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03|11|2011 01:14 am EDT Partners With eNom, as Parent Company Photon Group “Clear Decks” [Updated]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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Domain Registrar announced this evening that they have partnered with domain name registrar eNom. Emails sent to their customer base (quoted in full below) this evening aren’t exactly clear in what capacity the two companies will be partnering. Fabulous says that the partnership allows them to “streamline and optimize our registrar technology, freeing us to focus on what has been key to our success:- great tools, great support” and that they “continue to remain a wholly-owned business of Dark Blue Sea“.

[Updated/added] A representative of eNom told DNN: “The websites will remain in place and they will be leveraging eNom’s Registrar API technology to operate some of the backend Registrar operations. This shouldn’t effect the way customers do business with Fabulous except it will allow them to leverage some additional TLDs and products currently not offered.

Fabulous’ announcement of Yexa, a registrar reseller software, in the summer of 2010 was an interesting move in to a space that eNom, a Demand Media company, dominates, the reseller business. Enom’s partnership with a potential competitor in that space, leaves one wondering about the specific arrangements. Recent news from Photon Group could also leave one wondering if there’s more to this arrangement as well.

Fabulous parent company Dark Blue Sea (DBS) was acquired by Photon Group in 2009. Photon was in debt at the time and since then their stock hasn’t faired well since. Last summer Photon brought in a new CEO, Jeremy Philip from News Corp who announced that he was going to “clear decks.  With mounting debt and a new CEO at the helm Photon sold four of their online properties.  The company sold in January 2011 and released a statement saying “Photon is examining its search marketing businesses” (of which DBS is it’s largest company) and “assessing the impact of the carrying value of the remainder of the search marketing businesses.”  An announcement on the Photon site [PDF] states, “The Company continues to concentrate on its strategic review and operational improvements across the business.

As of December 2010 Photon had reduced the number of companies owned from 45 to 28 and rumors about a potential sale of Dark Blue Sea have been circulating. DBS referred DNN requests for more information to Photon. DNN has not been able to reach Photon Group contacts..

See a full copy of the email that went out to Fabulous’ customers after the jump.


07|08|2010 04:45 am EDT Launches Yexa Beta for Registrars and Resellers – Exclusive Interview

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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As  Andrew at Domain Name Wire revealed, is going to be releasing a new solution for Registrars and Resellers by the name of Yexa. According to the PDF published on the preview site, that also hosts a sign-up form for the beta of the software, The software is going to allow customers to sell domains, SSL certificates and Hosting.

DNN chatted with Jen Sale about the launch and the features of the new product via Instant Messaging. Read the full interview and learn more about the new product after the jump. (more…)

12|11|2009 02:35 am EDT

Dark Blue Sea Directors Resign As Photon Group Takes Majority Ownership

by Adam Strong in Categories: Acquisitions

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Dark Blue SeDark Blue Seaa [DBS:AX] and Photon Group [PGA:AX] announced today that several DBS board members have resigned.  The director resignations come from Richard Moore, former CEO and most recently Executive Director, Vernon Wills, Chairman of the Board and Joseph Ganim, Director.  Duncan Cornish has also resigned as DBS Secretary.

Photon Group now holds 80.2% interest in shares of  DBS following recent acceptances of the takeover offers. DBS directors had issued a statement confirming their willingness to accept the offer and recommending shareholder acceptance on November 29th.  The takeover offer closes on December 14th.

11|25|2009 10:34 am EDT Appoints Dan Warner as CEO

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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Dan WarnterThis morning, the company that has launched their new services at the Targeted TRAFFIC show in New York, announced that they have appointed Dan Warner as their CEO. Dan Warner was last COO of Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS), parent company of and left that position in April.

“Dan Warner was the Board’s first choice for this position. He is the perfect leader for”, said Anoop Polavaram from the Ashmore Group, “His extensive experience and recognized leadership within the domain industry will be invaluable to the business. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential people in the industry.”

“I was looking for a challenge where I could manage growth and innovation in the Internet industry.  This was difficult to find in a market which has recently focused on reducing head counts, research and infrastructure.  Both Directi and Ashmore have a great reputation and substantial resources. When I was approached by them, I realized the potential of this business. I am thrilled about the opportunity,”  said Dan Warner. “We will be doing the exact opposite of most domain companies. Significant capital, human resources and infrastructure will be used to accelerate internet advertising innovation and design. We expect that many of the other players in the industry will look like they are standing still or going backwards in comparison to our scheduled advancements.”

The press release goes on to say:

Warner has already assumed his role as CEO and is planning to fully launch the business by Jan 2010. Warner leads an initial dedicated team of over 30 people with access to over 500 people as required within the Directi group. Under Warner’s leadership, will focus on advancements in research, innovation and optimization to benefit professional domain owners.

10|07|2009 07:56 pm EDT

Details of the GoDaddy and Dark Blue Sea Deal

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS) has filed a document with the Australian Stock Exchange which shows details of the Domain Distribution Network deal with GoDaddy. GoDaddy had signed a 5 year agreement in 2008 and then canceled it as of August 13, 2009. Yesterday the companies announced that a new agreement had been found.

The new document reveals that the options agreement of the 5 year term contract was tied to performance goals. Go Daddy were issued 6.5 million performance options with an expiry date of 7 June 2013 and an exercise price of 65 cents per DBS share. The announcement continues:

Under the terms of the performance options agreement, Go Daddy is currently able to exercise 1.6 million of the 6.5 million performance options. As the original domain sales agreement has been terminated, the remainder of the options expired. The Company has not entered into a new performance option agreement.

GoDaddy will resume selling premium domains once the new agreement has been implemented. Dark Blue Sea states that it is too early to assess the potential financial implication of the new agreement.

10|06|2009 03:14 am EDT and’s Domain Distribution Network Working Together Again

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Sales

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DDN logo

With the announcement of Photon Group’s take-over move, Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS), parent company of and Domain Distribution Network (DDN) has seen it’s share of headline news in the domain space this week.  DBS announced today, in an investors release (PDF), that they have entered in to a new agreement with Godaddy to market the DBS domain portfolio.

No specific details about the new agreement were released in the statement.  DBS and Godaddy started a 5 year agreement in 2008 whereby DBS was able to market their domains through Godaddy’s sales channel.  However, in July DBS announced that Godaddy had terminated their agreement.  No details were given at the time for the reason. The importance of this relationship was made clear in statements from that release when DBS stated that they believe “the impact of this may have a material adverse affect on future revenue and profit.”  The release also noted “The company has it’s own sales channel that, whist it makes a material contribution to overall sales, is one that the company has not aggressively pursued due to our GoDaddy agreement.”

GoDaddy is one of a number of partners with whom Dark Blue Sea makes domain sales, but clearly from previous statements, Godaddy continues to be an integral part of their distribution plans.  The company also recently announced a distribution partnership with Moniker/ and has ongoing relationships with other registrars including, Tucows/OpenSRS, Network Solutions and Melbourne IT.

[Update] Dark Blue Sea has released more details and information on the contract with GoDaddy.

10|02|2009 01:12 am EDT

UPDATE : Dark Blue Sea Response To Photon Takeover

by Adam Strong in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Dark Blue Sea CEO Gregory Platz has released a statement pertaining to the Photon Group Takeover announcement

The memo advises :

DBS is reviewing the offer documents prepared by Photon and will provide further advise to shareholders in due course.

DBS Shareholders are advised to take no action in relation to Photon’s proposal.

As expected the company informs shareholders that they will keep them informed and that they should reach out to Platz if they would like more information.

10|02|2009 12:21 am EDT

Photon Group Launches Takeover Offer For Dark Blue Sea

by Chad Kettner in Categories: News

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Photon Group Limited,  one of Australia’s largest communications companies representing more than 49 independent specialist businesses, has launched a takeover bid for Dark Blue Sea, the parent company of

Photon, which already owns 30.55% of all DBS company issued shares, is offering 30 cents per share for all of the remaining ordinary shares in Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS).

“Photon believes the bid is an extremely attractive offer for DBS shareholders, representing a 56% premium to the average trading price of DBS shares in the last month,” said Tim Hughes, Executive Chairman of Photon Group.

The only condition to Photon’s offer is that it receives a minimum acceptance of 50.1% and that certain prescribed occurences do not occur before the offer takes effect (click here for details). Dark Blue Sea shares rose 57.5% today to 0.315.

[via Photon Group]

Dark Blue Sea CEO Greg Platz has released a statement at the DBS site.

10|01|2009 03:09 pm EDT

Dark Blue Sea Acquires Australian Drop Catcher

by Adam Strong in Categories: Up to the Minute

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In a Dark Blue Sea press release, the parent company of announced the acquisition of an Australian Domain Name Business — enabling the company to become an Australian domain name reseller and generate revenues in AU dollars to help combat the current exchange rate.

“The acquisition will provide a source of A$ revenue which provides a natural hedge on part of Dark Blue Sea’s currency exposure,” the release said. “Currently the majority of Dark Blue Sea’s revenue and cost of goods sold is denominated in US$ with the majority of overheads denominated in A$.”

The acquisition positions Dark Blue Sea at the forefront of the emerging Australian domain market.

[via Dark Blue Sea]

Update: According to The Australian, the specific registrar was

07|16|2009 07:37 pm EDT

GoDaddy Cancels Domain Distribution Agreement with Dark Blue Sea

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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DDN logoAccording to a filing with the Australian Stock Exchange (PDF), Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS, the parent company of and the Domain Distribution Network (DDN), domain registrar GoDaddy has canceled their distribution agreement. This means that as of August 13th, 2009 GoDaddy is no longer listing domains from their own “Fabulous Domains” portfolio and domains from other sellers under this distribution agreement. According to the announcement GoDaddy has not provided a reason of the cancellation of the agreement and DBS is awaiting some additional information from them. In the meantime DBS plans to emphasize their own sales channel in order to avoid an adverse affect on their sales numbers.

Read the full announcement after the jump. (more…)