GoDaddy made a huge acquisition at the end of February when it made an agreement to purchase the Uniregistry marketplace and registrar as well as the domain name portfolio of Frank Schilling.
In their annual report issued at the end of February, GoDaddy announced that they made two acquisitions, including the South African social content startup Over, for $196.9 million total. They paid $149.1 million in cash and $47.8 million “upon receipt of certain regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions as well as upon the expiration of the contractual holdback period.”
GoDaddy did not purchase the top-level domain name business of Uniregistry. Uniregistry will keep their offices open and employees will stay on.
Schilling created a large domain name portfolio of 375,000 names right after the dot.com bust. He picked up vast numbers of domains when many were left to expire when people lost faith in the value of domains 20 years ago.
The acquisition will bring the GoDaddy portfolio up to nearly 1 million names.
Schilling turned his attention to building the registrar and marketplace Uniregistry after building up his own domain name portfolio. He catered to domain name investors with Uniregistry but found that he would need much more capital and effort to compete with GoDaddy.
After the sale, Schilling is focusing on the registry side of the business. He operates a registry platform, works with other registries, and owns top-level domains such as .link and .tattoo.
However, he stated that he has no plans to rebuild his portfolio of domain names.
What does the deal mean for domain name investors?
- It could mean less competition for expired domains since Schilling will no longer be bidding in domain auctions.
- It also will create less competition in the registrar space. Competition with Uniregistry pushed GoDaddy to innovate and improve service. Less competition may mean less innovation.
- Once Schilling’s inventory is incorporated into GoDaddy, many domains will have affordable “buy now” prices, more affordable than what Schilling may have sold them for.
- Dynadot’s expired domain inventory will flow through GoDaddy Auctions once the deal is finalized.