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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.

CitiesPlanet Inks Deal With iDigitalRussia.com to Develop and Launch Over 4,700 .RU Websites

CitiesPlanet.com, the popular domain development platform founded by longtime geodomain industry leader Fred Mercaldo (who was profiled in our March 2013 Cover Story) has just signed the largest development deal in the company's history. Under a new contract with iDigitialRussia.com, CitiesPlanet and Tallwave, the venture development company they partnered with last year, will launch and develop over 4,700 websites, all aimed at the Russian market and utilizing Russia's .RU ccTLD extension

Mercaldo, who also serves as CEO at CitiesPlanet, said, "This incredible portfolio includes many category killer domain names, along with supportive names, in lucrative vertical markets such as insurance, travel, legal, clothing, employment, automotive, food, investments, medical, shopping, technology, jewelry, and many more."

Mercaldo added, "While we have historically been strictly a GeoDomain development and marketing company, we have come to the realization that many of our existing clients also have significant generic portfolios in need of development, and utilizing the expertise that our partnership with Tallwave brings to the table, we have now entered into relationships where these portfolios will support and enhance our City.com brands, and in turn our City.com brands will enhance the generic vertical brands we will be building."

Fred Mercaldo
Founder & CEO, CitiesPlanet, Inc. 

"Tallwave brings the expertise and experience needed to be successful in this space, with the emphasis on the major areas: scalability, content, and monetization.  We are very bullish on the Russian market, and look to have our first group of sites launched in Q3 of 2014," Mercaldo said.

iDigitalRussia Founder & CEO Toby Hardy 
(left) with CitiesPlanet Founder & CEO Fred Mercaldo on a visit to the French Riviera 
(Hardy owns FrenchRiviera.com)

Toby Hardy, owner of Retail Equities, LLC and the CEO and Founder of iDigitalRussia, Inc., is a longtime client of CitiesPlanet with his FrenchRiviera.com brand. Regarding the new contract to develop his Russia-oriented portfolio Hardy noted, “Over the past year, we have quietly been accumulating one of the most comprehensive and complete portfolios of .RU names. All of the research we have done points to explosive growth in the Russian use of the internet and the loyalty and support of the .RU brand (Editor's note: a brand that has gotten tremendous reinforcement from the frequent display of the Sochi.RU URL worldwide on telecasts from the current Winter Olympic Games underway in Russia).  

"We are convinced that our partnership with CitiesPlanet and Tallwave will result in positive results, including the actual partnerships with existing businesses already in the Russian market, who will utilize our strong brand names in each particular vertical,”  Hardy added. The new .RU websites will be presented in both English and Russian languages.

The Tallwave and CitiesPlanet partnership 

is headed up by Tallwave President Dan Boberg who said, “We’re excited to be working with Cities Planet and Toby Hardy on this impressive portfolio of Russian domains. Collectively, these domains provide a significant opportunity for multi-national companies to participate in the dynamic and fast growing Russian marketplace."

In a related note Mercaldo said, “We are getting very close to launching our new software platform for our City.com brands, and this platform will be versatile enough to be able to be customized for City sites that are tourism based, along with those that will be more hyper local. Additionally, we are working with Tallwave to expand the platform to be able to, on a scalable basis, launch generic websites in specific verticals with the emphasis on SEO, content and monetization. This will be the very platform that will power the 4,700 .RU brands, and we are obviously very excited about this opportunity.” 

In closing Mercaldo added, “We have already had discussions with potential partners and ecommerce experts that desire to enter the Russian space. We encourage further discussions regarding potential partnerships as we build this network in one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world. Interested partied can contact Fred@CitiesPlanet.com and/or Toby@iDigitalRussia.com."

(Posted February 12, 2014)

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