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.hiv reserve set at $200,000, revenue so far $83,000

Kevin Murphy, April 24, 2015, 14:26:33 (UTC), Domain Registries

The soon-to-be-auctioned new gTLD .hiv has a reserve price of $200,000, but the registry reckons it’s worth as much as $700,000.

That’s according to auction documents provided by dotHIV Registry to DI today.

The documents also reveal that .hiv has made a profit revenue of $83,000 in its first seven months.

UPDATE: Germany-based dotHIV says now that the reference to “net income” in its prospectus was a translation error. The $83,000 refers to revenue — the top line, not the bottom line. The company intends to update its auction documents “instantly”.

Earlier today we reported that the gTLD is to go under the hammer with Innovative Auctions on June 3/4.

We reported that the gTLD had about 2,000 registrations, but it turns out that number includes about 1,700 registry-reserved names.

The actual number, as of March 31, is 410, of which 345 pay the $179 annual registry fee. Another 63 domains were given away for free to HIV charities for a three-year period.

While this generated a net income revenue of $83,000, registry CEO Carolin Silbernagl confirmed to DI that its contract with ICANN is supposed to require “all” of its profits to be donated to HIV causes.

According to the documents:

Public Interest Commitment binds the TLD to non-profit operations. All excess profit, after the deduction of all thinkable costs and investments, is to be donated to a charitable cause of the owner’s choice.

We have founded and built the .hiv TLD as a tool for positive social impact. To safeguard this vision, the voluntary PIC in the .hiv Registry Agreement binds the owner to invest all excess profit in the projects that support the fight against AIDS.

All this comes at no risk for the registry: Operational costs are covered first. No one expects you to donate if there is no surplus. Costs include the purchase price of the TLD in this auction.

The registry’s documents affirm that the key reason to buy .hiv would be to boost your public image due to “corporate social responsibility”.

The buyer would also get free marketing support from the German ad agency thjnk and free data escrow from NCC Group until July 2017, along with a bunch of software dotHIV uses to manage the TLD.

According to dotHIV, there were 14,000 pre-registrations with registrars prior to launch. Most balked at the high registration fee and did not convert into buyers.

The registry says the new owner could capitalize on some of this interest, growing volumes, by reducing its registry fee.

There are 47 registrars accredited to sell .hiv domains, including Go Daddy.

Premium names sold so far, for between $1,500 and $5,000, include: treat.hiv, test.hiv, cure.hiv, prevent.hiv, magazin.hiv, hivanswers.hiv, prävention.hiv, prep.hiv, vorsorge.hiv.

If dotHIV makes a profit from selling the gTLD, it says it will donate it to HIV charities.

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Comments (10)

  1. Net income is not profit. There is no profit in .hiv so far and probably will never be.

    $83,000 is peanuts compared to how much they have spent so far.

    Is the buyer buying the debt as well?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      The buyer is buying the assignment of the .hiv ICANN Registry Agreement, not dotHIV the company.

      That’s my understanding anyway.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Oh, and “profit” is a perfectly serviceable synonym for “net income” in most contexts.

      • My mistake. I meant “Gross income is not profit.”
        The net income of $83,000 that .hiv claims is actually gross income.
        See. They confused me with this number tampering.

        This is called creative accounting in Greece. Because they can claim that they made $83,000 and move their expenses to a different quarter or something.

  2. I think the issue is the number reported as “net income” is actually gross revenue, right?

  3. Eric Lyon says:

    Very interesting numbers. I actually thought they would shoot for a higher bar and they would have done better by now.

  4. Robbie Birkner says:

    hi Kevin. Any news if the auction was a success or not?

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