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March 08, 2018

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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.

After Selling Ring to Amazon for Over $1 Billion CEO Confirms He Paid $1 Million for Ring.com Domain

In one of our  weekly domain sales reports in June 2017, I wrote about plausible but unconfirmed speculation that the Ring video doorbell company had paid $1 million to buy the Ring.com domain name in 2014. That number has now been confirmed. As you probably heard Amazon bought Ring a few days ago in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. Thanks to eagle-eyed domain investor George Kirikos, I  learned that shortly after the sale, a mutual friend, Digimedia.com President Jay Chapman, tweeted out a link to a podcast interview that Danny Fortson did with Ring CEO & Chief Inventor Jamie Siminoff in August 2017. About midway through that 43-minute interview Siminoff revealed that he had indeed paid $1 million to acquire the domain name.

Even more interesting are the details Siminoff revealed about the purchase in a five-minute stretch of the interview that starts at the 26:15 mark. If anyone ever wanted to make

Image from Bigstock

a case for the enormous value of a great domain name in building a business, Siminoff does it in those five minutes. Siminoff revealed that in 2014, with his company then known as Doorbot, he only had $187,000 in the bank when he approached the owner of Ring.com (then privately held by a Minnesota doctor). When the doctor told him the price Siminoff said "I don't have a million dollars but I will give you $187,000 now and another $825,000 in two years for the domain" (which would be the $813,000 balance and an extra $12,000 in interest). The doctor accepted and Siminoff lived up to his word (we have charted the sale on our 2016 Top 100 Sales Chart - at #5 - since that was the year the final payment was made). 

Jamie Siminoff making his pitch 
on ABC-TV's Shark Tank in 2013.

When Siminoff revealed he had drained his bank account to buy the domain he said people told him "he was an idiot who had just bankrupted the company!"  If you watch ABC-TV's Shark Tank, you may have seen the 2013 show that Siminoff appeared on, seeking $700,000 for a 10% stake in Ring. The sharks weren't convinced either - missing out on a chance to see a $700,000 stake grow to over $100 million with the sale to Amazon. Siminoff said getting the domain name was critically important to the company's success, giving them an unforgettable brand and instant credibility that helped turned their product into a household name (as it happens I was one of the early buyers of a Ring video doorbell and and it was one of the best purchases I've ever made). Siminoff said the same thing about

Ring.com. Putting it in dollar terms he said he would estimate the name turned out to be worth between $30 million and $50 million to the company. If anyone asks you if the right domain name is really worth 7 (or more) figures, no one knows the answer to that question better than Jamie Siminoff. 

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