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After Verisign’s sluggish year, ICANN misses funding goal by $2 million

Kevin Murphy, October 4, 2023, 14:34:51 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN’s fiscal 2023 revenue came in $2 million light when compared to its budget, the annual report published today shows.

The Org blamed lower-than-expected transaction fees for the shortfall, suggesting the domain industry wasn’t quite as buoyant as its accountants had hoped.

Funding for the year came in at $150 million against a budgeted target of $152 million.

The period covered is July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, a period in which Verisign — ICANN’s biggest contributor by some margin — repeatedly lowered its revenue estimates from .com and .net sales.

This is not a coincidence. The two outfits’ fates are intertwined. Verisign funded ICANN to the tune of $49.7 million from its legacy gTLD business in FY23, up only slightly from $49.5 million in FY22.

Overall, ICANN said that its revenue from registry transactions was $60 million versus its budget estimate of $62 million, and that registrar transactions revenue was $39 million versus its $41 million estimate.

Other registrar fees and registry fixed fees seem to have come in a bit ahead of budget, and rounding accounts for the fact that the numbers don’t make prima facie sense.

ICANN said its expenses for the year came in $10 million lower than expected, at $142 million, due to lower professional services and personnel costs. Its travel expenses were $2 million more than expected, it seems due to the Washington DC meeting being more expensive than planned.

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