Portland-based developer Fly9 launched last week, offering new gTLD registries a broad range of software designed to make it easier to sell domain names.
The company, founded by SnapNames and Afilias alum Ravi Surya, hopes its platform will help new gTLD operators tap into registrars’ customer bases in a soon-to-be-flooded market.
“The problem with new TLDs is they’ll all depend on registrars, but the registrars are all busy selling other things, like hosting, they’re not interested in selling your TLD,” Surya said.
For a start-up, only just coming out of stealth mode, three-year-old Fly9 seems to have an awful lot of products with an awful lot of features, judging by a quick demo we saw last week.
Perhaps most interesting is the core TLD Distribution Platform. It’s a software service designed to plug the gap between the registry back-end and the registrar/reseller and simplify channel management.
The idea is to make it easier for newbie registry operators to leverage registrars’ marketing clout, but without asking the registrar to do a lot of technical integration work.
Say you’ve been awarded .pumpkins by ICANN. It’s a niche TLD and registrars — spoiled for choice in a world of 500 new gTLDs — aren’t exactly clamoring to sign up to offer it.
Fly9’s service would enable you to give these registrars a way to very quickly start selling .pumpkin domains, using their own registrar accreditation and payment systems but using Fly9’s hosted, white-label microsite.
According to Surya, registry managers can use the service to sign up registrars as little as five minutes. Adding branding and customizing the site for the registrar would obviously take longer.
Registries can also elect to use Fly9’s partner registrar, NameSystem, and create a channel of resellers instead.
The Fly9 suite also includes services for handling pre-registrations, sunrise periods, and premium domain auctions and Surya said the service can also handle EPP extensions for restricted gTLDs.
Pricing is based on transaction volume, but the software has already been licensed to two major back-end registry technical providers, which Surya said he could not yet name.
LogicBoxes and Architelos are among those offering software services for new gTLD management, but I’d be hard pressed to think of another company doing precisely what Fly9 is right now.