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01|28|2011 10:49 am EDT buys ShopWiki for Undisclosed Price

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Acquisitions

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As announced in a press release this morning, has acquired ShopWiki to expand its portfolio of websites that help consumers make informed purchase decisions.

ShopWiki is a international internet shopping comparison search engine which was founded in 2005 and was majority owned by the growth equity firm Generation Partners. The company currently serves 11 countries in North America, Europe and Australia. The sites jointly list nearly half a billion consumer offerings. The acquisition is the first in the consumer retail space for Oversee’s expanding Vertical Markets division, which is further developing the company’s contextual search and comparative results capabilities to create site experiences that help consumers make purchase decisions.

Oversee, which operates successful comparison sites in the travel and financial services sectors like™ and, was attracted to ShopWiki because of its potential to serve as a cornerstone of Oversee’s retail presence. “ShopWiki is the most comprehensive shopping search engine in the market,” said Oversee CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky. “The acquisition is a perfect fit with our ability to apply our expertise in acquiring and managing Internet traffic to improve comparison and buying decisions for consumers.

ShopWiki CEO Rory Cumming was attracted to Oversee for similar reasons. “Oversee provides services for over 10 million domain names and has unique insight into consumer preferences and Internet traffic,” he said. “Through contextual search, consumers who navigate through Oversee’s network of names will see relevant offers more often with ShopWiki.” Cumming will serve as Oversee’s General Manager, Retail, and will continue to run the property from New York as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oversee.

01|28|2011 04:28 am EDT

Fabulous’ Mike Robertson and Jen Sale Resign

by Frank Michlick in Categories: People

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DNN received an email tonight from Mike Robertson and Jen Sale from Dark Blue Sea (aka that they have jointly resigned from their positions.  They will stay on board for a handover period that should end by February 28th. The down-under duo won’t be disappearing from the domain space any time soon though.  They have plans to stay in the space and partner together.

Sale told DNN, “We’ve both had a great run at DBS thanks to our co-workers and especially our clients at Fabulous. We’re really excited about furthering our careers in the space as we explore new opportunities together.

Dark Blue Sea was taken over by Australian company Photon Group in late 2009 . CEO Richard Moore stepped down shortly after the acquisition and later Dan Warner moved on from the company to head

DNN has seen nothing but praise from customers about the quality of support from Robertson and Sale. Many domainers consider them to be the best service and support team in the space.  After 9 years of working at DBS in Business Development and Account Management roles, they have a wealth of experience, contacts and satisfied customers that will surely be invaluable in whatever they do together.

01|25|2011 05:15 pm EDT

Sedo sells for $91,888 USD

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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Highlights include leading .COM sales at 91,888 USD (now redirecting to a Chinese store), (Northern gold in German) leading ccTLDs at 25,000 EUR (appx. $34,000 USD), and leading the other category at 10,000 USD. Other noteworthy sales are for $65,000 (apparently sold to a logistics company) and for $62,000 USD

See the full list after the jump.

01|24|2011 02:39 pm EDT

Richard Lau Purchases from Andrew Moulden

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Tools

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When had a sudden change in its interface at the end of last week, many of its loyal users were surprised. DNN dug deeper and found out that there was also an ownership change behind the scene. The sales price has not been disclosed.

The new owner, industry veteran Richard Lau (who also is co-owner of the registrar) has added some new features to the site as well, allowing users to directly query domain related information at sites like Alexa, and many more. Lau told DNN “As an avid and loyal user of for many years, I am extremely proud to carry the mantle as the new owner of

Andrew Moulden had established in December of 2004 with the aim to provide a secure way of looking up domain names – the site quickly gained popularity after it was mentioned on a private forum and many of its early users (including the author of this article) have remained loyal to the site. While the method of lookup has now been changed to use the DomainTools whois API, the site will remain free of any front running activities. Richard Lau also is a member of the advisory board to DomainTools. As Moulden told DNN, “it was a condition of sale that there would be no front running.

The current trust policy states:

  • We do not monitor searched domains at iWhois that are available for registration.
  • We never access or extract such data from our server logfiles. These are emptied daily.

Lau added: “I have been running registrars since 2000 and have never engaged or enabled front-running and renew’s commitment to no front-running whatsoever.

01|19|2011 01:17 pm EDT

DNN’s Frank Michlick joins Left of The Dot Media as CTO

by Adam Strong in Categories: People

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As announced in a press release today, DNN’s managing editor, Frank Michlick, has joined Left of The Dot Media, Inc. as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. He will continue his work at DNN.

From the Press Release:

Left of the Dot has developed a platform to enable premium domain name holders to lease sub-domain inventory to small businesses, creating significant new, recurring, revenue streams for the domain holder. The monetization service leases these “Marketing Names” along with a fully-equipped, ecommerce-ready website to small businesses giving them a highly-brandable web presence. An early example of such an implementation is the generic domain name that is presently under development by the company. At this website, villa owners and agents can lease premium sub-domains, such as,, or For many of its domains under management, Left of the Dot builds out the entire website for the generic domain name, converting the once parked page into a real and sustainable web business.

Said Left of the Dot co-founder, Chris Jensen: “I am delighted that Frank has agreed to become our CTO. We were looking for someone to drive our technology hand in hand with our rapidly growing business; Frank brings a skill set and business understanding that few people in the world can match. Not only does he possess a great technology mind, strong character, and immense passion, but his knowledge of Domaining, domain registrars, and the entire domain ecosystem is second to none.”

Frank Michlick, best known within the domain name industry as one of the founders and lead contributors for Domain Name News, began to work with Internet technology in 1993 and registered his first domain name in 1995. His company, CyberTeam, helped many big European brands build their first internet presence. From 1997 to 2000 he worked to shape one of the biggest German Internet Service/eBusiness providers. During his 5 years at the largest wholesale registrar (Tucows/OpenSRS) he enabled many domain name portfolio owners, registrars, hosting companies and resellers to better manage, monetize and grow their domain names. Most recently, Frank’s entrepreneurial pursuits led him to found DomainCocoon, which provides services in the areas of domain name management, custom registrar creation, and ICANN & ccTLD accreditation consulting.

“Like many Domainers, I learned about Left of the Dot when the company was pitched successfully during the Test Track event at the June 2010 T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in Vancouver. When I learned that the company was seeking a CTO and technology evangelist and spoke in detail with them, I knew that the company was the right fit. Together, we have an opportunity to create something special and unique for the domain industry while building something of lasting value. I look forward to the adventure and journey ahead.”

01|18|2011 09:17 pm EDT

Sedo Domain Sales for Week 2 of 2011

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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This week’s sales report includes the following highlights:

  • leading .COM sales at 44,000 USD,
  • (all cars in Italian) leading ccTLDs at 33,600 EUR (appx. 45,000 USD), and
  • leading the other category at 10,500 EUR (appx. 14,000 USD).

We are still waiting on clarification from Sedo ifthe sale of was a website or a domain.

See the full list of reported sales after the jump.


01|18|2011 05:06 pm EDT

Afternic Reports Domain Sales, Biggest Sale:

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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Here are the latest reported Domain Sales from Afternic for week two of 2011.

Six reportable domain names that sold at the 5-figure mark, led by which sold to Mid-America Apartment Communities, a publicly traded REIT, for $63,000. They had been (are are still) using In a very fitting sale for this week’s US holiday, Martin, Luther King Day, sold for $42.500. The name, now owned by the Hussman Foundation features a mini-site that states that it is still under construction and that “is non-profit service project in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”.

24 dozen reportable domain names sold above $5,000 USD and more than 100 reportable domain names sold above $2,000.

See the full list after the jump. (more…)

01|18|2011 11:37 am EDT

NameDrive Restructures, Receives Investment

by Frank Michlick in Categories: PPC industry

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Apparently, the news is not just that James Tuplin, the Director of Operations, in the UK is leaving NameDrive, as The Domains reports, but there’s bigger things happening. The first hint at this came from a rumor posted on Facing The Absurd in October 2010 during DOMAINfest Prague stating that KeySystems is buying NameDrive. Back then, when DNN contact the involved parties about, they unofficially confirmed they were talking, but it looked like there was no deal in sight.

Things may have changed. As DVMag reports (in German), NameDrive has now relocated from Cologne to Luxembourg, as per the company’s website.

About NameDrive - from

DVmag goes on to say that the people that continue to work for the company have already been working in Luxemburg. Another interesting note is the new General Manager of the company, Michael Riedl.

According to his profile on the companies’ website, Michael Riedl has been the “Investment Director” and “Secretary of the Investment Committee” at BIP Investment Partners since 2008. NameDrive apparently has become part of the BIP Investment Partners portfolio. He’s also part of the board of Key-Systems and was one of the speakers at the Meet Domainers event in Poland held in August 2010. BIP has invested in EuroDNS, Key-Systems and Domaininvest amongst other companies, such as the broadcaster RTL group, where BIP holds an investment of 58 million € and 9.4 million € in Shell.

  • Key-Systems: 6.8 million € for a share of 33.33%, placing the company value at 20 million € at the time of the investment.
  • EuroDNS S.A. 6.4 million € for a share of 20%, placing the company value at 32 million € at the time of the investment.
  • DI S.A. (formerly known as Domain Invest): 2.5 million € for a share of 9.91%, placing the company value at 27 million € at the time of the investment.

BIP is publicly traded at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and recently saw its price increase from 50 € to over 60 €.

NameDrive followed up with an email to their parking publishers and is promising additional information – read it after the jump. (more…)

01|14|2011 04:41 pm EDT

GoDaddy Issues Close to 50% of all Net New SSL Certificates

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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According to a report issued by Netcraft Ltd., a leading industry analyst, Go Daddy now issues approximately 50 percent of net new SSL certificates.  The report also cited “strong progress” for Go Daddy’s Extended Validation SSL certificates, which more than doubled in market share over the past year, rising from 4.2 percent to 9 percent.

“It’s almost laughable! Symantec, who purchased VeriSign’s SSL division, boasts about how they’ve ‘slashed‘ prices, but their cert is still three times the price of a Go Daddy cert,” Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons pointed out. “Our certs do the same thing, plus Go Daddy’s world class service is every bit as good as their paid service and unlike theirs, our telephone service is available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Of course our market share is growing!”

Certificates Market Share 2009 Report By Netcraft

Certificates Market Share 2009 Report By Netcraft

[via Press Release]

Please see our Editorial Commentary by Frank Michlick after the jump.


01|14|2011 04:14 pm EDT

The .ORG Registry, PIR, Names Brian Cute CEO

by Frank Michlick in Categories: People

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Brian Cute.ORG, The Public Interest Registry (PIR) — manager of the world’s third largest generic top-level domain — today appointed Mr. Brian Cute as chief executive officer. With more than 12 years of experience in the Internet and communications industry, Mr. Cute will assume his leadership position on February 1, 2011.

Prior to joining PIR, Mr. Cute served as vice president of discovery services for Afilias, the registry operator for the .ORG domain. Cute had management positions in both a leading domain name registrar, Network Solutions, as director of policy, and a leading registry, Verisign, as vice president of government relations until 2003. He has led initiatives on wait-list service, private domain registrations, the elimination of Bulk WHOIS, and numerous other ICANN policy matters.

“As Chairman of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team at ICANN, Brian has constructively advanced the ongoing debate of getting the Internet industry to function more explicitly and effectively. We at PIR are pleased to have him on board, and we look confidently towards a future in which PIR will continue to step up in the public interest.“said Maarten Botterman, chairman of the board and interim chief executive officer.

Cute is replacing Alexa Raad, who had resigned from this position last year effective September 24th, 2010.

[via Press Release]