights to operate the .sk (Slovakia) country code top level domain (ccTLD) and renewed their exclusive wholesaler contract with XYZ.com – the owner of the .xyz new gTLD till 2032, both in 2017.

In 2017, it was reported that “CentralNic’s longer-term vision is to ‘join the ranks of world leaders in its industry, which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies.’”

In the new gTLD business, CentralNic currently provides backend registry services for 48 new gTLDs with over 4.8 million domain names under management making it the second largest by DUM while Key-Systems, through KSregistry, has 27 new gTLDs with over 32,000 DUM, according to nTLDstats. KSregistry mostly has brand new gTLDs hence the lower number of registrations while CentralNic’s include .xyz with 2.048 million, .online (844,000) and .site (499,000) with 8 with more than 100,000 registrations.