Tuesday the 31st of January was my final day of being a domainer / domain investor in the Aussie market. I wrote about that in an article entitled “End Of The Road”. Back then I hinted that something was in the wind!
“Another opportunity has been presented to me, and I intend pursuing this with vigour. More on this at a later time.”
Some big news that I can at last officially share. As from later today, I start a new business life – and it’s one that I’m extremely excited about. I haven’t been able to discuss it up until now, because I only received regulatory approval three days ago.
I’m going to the “dark side” – through a new company, I’ve purchased the three Aussie registrars owned by Dark Blue Sea (in a share sale agreement). These are: Drop.com.au; Fabulous.com.au and Yexa.com.au. There are also several other domains. Fabulous.com is not included in the sale.
The purchasing process was made much easier thanks to some of the DBS crew – particularly Cam in the first instance; then Brendan and Subhash (from Enero).
I’m really pleased that Cam and Katherine are remaining on board to provide customer care at Drop. They are both the nicest (and helpful) people that I have had the pleasure of dealing with over the last 8 years +.
So for Drop customers, nothing will change operationally. You will still manage domains, payments and email support exactly as you always have.
And I am now a further point of contact. You can always email me about anything.
In Australia, you can’t be both a registrar and a domain investor (auDA policy). So I had to go through a big process of proper legal separation – particularly given that companies I formed and grew were large portfolio holders of domain names.
As I wrote back in January, my son Luke has taken over these companies, and his mission is to gradually sell down the portfolio of around 5500 domains (and not buy any more).
auDA has got a lot of “new brooms”, and so these applications for Change in Effective Control under the Registrar Agreements were thoroughly scrutinised. Suffice to say, it took a long time to get the approvals – and I had to make formal undertakings that no previous applicant in a similar situation had to. But I’m not complaining. I accept that auDA had to do this; and all interested parties can feel confident that everything has been done by the book. I’d like to extend my thanks to Rachael Falk at auDA (Director Technology, Security & Strategy) for the professional way she dealt with everything.
I also want to thank Anthony Peake from DomainShield who has been incredibly helpful along the way.
What Does The Future Hold?
I’m going to write extensively about this over the next week, but in the meantime, here are the bullet points.
- Become a domain investor friendly registrar with excellent customer service;
- Explore ways to return Drop.com.au to its former position of dominance in the drop-catching area;
- Build an Aussie aftermarket that will be second to none (already in planning stage);
- Re-introduce selected aftermarket listings into the daily drop auctions;
- And lots more …
Having been a successful domainer / domain investor for many years, I know what is required!
This won’t all happen overnight, so please be a little patient. There are some wonderful times ahead. Enough to keep an old bloke motivated. 😉
For The Record
I don’t resile from any of the previous opinions I have expressed on this blog. Particularly in relation to direct registrations; and my belief that the registry contract should go out to tender later this year (as was previously agreed to by the auDA Board).
Obviously, as a registrar, I’m going to potentially benefit if and when direct registrations are introduced. But I am still of the belief that they are not necessary given the current size of our .au marketplace. I also still hope (and do trust) that auDA will properly consult with as many registrants as possible before they decide whether to actually implement direct registrations – and in what manner they intend to do so.
Given that I will be a registrar later today, I am limited under my registrar agreement as to what I can say and do. So please don’t expect me to go on a crusade – I need to concentrate on running my new business. Having said that, Domainer always welcomes relevant guest articles – and I extend the invitation again to anyone who wishes to express a non-defamatory point of view about anything domain name related.
Happy to hear what you think! And if you have any questions, please fire away.
Until tomorrow …
Ned O’Meara – 2nd February 2017