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April 27, 2015

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Australian Firm Freelancer.com Buys Escrow.com - No Changes Planned for U.S. Based Business

Sundays are usually pretty quiet in the domain world, but Australia's Freelancer.com ( the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing and crowd  sourcing marketplace with  15 million users in 247 countries around the world) dropped a bombshell as the weekend came to a close by  announcing they have purchased (subject to regulatory approval) California based escrow business giant Escrow.com from a private investor for $7.5 million in cash.

Brandon Abbey
President, Escrow.com

The many people in our industry who are Escrow.com clients first got word of the deal Sunday night (U.S. Eastern time) when they received an email from Escrow.com President and Managing Director Brandon Abbey expressing the company's excitement at becoming part of the Freelancer family and reassuring customers that "The company will remain a California based business and we will continue to operate the business as usual and to exceed the high standards that you have come to expect from us."

Shortly after Brandon's email arrived reports and commentary on blogs relaying the news expressed widespread surprise about what seemed to be a bargain basement price for such a well-known and respected company. The best analysis we have seen regarding the $7.5 million paid was posted by Australia's Michael Gilmour that you can read at  WhizzbangsBlog.com (Michael is a domain industry veteran  and who holds an MBA degree 

and runs a well-known domain monetization business at ParkLogic.com). Michael concluded the price was not unreasonable given the financials he reviewed.

Freelancer.com Chief Executive Matt Barrie said, “We are pleased to acquire Escrow.com, the 
world’s largest online escrow company. This highly complementary acquisition will enhance 
the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for 
growth and synergies with core offerings. Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the 
payments space
”. 

Freelancer, a public company with a market cap of more than $460 million ((FLN:Australian Stock Exchange Ltd), had recently raised the money they needed for the cash purchase by selling AUD $10 million (about $7.9 million USD at today's exchange rate) in ordinary shares to institutional investors in an offering that was oversubscribed.

(Posted April 27, 2015)


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