Mesh Digital, owner of the Domainmonster and Domainbox registrars, has been acquired by rival/partner Hosting Europe Group for an undisclosed sum.
Operating mainly in the UK and Germany, the buyer says it is the largest privately owned hosting company in Europe, already the owner of large registrars including 123-reg/Webfusion, a Mesh reseller.
“They’ve been a technology partner of ours for some time with the Domainbox product, so it’s the logical partner for us,” Mesh CEO Matt Mansell said.
“Our focus isn’t on hosting,” he added. “They’ll bring a good range of hosting and software-as-a-service products to our customers and we’ll bring good domain services to their customers.”
Mansell will join Host Europe as head of domain strategy.
The fact that new gTLDs are expected to launch next year was not a particular driver of the deal, he said.
With its new acquisition, Host Europe will have five million domains under management, according to the company.
Mesh, based in Godalming, UK (it’s 30 miles away and I’ve never heard of it either) has 15 employees and turnover of about $5 million, Mansell said.
DomainMonster has announced that it’s the first UK-based domain name registrar to get a .co accreditation.
The partnership comes as .CO Internet expands its registrar channel beyond the initial 10 that were approved when it launched a year ago.
The registry announced in April that it would add 20 new registars over the next 12 months.
DomainMonster has been selling .co domains as a reseller of Colombian registrar Domino Amigo for the last year.
The company says did a pretty brisk trade on the first day of .co availability, securing more .co names in the first 10 minutes than any other registrar, with a 90% success rate.
I’ve heard from a few places recently that Go Daddy may have even asked DomainMonster to submit launch-day registrations on its behalf.
The company also has a new reseller platform of its own, DomainBox, which will also make .co domains available to partners.
DomainMonster plans to charge between $75 and $300 for .xxx domain names, a fair bit cheaper than the only other registrar to so far disclose its prices.
A single .xxx domain will cost $99.99, dropping to $89.99 and $74.99 if the customer has more than 10 or more than 25 items in their cart when they check out, according to CEO Matt Mansell.
DomainMonster’s pricing scheme offers discounts on all products – including non-domain services – when more than 10 are purchased at the same time, and this will also apply to .xxx.
For trademark holders wanting to register or block their names during the sunrise period, the company will charge $299.99, $289.99 and $249.99, all but $50 of which is non-refundable.
Grandfathering prices for existing porn sites without trademarks will cost $199.99, $179.99 and $149.99, with the same non-refundable component. Landrush fees will be the same.
The only other registrar I’m aware of to announce prices so far is Key-Systems. Regular .xxx names will cost $133 there, with landrush names checking in at about $250.
ICM Registry, the .xxx manager, will charge $60 for domains during general availability. I hear through the grapevine that its fee to “block” a trademark for 10 years is $162.
According to ICM, the ratio of pre-registered domain names to registrants works out to between 20 and 30 names per person, so it’s seems possible DomainMonster’s volume pricing has a market.
About 60 registrars have been approved to sell .xxx domain names so far.
DomainMonster has become the latest registrar, the first in the UK, to announce support for ICM Registry’s upcoming .xxx porn-only top-level domain.
The company said it has been accredited by ICM, and that it will start taking pre-orders for the domains on its Domainbox reseller platform soon.
I’m not sure if any have been officially accredited yet — no .xxx registrars show up on ICANN’s offical list.
DomainMonster CEO Matt Mansell said: “We anticipate the .XXX launch to be the biggest we’ve seen in recent years. The demand our support teams are seeing already far outstrips anything that’s gone before.”
ICM has previously projected somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 registrations after launch. It took around 600,000 pre-reservations in the few years before it was approved by ICANN.
Getting .xxx accrediation is said to be quite a lengthy process. Registrars have to answer 14 detailed questions, including agreeing to abide by ICM’s policies and detailing how they plan to promote the domains.
You’ve got to admire the cojones on Domainmonster, an upstart registrar from the UK.
In a delightfully hyperbolic press release out today, the company reveals it is “the world’s largest new domain name supplier” and compares itself to Go Daddy.
Because I think it’s funny, I’ll post the meat of the press release before de-constructing it. (continue reading)