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Whois vacuum AppDetex raises $10 million

Kevin Murphy, March 20, 2019, Domain Registrars

Brand protection registrar AppDetex, which counts Facebook as its key customer, has raised $10 million in funding.

It’s the second round of venture capital for the six-year-old Boise, Idaho company. This one was led by First Analysis, with first-round investors EPIC Ventures and Origin Ventures each also taking an extra piece.

AppDetex says it has raised $17.5 million to date.

The company will be best known to registrars and other DI readers for its attempts last year to vacuum up vast amounts of Whois data, post-GDPR, on behalf of mainly Facebook.

The AppDetex WHOIS Requestor System (AWRS) is a semi-automated service that streamlines the process of requesting unredacted Whois records from registrars. I was given a demo last October.

The company came in for criticism for allegedly misrepresenting the results of its initial testing of the system, using the data to lobby ICANN and to market its product.

But AppDetex is apparently not just about the domains. It also offers brand monitoring services for social media platforms, app stores and web sites.

As a registrar, the company had a little over 1,500 gTLD domains under management at the last count, so the new investment is clearly not based upon its prowess as a volume registrar but rather on its value-added managed services.

AppDetex was founded by Faisal Shah (a founder of MarkMonitor) and Chris Bura (previously of AllDomains.com) in 2012.

The company has been closely affiliated with Facebook for some time.

Back in 2016, Facebook acquired RegistrarSEC, a registrar accreditation run by Shah and Bura that at the time was actually doing business under the name “AppDetex”, in order to protect Instagram.com from a Chinese court.

AppDetex has also hired staff from Facebook, and its general counsel is married to Facebook’s head of domain strategy.

According to data Tucows released a month ago, almost two thirds of the Whois requests it received since GDPR came into effect came from Facebook and AppDetex.

OpenDNS raises $35 million

Kevin Murphy, May 15, 2014, Domain Services

DNS service provider OpenDNS has raised $35 million in Series C funding, doubling its total raised capital to date, according to the company.

The laundry list of participating venture capitalists comprised Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, Glynn Capital, Cisco, Evolution Equity, Lumia Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Northgate Capital.

The company offers DNS-based security services for enterprises, such as malware and phishing detection, and content filtering for schools and universities.

CEO David Ulevitch said in a blog post that OpenDNS has over 50 million daily users. Its prices range from $28 t $42 per user per year.

Donuts “almost doubles” $100m funding for new gTLD auctions

Somebody thinks new gTLDs will be a money-spinner.

Portfolio applicant Donuts, which is involved in 307 applications, has just announced a second funding round, greatly increasing its new gTLD contention set war-chest.

(UPDATE: This article originally stated, erroneously, that the funding was to the tune of $100 million. The exact amount has not actually been disclosed. Apologies for the error.)

It follows a $100 million funding round last year.

While the new amount was not disclosed, the deal “almost doubled” its funding, according to a press release, strongly suggesting it’s of a similar amount.

Existing investor Generation Partners and new investor Columbia Partners Private Capital were both involved in the round.

The company announced its first $100 million investment last year.

CEO Paul Stahura said the money was earmarked for new gTLD contention sets, many of which will be resolved at auction, and that “Donuts has further access to additional capital should the need arise”.

In a press release, he said:

We intended from the beginning to secure the gTLDs for which we applied. We enjoy tremendous support from our stockholders and lenders. This was an oversubscribed round that nearly doubles our capacity to compete. Our investors believe as strongly as we do that new gTLDs will bring relevance and specificity to registrants who have few usable choices today for Internet identities. This additional capital supports that belief, and we intend to deploy it to bring new gTLDs to market.