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CentralNic raises $10 million in IPO

Kevin Murphy, September 3, 2013, Domain Registries

New gTLD registry back-end provider CentralNic raised a reported £7 million ($10 million) on its London Alternative Investment Market debut yesterday.

The IPO, which netted £5 million for the company and £2 million for existing shareholders, valued the company at £32.5 million ($50.6 million).

Its float price was 55p per share, but it’s trading at 66p right now.

CentralNic had previously said that it intends to use the money to expand its new gTLD business and to explore opportunities to provide back-end services for ccTLDs.

The company runs .la, has contracts to run 53 gTLDs, and sells subdomains under numerous pseudo-gTLDs such as uk.com and us.com.

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Economist replaces de La Chapelle on ICANN board

Kevin Murphy, September 3, 2013, Domain Policy

ICANN’s board of directors is to see one new member in November, with economist Bruno Lanvin replacing former French civil servant Bertrand de La Chapelle.

The changes were among several appointments announced by ICANN’s Nominating Committee yesterday.

NomCom has decided to keep previous appointees Cherine Chalaby, who’s head of the New gTLD Program Committee, and Erika Mann, the former MEP who now runs Facebook’s Brussels office.

Lanvin is currently executive director of the European Competitiveness Initiative and the Global Indices projects at INSEAD, a business school, but he spent 20 years of his career with the United Nations.

Outgoing director de La Chapelle was France’s Governmental Advisory Committee representative before his appointment to the board in 2010. He, Mann and Chalaby have initial three-year terms ending in November.

It’s not known if de La Chapelle, one of ICANN’s most vocal and active directors, had nominated himself for a second term.

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Only 29 gTLD applications still in IE as 101 pass and nine fail

Kevin Murphy, August 30, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN has published what was scheduled to be its final week of Initial Evaluation results for new gTLD applications.

It was a bumper week for results as evaluators mopped up stragglers that had previously been asked to provide more information via Clarifying Questions. There were 101 passes and 9 failures.

There are still 29 applications without published results. An ICANN spokesperson said that the results for these will continue to be delivered on a weekly basis as usual until all are done.

One hundred and one applications passed. These ones:

.origins .free .banamex .sex .dog .prof .rockwool .weather .farmers .itv .ford .hkt .inc .phd .blog .kid .esq .memorial .ira .art .gmbh .pccw .music .citi .bms .live .game .news .kone .shop .able .llc .frontier .flir .watches .tires .love .dds .ericsson .dunlop .volvo .fujitsu .telecity .movie .fidelity .mutuelle .stockholm .xperia .search .lupin .med .jewelry .kddi .tires .monster .news .lincoln .book .tube .mint .clinique .buy .goodyear .lego .seven .fresenius .richardli .llp .csc .ses .ftr .ikano .gallup .saxo .mutualfunds .baby .progressive .firestone .corp .music .movie .srl .retirement .seat .mba .pars .islam .nowruz .boston .persiangulf .tci .design .rip .sucks .shia .ally .style .halal .hotel .lifeinsurance .shriram

The failures, which are all “Eligible for Extended Evaluation” are:

  • .livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation) — failed on both financial and technical questions. The first I recall seeing to be pushed into EE based on its proposed Registry Services. Also failed a drug test.
  • .unicorn — Scored only 5 out of the required 22 points on its technical evaluation, easily the worst score I can recall seeing. Its back end provider is Gransy sro, a Czech-based registrar.
  • .home (Dothome Ltd) — this is the .home bid Defender Security bought from CGR E-Commerce. The same one that filed all the Legal Rights Objections against other .home applicants. It failed its financial evaluation, but not because it failed to file its financial statements, which is usually the case.
  • .smart (Smart Communications, Inc) — a dot-brand that failed technical.
  • .art (EFLUX.ART, LLC) — failed technical and financial.
  • These applications didn’t provide financial statements, so failed the financial questions: .transunion (Trans Union LLC), .pnc (PNC Domains LLC), .cipriani (Cipirani Hotel), .jcp (JCP Media Inc)

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Donuts signs 12 more new gTLD registry contracts

Kevin Murphy, August 30, 2013, Domain Registries

Donuts today announced that it has signed 12 more new gTLD Registry Agreements with ICANN.

The contracts, which have not yet been published, cover .bike, .camera, .clothing, .equipment, .estate, .guru, .holdings, .lighting, .singles, .ventures, .voyage and .企业, which is “.enterprise” in Chinese.

As of a week ago, the firm has also passed all of its Initial Evaluations, with no failures.

According to the DI PRO database, Donuts still has a total of 300 applications in play, of which 148 are contested.

Another 30 have objections, at least 103 have GAC Advice, and 96 are classified as “uncalculated risk”, all factors that could lead to delay and possibly rejection.

Today’s news mean ICANN has signed registry contracts with at least 16 new gTLDs.

It’s not much by the standards it had set itself — expecting to sign 20 a week by now — but it’s almost as many as it’s signed in the preceding 15 years.

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Go Daddy selling domains door-to-door in India

Kevin Murphy, August 29, 2013, Domain Registrars

Door-to-door sales have helped Go Daddy grow its Indian business by 86%, according to a company press release.

The market-leading registrar said today that the remarkable growth has come since it launched a customer support center in Hyderabad a year ago.

It’s taken 250,000 calls since then, Go Daddy said.

The company also pointed to some unconventional sales techniques:

Since launching on the ground in India, GoDaddy has connected with customers in a very personal way. A prime example is the recent “Cup of Coffee” campaign that demystified the process of leveraging the Internet by providing actual door-to-door demonstrations to show small businesses exactly how to get online. Professionally trained GoDaddy experts and GoDaddy Resellers engaged with prospective clients to demonstrate how beautiful websites can be built quickly. These personalized initiatives have helped fuel GoDaddy’s unprecedented growth.

Go Daddy’s reseller network in India has grown 88% since last year, the company added.

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