Launched – Grown – Sold The Miami Herald Discusses What’s Next for .CO Founders


The Miami Herald did a piece today on the .CO Registry acquisition by Neustar. They spoke with Juan Diego Calle to find out what’s next for everyone now that the company is sold. Calle mentioned a better job and better benefits for employees. The article also mentions that Neustar did not get in the deal.


Calle said Neustar’s plan is to keep the offices — and the jobs — in Miami and Colombia. There are 20 full-time employees going to Neustar, plus a few consultants.

“All of our employees are getting better jobs than they had at .CO, better benefits … and everyone got a sizable bonus. Letting them know they were getting the money and celebrating the transaction with them was the highlight of my career from an entrepreneurial standpoint — really very cool,” said Calle, who has been an outspoken proponent of launching and growing companies in Miami.

Of the co-founders, Calle and Nicolai Bezsonoff, the former COO, will serve as strategic advisors, managing the integration of the companies. Lori Anne Wardi will remain in the role of vice president, and will continue overseeing the evolution of the .CO brand, as well as help Neustar with the soon-to-be-launched .NYC extension. José Rasco will continue as managing director of STRAAT Investments, independent of Neustar. Eduardo Santoyo will continue to lead the Colombia office and all matters relating to government relations and Internet policy.

“I’m over the moon,” said Wardi after the closing. “This has been our baby, we saw such potential in these two letters and what they would become. . . . I feel so proud every time I see a .co.”

So what’s next? STRAAT and the co-founders had been planning to open a headquarters and co-working center in the West Brickell area that they call Building, and that will still open in September, Calle said. Building will house the Neustar team as well as other ventures. “The idea of Building is to attract companies in a similar life cycle as .CO. We want to fill the later-stage niche instead of going after the pure startup plays. We are considering whether to expand the concept and to take it to other cities like San Francisco, New York and London. That is a business plan we are going to be actively developing now that we have sold .CO,” he said.

Neustar didn’t acquire the subsidiary, which allows consumers to set up a domain name, email account and website in 60 seconds. Said Calle: “You will see more push from us to build that out. Our goal is to make it one of the leading retail sites. We have a couple of other interesting things brewing.”

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  1. johnuk says

    I noticed Lori Anne Wardi was letting one of her .com domains, ,expire and auction ended other day. Maybe she doesnt need them .

  2. Louise says

    Launched – Grown – Sold

    Sounds like the plan for UniRegistry. Maybe Neustar will consider more gTLDs.,, & are on the block:

    Though gets more than 4X as much traffic as Sedo,* it’s listed for sale. isn’t listed for sale.

    Though gets more than 9X as much traffic as,* it is listed for sale. isn’t listed for sale.

    * according to portfolio must be really stellar, that surfers are constantly clicking and surfing the great domains there! Good show, @ Frank Schilling! 😉

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