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Afilias buys three gTLDs from Starting Dot

Kevin Murphy, August 9, 2016, Domain Registries

Registry upstart StartingDot has sold its small portfolio of new gTLDs to Afilias.

.archi, .bio and .ski are the three components of the package.

While the size of the deal was not disclosed, retail prices and zone file volumes suggest the portfolio probably brings in about $2 million a year in revenue.

The biggest seller of the three is .bio, which was originally intended for farmers but its basically unrestricted and has a variety of use cases.

Given the high ticket price — around $90 a year retail — .bio has a surprisingly impressive 14,000 names under management.

.archi and .ski have fared less well, with 3,500 and 6,200 names in their respective zones. Both have premium fees — retailing at about $100 and $60 a year respectively.

Due to the high prices, Afilias gets to call these TLDs “premium”.

.archi is the only one of the three to have registration restrictions — you need to be an architect to get one.

Both .archi and .bio have been available to buy for a couple of years, while .ski’s first renewal cycle is about a month away.

All three sell predominantly through European registrars. Starting Dot is itself based in Paris and Dublin.

The deal seem to have been struck due to Afilias’ we-buy-any-TLD offer, which executives discussed with us a year ago.

Afilias said that StartingDot execs Godefroy Jordan and Stephane Van Gelder will continue to be employed for a transition period.

Another contention battle confirmed as Starting Dot reveals five gTLD bids

Portfolio gTLD applicant Starting Dot is to apply to ICANN for five new generic top-level domains, catering mostly to vertical industries and professions.

The France-based company wants .archi, .bio, .design, .immo and .ski.

The first thing to note is that we now have another confirmed contention set – Starting Dot’s .immo application is not the same .immo announced by Nic.at a few weeks ago.

The word “immo” is apparently an abbreviation for “real estate” commonly used in Germany, France and Italy. The gTLD would be reserved for members of that sector.

The .archi gTLD would be reserved for certified architects. It’s backed by the International Architectural Union, a Paris-based umbrella trade group which represents over a million architects.

The .bio proposal, pitched at the food and agricultural industries, anticipates a semi-regulated namespace, while .design would be open to anyone with an interest in that topic.

For .ski, Starting Dot has partnered with Adrenaline TLD, which originally planned to file for five extreme sports gTLDs, on a joint-venture app.

As I blogged earlier today, Adrenaline founder Rob Rozicki now works for the new gTLD marketing firm DomainDiction, which seems to have signed Starting Dot as one of its first clients.