Here is a story from DNJournal.
More than a decade ago, a small group of visionary individuals began dabbling in a hobby business that eventually mushroomed into what we now call the Ã¢â‚¬Å“domain industryÃ¢â‚¬Â. Those early pioneers realized that domain names constituted the real estate of the Internet and, despite being ridiculed by others, they firmly believed that one day domains would hold great value.
Their faith was strengthened as they observed that people who were surfing the Internet would often type in specific domain names when searching for something on the web. That behavior produced Ã¢â‚¬Å“trafficÃ¢â‚¬Â, something the first domainers knew would be prized by advertisers, just as foot traffic is prized by commercial businesses in the real world.
Equipped with this knowledge and the foresight to act on it, early domain investors built portfolios of good generic domains and many went on to make a very nice living by selling their traffic to Internet advertisers. The fledgling industry flew under the radar for years, dominated by Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lone RangersÃ¢â‚¬Â scattered around the world.
Seattle-based Marchex, Inc. changed all of that and ushered in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“modern eraÃ¢â‚¬Â of the domain industry early last year when they closed on the $164 million purchase of the Name Development portfolio (more commonly known by domainers as the Ultimate Search portfolio), a collection of over 100,000 domains that had been assembled by an exceptionally savvy domain pioneer named Yun Ye. That huge acquisition by a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: MCHX) suddenly put the domain business in the spotlight and attracted other major investors, both public and private, who are now spending tens of millions of dollars in this space.
Marchex Offices in Seattle
While Marchex is now being challenged by other well-funded competitors seeking to consolidate or Ã¢â‚¬Å“roll upÃ¢â‚¬Â the domain business, most experts say the company is well positioned to fend off challengers because that bold $164 million stroke gave them the highest quality portfolio of any of the new domain conglomerates. In addition, Marchex has not sat still since acquiring those domains. They have continued to add to their portfolio and are busy building out many of their prime domains to further increase their value.
Since the domain business had been such a well kept secret, we were curious to know who the people behind Marchex were, how those principals had learned about the opportunity in domains, what they have been doing since entering the business and what they have planned for the future. The companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Chief Strategy Officer, Peter Christothoulou, helped us fill in the blanks.
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