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June 27, 2016

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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.

Castello Brothers Sell Rate.com for $725,000 After Broker Kate Buckley Finds the Perfect End User

In one of the five biggest domain sales reported so far in 2016, the Castello Brothers (Michael and David, founders of the Castello Brothers Internet Network) have sold Rate.com to online mortgage broker GuaranteedRate.com for $725,000. The sale will be added to our YTD Top 100 Sales Chart tomorrow evening when our latest weekly domain sales report comes out - most likely with Rate.com at the top of it). The deal was brokered by Kate Buckley, Principal/Founder at the Buckley Media Group.

Sales involving corporate buyers at this level are typically subject to non disclosure agreements, 

but CCIN President & CEO Michael Castello refused to accept one (just as he did in his $3.1 million sale of Whisky.com two years ago). Michael believes it is in the best interests of the industry for people to see how premier domain names are being valued by end users. 

Kate Buckley
Buckley Media Group

Rate.com has an interesting history, one in common with many of the category-defining one-word .com domains in the CCIN portfolio. Ms. Buckley detailed it for us noting "The Castello Brothers acquired Rate.com in 1997 when Network Solutions started retroactively charging $100 for a two year registration (1995-1997). Prior to this point, registration was free. Many of the original registrants refused to pay the fee, so some of the best names dropped that summer and the Castello Brothers were waiting."

"Michael was aware of a "seven day cache" for new registrations and starting pumping his registration requests for names like Rate.com every hour for seven days prior to the expiration date. They all started dropping the next week and the Castello Brothers secured most of their portfolio in a few days." 

Kate added, "The Castello Brothers always used Rate.com as a mortgage lead generator. Michael also had the idea of developing it as a rating portal like Yelp, but that would have been a huge undertaking. Given the available options, they opted for the low hanging fruit of strong cash flow via lead generation—which did very well for them for many years."

Michael Castello told us, "Rate.com is a great brand that will now be marketed by one of largest up-and-coming mortgage firms. This sale will help the whole domain name industry at a time when we do not see a lot of high end priced sales. Great names need to be with great companies and after 20 years of ownership, Rate.com has now found the perfect home. I look forward to seeing it advertised and marketed on a grand scale by Guaranteed Rate.”

We asked Ms. Buckley for more details on how she went about bringing Rate.com and Guaranteed Rate together. "For me, effective domain brokering is one part brand strategy, one part sleuthing and one part matchmaking. When I begin brokering a name, I start by identifying how end users would most intuitively use the name and then work from there. Most people, when they hear, Rate.com, immediately think mortgage rates, so I started there. I made a list of top national lenders who would benefit from acquiring a branding juggernaut like Rate.com and then started researching their current branding and growth strategy—that’s where the matchmaking comes in."

Michael Castello
President, CEO & Co-Founder
Castello Cities Internet Network

"I pride myself on brokering deals that benefit all parties concerned, and it’s important to me to match the right name with the right company. I knew, based on Guaranteed Rate’s growth, positioning, branding and commitment to innovation, that they would be the best possible acquirer of Rate.com - and here’s one major reason why - regardless of any branding they’d done in the past, Guaranteed Rate was not an optimal name for them to continue to scale and disrupt for one major reason—most people can’t spell "guaranteed.” Rate.com is so instantly memorable that it will impact their bottom line immediately. And they got that. Their CEO and CMO are smart, passionate, innovators and immediately saw the value in acquiring a premium category-defining domain like Rate.com. They were a pleasure to deal with, and all parties are extremely pleased with the terms of the deal," Kate concluded.

One other note today, THE Domain Conference, that will be returning to the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their 2016 show September 10-14, has released a new 

promotional video in which 10 well-known figures from the domain industry (including Michael Castello) give (David Letterman style) the top 10 reasons to attend the event. You can check  that out below:


(Posted May 31, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

The 2016 Domaining Europe Conference Gets Underway in the Netherlands with a .Com Day

Most Americans are off work today observing Memorial Day - a day when we pause to honor and remember the brave men and women who died while serving in our country's armed forces. For the rest of the world it was the start of another work week and in the Netherlands it was the first business day at the 8th annual edition of the Domaining Europe conference. 

The event got underway with informal networking at the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus in The Hague last night. This morning the formal business sessions began in what was billed as a ".Com Day". The closing day of the conference tomorrow will be a "Not .Com Day" that will focus on the hundreds of new TLDs that have been introduced over the past two years. 

Above: Domaining Europe conference Founder Dietmar Stefitz welcomed attendees to the 2016 Domaining Europe conference this morning. 

Below: A view of the audience. Dietmar said attendance at this year's show is up strongly. This is his first show in a new location after staging the first seven events in Valencia, Spain. Both of these photos are from attendee Dimitar Tashev who traveled from Bulgaria for the conference.

Above: Moderator Braden Pollock (far left) conducting a panel discussion about 
domain parking
during today's .Com Day at Domaining Europe (photo from Dietmar Stefitz).

Below: In another session Braden talked domains with a panel that included several veteran investors (left to right after Braden are Frederick Schiwek, Christoph Gruneberg, Hennie 
Groot Lipman
and Michael Bereslavsky.  (Photo from Christoph Gruneberg).

Above: Attendee Marc Stepken posted this view from his seat on Facebook today during 
one of the 13 business sessions on the Monday agenda. This evening Verisign 
hosted a gala dinner for show goers at the Catch Restaurant

Tomorrow the spotlight shifts to new gTLDs for Tuesday's Not .Com Day. Another highlight will be Domaining Europe's first ever domain auction that will be conducted by Undeveloped.nl. That event, scheduled to run from 5pm-9pm local time will close the show.

(Posted May 30, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Giant INTA Conference Brought Domain Innovators to Orlando and Put Some Into Orbit

The 139th annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) ended today in Orlando with over 10,000 attendees from all over the world on hand for the five-day event. Many domain industry companies had  representatives at the show - several of whom were featured speakers - with new gTLD registries having an especially high profile. One of those operates a domain with special appeal to trademark interests - Dot Trademark TLD Holding Company of China, who runs the new . extension (pronounced  .shangbiao) - which is the Chinese equivalent of .trademark. It is the first TLD in the world that requires a trademark before you can register one of their domains.

Domain industry veteran Ken Hansen, who is Dot Trademark's Senior Advisor, International, told me, "Chinese brands and consumers view . as an online trademark symbol, and a means of easily finding authentic trusted brands online.  7,000+ brands including global companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Rolex, Facebook, Lacoste and Yahoo have registered their . domain name." 

Dot Trademark President Walter Wu (based in Beijing) and Head of Policy Dennis Cai (based in Hong Kong) joined Ken at INTA. In addition to the work they did on behalf of their TLD throughout the week, they invited some 85 guests to a private tour and dinner at the Kennedy Space Center last night (Tuesday, May 24, 2016). My wife Diana and I were among their guests so I took the opportunity to take some photos to share with you. 

(L to R): Dot Trademark TLD Holdings executives Dennis Cai, Walter Wu and Ken Hansen welcomed guests to dinner at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday night.

Below: A scene from the Dot Trademark dinner where Walter, Dennis and Ken 
filled their guests in on the background and benefits of the new .商标 (.trademark) TLD. 

Above: Guests at the Dot Trademark dinner and tour of the Kennedy Space Center came from all over the world (with an especially large representation from China). Familiar faces from our industry included Howard Neu (attorney and Co-Founder of THE Domain Conference) at left, and 101Domain's Joe Alagna (center) with Greg Shatan (McCarter & English, LLP).

The dinner capped an evening that had begun with an awe inspiring private tour of the Kennedy Space Center that began shortly after our buses arrived about 6pm (it was a one-hour trip from the Convention Center in Orlando to the Space Center, located on  Florida's East Coast). It was my first visit there in well over 20 years and the Center has grown dramatically since then. A series of expansions has produced a world of space wonder that could easily keep you busy and enthralled for an entire day. 

The star of the show is the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the amazing craft that flew 33 missions - the last in July 2011. Those trips comprised 4,844 orbits of the earth which works out to over 126 million miles! The first thing we saw when we arrived were the giant booster rockets and fuel tank at the entrance to the Atlantis building. Our group must have snapped 126 million photos there alone!

Massive booster rockets and fuel tank at the entrance to the Atlantis Space Shuttle exhibit at Kennedy Space Center.

Above: Dot Trademark guests get their first look at the 
Space Shuttle Atlantis that now resides at the Kennedy Space Center

Below: A view from the opposite end of Space Shuttle Atlantis. 

Above: Among the many interactive exhibits at the Kennedy Space Center is this scale model of the Space Station (adjacent to the Atlantis) that you can crawl through yourself (as many in our group did). This model is 3/8ths the size of the real thing.

The Dot Trademark guests, especially those visiting the Kennedy Space Center for the first time, were completely awestruck. There is so much more to see and do there that is beyond the scope of this article but if you have a chance to go, by all means do it.

While everyone appreciated the special evening they were treated to, I was especially impressed to see Misters Wu, Cai and Hansen visit every table after dinner to personally thank their guests for coming. It's the kind of gesture the Chinese are known for but it is still very  moving to see hosts honor their guests in such a respectful way.

Speaking of thoughtful people, Barbara Neu (Co-Founder of THE Domain Conference) wanted to give Ken (who invited most of the U.S. guests) a special thank you in return. She learned that the Space Center Gift Shop had only one set of NASA cufflinks left - the pair in the display case - so she bought them and gave to Ken after dinner.

Barbara Neu gives Ken Hansen a special set of cufflinks 
after dinner at the Kennedy Space Center.

Ken Hansen's new NASA cufflinks. Barbara hopes they will remind him of how 
appreciative Dot Trademark's guests were for their evening at the Kennedy Space Center.

(Posted May 25, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

1st Domain Startup Summit Posts Conference Agenda and an Impressive Lineup of Speakers

In early April I told you about a unique new one-day conference coming to Santa Monica, California on July 30, 2016. The Co-Founders of the Domain Startup Summit, Jason Thompson and Dwayne Walker, have been very busy since then, putting together an ambitious agenda and an all-star line-up of speakers for their debut event at the Cross Campus startup center.

You will find photos and bios of 20 featured speakers on the conference's home page (scroll down to Speakers section) including Uniregistry Founder Frank Schilling, Jeff Sass (CMO at .CLUB, the event's premier sponsor), .XYZ 

Jason Thompson and Dwayne Walker (right)
Domain Startup Summit Co-Founders 

Founder Daniel Negari, Fashion Metric Co-Founder Morgan Linton and Angel Investor Braden Pollock, to name just a few that are well-known in the domain industry. They will joined by leaders in the startup world - bringing together two key Internet communities for a networking event designed to facilitate new business relationships.

The business day will run from 9:30am to 6pm, followed by a Closing Reception and Networking Event in the evening. The first session will be Bootstrapping Your Startup: Alternative to Outside Funding led by Bill Karamouzis (TeachMe) and Michael Cyger (Web X.0 Media). Ten more sessions will follow including a noon keynote speech from David Ehrenberg, the CEO at Early Growth Financial Services, called Startup Fundraising 101. The agenda includes two Pitchfest sessions that will give up startup founders a chance to put their ideas in front of a panel of judges and an astute audience that will pick the ones they think are best positioned for success (and perhaps even make an investment in those enterprises).

Registration for Domain Startup Summit is also open now.  Early bird ticket prices are $199 until June 10th. After that the cost will be $249 until the day of the event when tickets will be $299 at the door.

(Posted May 24, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Life is Better at the Beach! Flippa & Domain Holdings Unveil New Brokerage Office in Florida

All of the domain brokerage companies have one thing in common - they want the best brokers in the business working for them. That means having to make a convincing case in the competition for sales talent. Flippa and Domain Holdings just added a powerful weapon to their recruitment arsenal - a brand spanking new office in an exceptionally attractive location. Now their compelling pitch goes like this - "Looking for the perfect work-life balance? Imagine working for an innovative internet company in the heart of a boutique beach town..." That attractive proposition is a dream they are positioned to turn into reality.

Popular digital asset marketplace Flippa, who bought DomainHoldings exactly one year ago, is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and also has a U.S. office in San Francisco. However, they decided to relocate the entire domain brokerage team (under the Domain Holdings banner) to a custom built new office in the heart of Delray Beach, Florida. The new digs are six blocks west of DH's former office on trendy East Atlantic Avenue.

Michelle Miller, who heads up Flippa's U.S. operations, told us “Destination Delray” became the theme for Flippa when they acquired Domain Holdings Group. With two start-up inspired office spaces that include self service beer on tap, unlimited coffee, free lunch, lounges, causal work spaces, and much of what has become “standard perks” for start-ups in and around Silicon Valley, Flippa wanted to make sure the DH team had that same fun and innovative feel."

“We have exceptional offices in Melbourne and San Francisco that attract the best talent and, because Delray is known as a beach town, we decided to bring some of that start-up mentality and style here. We wanted to create the best of both worlds for professionals who appreciate the slower pace of life at the beach, but also want to be a part of a fast-paced, growing internet company.”  

Michelle Miller
Head of U.S. Operations
Flippa/Domain Holdings 

While Flippa’s Melbourne office primary consists of developers and it’s product team, the San Francisco office houses customer support, website brokerage, and it’s mobile apps teams.  With the majority of our domain specialists based in Delray Beach, Flippa considers this new office its “domain headquarters”.  

Above and below: The new office space was completely gutted down to the studs so the company could custom design everything in their space. Ms. Miller told us, "I took everything into consideration from the windows/sunlight to how the brokers and private offices would interact and feed off each other creating a BRIGHT :) positive productive working environment. The demo/contractor crew turned it around in record  time - props to the contractors of Delray - the entire build out took just three months."

Above: The domains brokerage and customer support teams humming away in the new space.

Below: Chris Waters (standing), who joined the team in January talks about "domain valuations" with the Flippa Support team and Junior Domain Holdings brokers.

In addition to the beach life-style and great restaurants, Delray Beach offers many other benefits that are unique comared to more traditional start-up company locations - the cost of living and overall quality of life being the two most notable benefits.   

Michelle said, "With an overall median rent of $1274 in Delray Beach, comparable rental costs in San Francisco are an astounding $3770 (source: numbeo.com) – that’s nearly three times more expensive.  Skyrocketing housing has been a hot topic in San Francisco and smaller internet companies such as Flippa have a tough time providing compensation packages to match the rapidly rising cost of living.  Being able to provide a high quality of life for our employees is very important to us. It’s not just about big salaries. While we love our San Francisco and Melbourne offices, we saw a real opportunity here in Delray to give our employees more options."

The new Delray office has many of the same perks as the West coast and Australia offices, including free lunch (the Delray office is conveniently located above Rocco’s Tacos), a dog friendly environment, free beverages, a fun lounge space and more.  

Above: One of the final finishing touches at the new office will be hanging this oil painting by Diana Jackson that Flippa/DomainHoldings acquired from a charity auction benefiting The Water School at last year's debut edition of THE Domain Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Michelle said, "I thought it would be appropriate to hang it by our water cooler - we want to remind ourselves and each other to never take it for granted!" 

By the way. the new Delray Office happens to be hiring Junior Bokers right now! For more information contact [email protected].

(Posted May 20, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Domaining Europe and China's World Domain Conference Team Up to Bring Domain Investors Together

I just returned from a vacation break to visit family in Seattle. While enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest I got word from Domaining Europe conference founder Dietmar Stefitz about a unique new partnership agreement he has struck with the organizers of China's World Domain Conference (WDC), Yumi.com. The agreement is meant to facilitate more connections between domain investors in the East and those in the West.

Europe-China partnership image 
from Bigstock

Both of those conferences are about to stage their 2016 events. Domaining Europe is just 10 days away from their May 29-31 show at The Hague in the Netherlands while WDC will run July 6-9 in Wuzhen, China. Stefitz said, "Both event organizers will help Domainers from each  continent to meet and collaborate in mutual benefit."

"At DomainingEurope.com five lucky attendees will be able to win a ticket to WDC (valued  at $2,000) that includes A three-day stay
in a 5-Star hotel plus conference participation and all meals. In Wuzhen, I will welcome Chinese domain investors to cooperate with European partners. Also at WDC, travel assistance and transfer from Shanghai Airport and Hangzhou Airport will be provided," Stefitz added. 

The 5-star hotel in Wuzhen that will host WDC is the Waterside Resort, the biggest hotel in the Xizha Scenic Area. Located between two major rivers with a number of waterways in between, organizers tell me this hotel offers a large variety of 

different room types ranging from the stand-alone presidential suite to waterside family suites and standard rooms of all types. Yumi.com sent me these photos to give you a better idea of where you will be staying and networking if you attend the big event in Wuzhen:

Above: Guests entering the Waterside Resort in Wuzhen, China
site for the 2016 World Domain Conference in July.

Below: The elegant reception desk at the Waterside Resort.

Above: The Grand Lobby at the Waterside Resort in Wuzhen.

Below: The Banquet Hall at the Waterside Resort.

Above: A cafe at the Waterside Resort in Wuzhen.

For more information on WDC in Wuzhen contact Jennifer Wang ([email protected]).

For more info on Domaining Europe contact Dietmar Stefitz ([email protected]).

(Posted May 19, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Show Venue Revealed for 2016 DomainX Conference in New Delhi - Extra Day Added for Taj Mahal Trip 

Organizers of India's 3rd annual DomainX conference, coming up in August, have announced the show venue for their 2016 event in New Delhi. After debuting in Hyderabad in 2014, then visiting Bangalore in 2015, DomainX is headed to the nation's capital for a landmark event at the five-star Shangri-La's Eros Hotel that will run August 5-7 2016

The first two DomainX conferences were two-day events and that was the original plan for this year as well but, in another sign organizers have their sites set on producing an unforgettable event, a 3rd day (Friday, August 5) has been added for a trip to the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra

After going to DomainX's 2015 conference I didn't think there was any way they could top the fabulous Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore (a historic property that was featured in the epic movie Passage to India) but between the Eros Hotel and the Taj Mahal it looks like they may be setting a new standard for domain industry get-togethers.

Shangri-La's Eros Hotel in New Delhi will host the 
2016 DomainX conference August 5-7, 2016

Here is a a quick tour of the Shangri-La's Eros Hotel property in New Delhi where the 2016 DomainX conference will be staged August 5-7, 2016. Above is an aerial view of the hotel poll and below is a shot of the luxurious lobby. 

Above: The elegant meeting room at Shangri-La's Eros Hotel.

Below: A banquet setting at Shangri-La's Eros Hotel.

Above: One of the guest room's at Shangri-La's Eros Hotel.

Below: One of the rare places on earth that almost everyone instantly recognizes - the fabulous Taj Mahal. DomainX 2016 attendees will have a chance to visit the stunning building and grounds on the opening day of the 2016 conference

Taj Mahal image from Bigstock

In addition to providing an stunning backdrop for their conference, DomainX will have some of the world's leading domain experts on stage, including Frank Schilling, Deepak Daftari, Zak Muscovitch, Bill Karamouzis, Jon Yau, Ned O’Meara and Edmon Chung to name just a few. I will have the honor of being among that distinguished company and am also looking forward to again covering the conference for our readers. Better yet, I hope you can make the trip to New Delhi yourself so I can see you in person there. 

Registration is now open (and you you will be able to book rooms at the show hotel soon). The cost - especially considering everything conference organizers Manmeet Pal Singh Mahal, Gaurav Kohli and brand ambassador Deepak Daftari are offering, is astonishingly low. Two-day tickets for the Saturday networking day and the Sunday conference day are just $150 (each day can also be purchased separately (Saturday tickets are $109 and Sunday is $59 if bought separately). Details and cost for the just added Friday trip to the Taj Mahal will be announced shortly. As low as those prices already are, if you act within 24 hours (by Wednesday night, May 11, US Eastern time) DomainX is offering 40% discount coupon - just click  the Enter Promotional Code link on the registration page and enter 40OFF.

(Posted May 10, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Donuts Inc.'s Paul Stahura Chosen as a Finalist in EY's 2016 Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year Award Competition

For several decades now receiving an Ernst & Young (now known simply as EY) Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been among the most prestigious honors in the business world. The annual competition begins with the selection of Regional winners who then advance to National competition, the winner of which moves on to the World level. 

Names of the 2016 finalists in the Pacific Northwest have just been announced and the elite list included a name that will be familiar to just about everyone in the domain business, the Co-Founder and CEO of Bellevue, Washington based Donuts Inc., Paul Stahura (who was profiled in our July 2015 Cover Story). 

In reporting the news, GeekWire noted, "The Pacific Northwest entrepreneurs were selected by a panel of independent judges, based on what EY describes as “excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.” Winners in several categories will be revealed June 17 at a gala event to be staged at the Seattle Sheraton. 

Donuts is the world's largest operator of new gTLD registries with over 150 new domain extensions in their still growing portfolio. While the company has already made a big splash Stahura is confident the best is yet to come, telling us last summer, "We’re still at the very beginning. There will be no other globally unique naming system – the DNS is too embedded into our Internet, our laws, our communications, and our world. The Internet will be around for more than 100 years (like the phone system has been), and these names will be too."

Paul Stahura
Co-Founder & CEO, Donuts Inc.,
2016 EY Pacific Northwest 
Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist

(Posted May 6, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Domain Industry Growth in China Boosting Demand for More Conference Networking Opportunities There

The domain industry  in China has seen a surge in growth over the past couple of years (including an aftermarket buying boom at the end of 2015). Interest in the business there has set the stage for two major conferences that will be held in China this summer.  The first of those - the Global Domain Industry Summit (GDS) - will run June 3-6, 2016 at the Relax Hotel in Hangzhou, a metropolis of some 2.5 million people near China's east coast. (it will be followed by the World Domain Conference - Wuzhen Summit July 6-9 that we told you about last month).

Planners of the GDS conference

Hangzhou image from Bigstock

in Hangzhou said it is being "co-organized by Verisign, GoDaddy, Bizcn.com, 22.cn, Jinyuming, domain.cn and dozens of registries, registrars and domain auction platforms. "They  are expecting approximately 1200 attendees and said the show will feature "an online/offline synchronized auction, a special closed door investor meeting, an industry awards ceremony and sponsor wine parties" among other events. You can get full details on the event at  the Summit website

(Posted May 5, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Fred Mercaldo's City Brand Media Announces New Partnership with Ammar Kubba's Afterthought Inc. - Deal Brings the @Identity Email Platform to CBM Sites

City Brand Media, LLC (CBM) has announced an exclusive new partnership agreement with Ammar Kubba’s Afterthought, Inc., owner of the @Identity vanity email platform, with plans to implement the program in over 150 markets where CBM owns and/or manages City(dot)com brands.  The @identity platform allows individuals and businesses to register and use new personalized email addresses incorporating their city name.

City Brand Media CEO Fred Mercaldo said, "We feel there is a strong demand for individuals and businesses alike to simplify and consolidate their online identity. Now, rather than long and generic email addresses, there is an opportunity to have a digital identity associated with your hometown, with either first name, last name, initials, or any other string (e.g., [email protected]) or business identity (e.g., [email protected]).”

A press release about the partnership said, "Kubba initially invested in @identity as a platform primarily for geo-based domains, but after receiving strong interest and sustained 

Fred Mercaldo
CEO, City Brand Media

market demand, the vision quickly expanded to include global brands and affinity groups seeking to promote their brands and reward their customers with personalized and branded email addresses."

Ammar Kubba
Founder & CEO, Afterthought Inc.

Kubba said, “Fred and I have been exploring this partnership for quite some time now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the CBM network and their broad marketing reach gives @identity its best chance to fulfill my original vision and succeed on a large scale. The initial rollout is just the tip of the iceberg, with an additional 100+ international City/Country(dot)com brands currently being developed by CBM that will go live on the platform over time.  I have no doubt that the proven and immensely talented CBM team are the right partners to take @identity to the next level, and I’m also happy to say that I will continue to be involved with the project in an advisory capacity, doing what I can to further ensure our success."

The CBM release noted "Marketing collateral and videos, price modeling, and platform infrastructure and product refinements are currently underway, and the platform is scheduled to beta launch in the first markets as early as June 1st."

Mercaldo added, "We’re in the final stages of selecting a major advertising and PR firm to help us launch in each major market.  We anticipate strong demand for the @identity product in both large and small markets alike, and these email addresses will also go a long way in promoting our online brands, providing 

an enhanced monetization solution for our partners and clients, and further solidifying the awareness, branding, and presence that a City(dot)com site should have in each and every city."  

(Posted May 3, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

Former Domain Holdings  Broker Joe Uddeme Opens His Own Shop at NameExperts.com

After more than five years with DomainHoldings.com before leaving his post as Director of Business Development last November, veteran domain broker Joe Uddeme has opened his own shop. The launch of NameExperts.com was officially announced today. The company is described as "a boutique domain name brokerage firm that specializes in premium dotcom domain name inventory. It also provides expert domain valuation as well as buy-side and sell-side brokerage services." The press released added, "Name Experts provides comprehensive analysis based on market conditions, comps, trends and the anatomy of a client’s domain name."

Uddeme - who said he has negotiated domain sales totaling more than $40 million in his brokerage career - added that he prides himself on being “a broker with experience who provides a fair and honest assessment." Uddeme added, "Clients deserve and appreciate a more hands-on-approach to their assets and a broker that goes the extra mile to satisfy the client. Name Experts will provide that personalized approach and operate a brokerage business focused on premium dotcom digital real estate.'

NameExperts Founder Joe Uddeme

One of Joe's clients, Matt Smith, owner of Sagacity Corporation, said “It’s been a pleasure having Joe represent us for years in the domain market on many, many deals. His hard work and positive outcomes have exceeded all of our expectations. Looking forward to continuing our collaboration going forward.”

Name Experts uses industry relationships to secure brands for clients or, alternatively, to help with the divestment of premium domain name inventories. The company will exclusively offer premium domain names and will issue a newsletter on a bi-monthly basis containing relevant insight and domain names listed for sale.

(Posted May 2, 2016) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:

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