A community initiative to apply to ICANN for the .app top-level domain is looking for expert assistance and, more importantly, financial backers.
The .app Project sprung up in late June, after ICANN approved the new gTLD program. It hopes to raise a total of $535,000 to support the application, via memberships and sponsorship.
It appears to have been launched and is being coordinated by Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, director of a British mobile software consultancy called AMX Software.
The project’s site, at dotappapp.com, says:
Our aim is to keep the .app gTLD open and accessible such that it becomes an entity that properly support the app software development community, particularly in areas of intellectual property protection.
To raise money for the $185,000 ICANN fee, it’s selling memberships for between $25 and $100, which include a number of “free” .app domains if the application is approved.
It hopes to later raise an additional $350,000 for the technical infrastructure through sponsorship and investment.
I say the project is “ambitious” because I fully expect .app to be a contested TLD with multiple serious bidders that may well wind up duking it out at auction.
The iPhone platform alone already has over 400,000 third-party apps in the Apple App Store, so .app is a string that could potentially be a modest commercial success.