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Millions spent on new gTLDs as 11 auctions settled

Kevin Murphy, April 30, 2014, 13:38:51 (UTC), Domain Registries

New gTLD portfolio applicants settled at least 11 new gTLD contention sets last week, sharing the spoils of a private auction that looks to have totaled seven figures in sales.
Applicant Auction carried out auctions for 13 contested strings last week, which I believe lasted at least three days.
I’ve been able to determine that Donuts won six sets, Uniregistry won three and Minds + Machines won two. Radix seems to have lost at least five auctions, walking away with a great big pile of cash instead.

.hosting — Uniregistry won after Radix (which owns .host) withdrew.
.click — Uniregistry beat Radix.
.property — Uniregistry won after withdrawals from M+M and Donuts.
.yoga — M+M won, beating Donuts and Uniregistry.
.garden — M+M beat Donuts and Uniregistry again.
.娱乐 — Donuts won this string (Chinese for “.entertainment”) after Morden Media withdrew.
.deals — Donuts beat M+M and Radix.
.city — Donuts beat TLD Registry and Radix.
.forsale — Donuts beat DERForsale.
.world — Donuts beat Radix.
.band — Donuts beat What Box?

Minds + Machines disclosed this morning that the four auctions in which it was involved cost it $5.97 million.
It’s not possible to work out how much .garden and .yoga cost the company; the $5.97 million figure is net of the money it won by losing .property and .deals, ICANN refunds and auctioneer commissions.
However, it seems reasonable to assume that the average price of a gTLD, even not particularly attractive ones (.garden? Really?), has sharply risen from the $1.33 million I calculated from the first 14 auctions.
In January, M+M raised roughly $33.6 million for auctions with a private share placement. The company is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.
The company said it now has an interest in 28 uncontested applications.
Also today, the Canadian Real Estate Association withdrew its Community application for .mls, but this is not believed to be related to the auctions. It has a non-Community application for the same string remaining.

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Comments (2)

  1. Notcom Tom says:

    While Minds and Machines didn’t come out of the gate strong, no early releases, they are starting to look very promising. The .London press was some of the best we’ve seen. .Garden and .Yoga will appeal to end users that are passionate – which is key to long term success.
    Uniregistry picked up some nice strings in this round too.
    Donuts still going with the string volume approach.
    The prices paid for these strings is telling. I wonder what .app, .art, .shop will go for. We’re going to see some low to mid 8 figures for those marquis strings imo.

  2. JZ says:

    the more money these tlds go for the more reserved, premium domains with higher renewal rates there will be = bad news for the registrant.

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