Will This Domain Portfolio Owned By The Castello’s Be The 1st To Sell For Over $1 Billion?





Last week I received a tweet to @thedomains, asking the question:

“Is any domain name portfolio worth over $1 Billion Dollars?

We are about to find out.”

The link in the Tweet goes to this site, which says:

“The portfolio consists of 40 hyper names (and hundreds of others) that will ensure a substantial and immediate impact on the Internet if they are paired with the right global resource.

The seller’s preference is to keep the portfolio intact.

It is his belief that the whole is substantially more significant than the sum of the parts.”

I was initially concerned whether the company sending the Tweet out was really representing Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc (CCIN) as I never heard of the broker.

CCIN is the owner of the domain names linked to the Tweet, so I contacted Michael Castello CEO and President of Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc., who confirmed the domain portfolio was for sale but there were 41 primary domains not 40.

Michael agreed to answer some questions:

1.   Michael Why did CCIN put this portfolio up for sale now ? Does it have anything to do with the roll out of the new gTLD program ?

“”I have been entertaining the idea since the beginning of 2014.

Back in 1994 I told my mother that our family is on a twenty-year adventure. I always look for indicators that something will occur in the future.

Whisky.com received one offer back in 1995 for $100.

The next offer (and sale) of $3.1 million was nineteen years later. There was no talk from the buyer in regards to its traffic or revenue. It was a domain name only acquisition.

At the same time, my partner and brother David had already put 15 years into our business, and he wanted to get back into the music industry, which is where we started. I can’t blame him. If you love performing on stage, creating music, and traveling, then that is what you should do. Success can be determined in many ways. When someone is able to do what they want to do, whenever they want to, I would call that success. I love what I do on the Internet, but there is a point when one needs to look at current events and decide if a change is in order.

I feel that it is a good time to see if I can maximize the potential of our portfolio. I realized that I cannot plausibly put the kind of time and effort into each of these 41 names that is required.

The Internet has changed so much over the last ten years. No longer can someone create a five-page website on a name like Tijuana.com and make thousands of dollars doing virtually nothing. If I spent the kind of effort that Tijuana.com deserves, I could easily make tons of money right now. But the public expects a richer experience than what a static info-site can provide. Now multiply that by 41 hyper names. It would be impossible for me to do so.

I now believe that the potential of what I built back in 1995 may be better realized by another enterprise. It makes sense for me to sell the portfolio and give David his share, and give the government its share. This allows me to simplify my situation, giving me more freedom to do what I want to do for the next 20 year adventure.

Of course, I will remain in the domain business; there is no better market to create wealth and financial freedom, and the future of civilization requires a functioning virtual world that continually grows in vastly new technological directions.

I was very happy to see Whisky.com move to a company that now has huge global reach. Imagine what the right party could do with Room.com or Bullion.com? Look at them in their current form and realize that their true potential would be a game-changer for any company with the right resources.

The new gTLDs are a part of the advancing name economy. There is a hierarchy in our market, and they have a place, but .com will always be the star of the DNS. That place will continue to grow as the public continues to use the Internet as an environment that they can dwell in, instead of as an app or tool to search for things.

Domain names are addresses for people to find each other. Some of those addresses already exist as common phrases in our minds, like Daycare.com, Nashville.com and Golfclub.com. In such cases, those names are already worth a lot, with great leverage and a worldwide trust factor.

I go to great lengths to allow myself the time and money to do what I want to do. For twenty years, I’ve had great personal freedom, and I have my portfolio to thank for that.””

2. Can you list the 41 primary domain names for me that are for sale in this portfolio?

Currently I am selling 41 hyper and generic domain names.

I have around 1,000 more that could be acquired for extra.

Here are the 41:










































3. What is the asking price?

$1.2 Billion Dollars.

4. Why did you decide to sell these domains as a portfolio rather than separately?

“My gut feeling tells me that there are a few people in the world who both understand what my portfolio really contains and can afford it.

It was built at a time when whatever my passions were, became my domain name to own. Anyone can piece together a portfolio of names, but arguably none have the passion of creation that mine has.”

5. Does that mean at this point you will not entertain offers on any one domain in the list?

“”I’ve had some pretty good offers that I’ve turned down on some of them after the Whisky.com sale. That sale was a statement of timing.

The rest are like The Crown Jewels to me. It would be like taking a butter knife and plucking a beautiful gemstone from the royal crown.

No – they stay together.

I will hold at this price until the end of 2014 to sell.

After that I will be asking for more.””

6.  At over $1 Billion I would assume its going to have to be a public company who would buy this portfolio, do you agree? Who has over $1 Billion in cash that might be a buyer?

“I feel that there will be an individual who sees what I see. ”

They might be the head of a large company, or someone with a lot of influence. There are people who have made vast amounts of money in the past five years. Many are not in the US, but rather Asia and the Middle East. But that money is scared money, and they are unsure of the best market for them to invest in.

Investing in my portfolio will allow any company with money and resources to be a major player in a multitude of verticals such as Manicure.com for beauty; Nashville.com for country music; Daycare.com for family; Bullion.com for financial; Traveler.com for travel; and Adopt.com for charity, just to name a few.

I would liken it to having the ability to be Rockefeller, Carnegie, Chase, Ford, and Vanderbilt all at the same time.

Those leaders carved out their industries over their lifetimes, always wanting to capture the other markets. They were very competitive.

Never before has anyone had that kind of global opportunity to dominate across such vast marketplaces. The Internet allows it, and my portfolio is a free and clear path to the future.””

7. Who is behind junxtion.com and why did you choice them as your broker?

“I did not expect this to go public.

I gave an opportunity to a friend to make some money, and he tweeted the portfolio out.

I have a small pool of friends who I offered to broker my portfolio.

It was never exclusive.

This release gives me a chance to say publicly what I have been saying over the past three months to industry friends at conventions. They had the same questions you are asking, and I think I should qualify my reasoning.””

8. If someone is interested in the portfolio, whom should they contact?


Thanks Michael and best of luck


I should note the 41 domain names priced at $1.2 Billion dollars,  comes to $30 Million Dollars on average, per domain name.


Here are a few other stories about or written by Michael Castello:

Read about Michael’s Call To Action effort

Read about the sale of Whisky.com

Read about the Michael’s Block The Bullies effort

Read Michael’s post The Future is about Leverage



    • says

      My comment was in response to the poster who was so annoyed by Frager’s post on his site that the poster had to post his response here.

  1. says

    I suppose some might say it is like having a headline “Will Michael Berkens Get Elected President?”, since that is not likely to actually happen, and neither is this $1 billion sale. But, since Michael Castello is actively trying to sell those domains for $1 billion and said so himself, I don’t think it is misleading at all. And, Michael has a right to try to make a crazy pie in the sky sale if he wants to. Many people told Rick Schwartz he was crazy for trying to get such high prices for his domains, yet he has made sales like that time and time again.

  2. says

    I see and you would have “predicted” that whatsapp would have sold for $20 Billion and that Bitcoin, when i was trading at $1 two years ago would have hit $1,200?

    The headline reflected just what the story was about.

    They are not my names, I didn’t price them.

    The story is newsworthy in my opinion and guess what? when it comes to whether a story is newsworthy or not only my opinion counts

    I’m not going to call you ask what you think. before I publish a story.

    the headlne

  3. says

    …whatever he does or does not sell the portfolio for, he managed to garner a ton of publicity and make his portfolio very visible to many people. I admire that spirit and emulated that in a column which is somewhat a tongue in cheek take-off of his venture. If he can do it, anyone can. All it takes is that first step and daring do…

  4. says

    We are pulling for the highest and best use for this chapter in your life and wish you well on future projects. Rock On !

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  5. says

    The short answer to the topic subject would be “No.” If any portfolio would sell for $1.2 billion, it wouldn’t be that group of names, in my opinion. As Eric Borgos pointed out, anyone buying those names as a package would expect a big bulk discount, because they wouldn’t be interested in all of them (and the liquidation value of the ones they didn’t want would be small).

    It’s “publicity stunts” like this which tends to make those who don’t follow domain names shake their heads in disbelief, or worse. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t participate in that “Call To Action” mailing from May — because you don’t know whether a bunch of self-promoters are going to use it for “marketing”, or say something that undermines people’s confidence/credibility.

    There are more humble and soft-spoken participants in the domain industry whose top 41 domain names would blow away the Castello portfolio list. If there was a “Domain Deathmatch” or “Domain Showdown”, where you put the top 41 Castello portfolio names up against the top 41 from *each* of:

    – Digimedia
    – Anything.com
    – Kevin Ham
    – Alex Lerman
    – Nat Cohen
    – Reflex
    – Gerry Gorman (India.com, Doctor.com, etc.)
    – Marchex
    – Slavik Viner
    – P&G (with their Beautiful.com, etc.)
    – Centralnic (with their 15 or 18 or whatever 2-letter .com domains — and they are a public company)

    and a bunch of other people, I think *each* of those more humble domain portfolio owners would win a vote based on quality and overall value of their top 41 domains.

    • says

      Agreed. Castellos and a few others are among the most famous names when it comes to domaining, but most domainers with superpremium portfolios keep a low profile and thus are not very known by the masses.

    • says

      I’m thinking you probably are, Mike (I’ve probably missed a bunch of other uber-domainers, too). Although, I don’t know which are your “top 41″ domains (as I know you have a huge portfolio of “mid-cap” domains, whereas others own smaller portfolios so it’s easier to pick out their “elite” names).

      So, I sense a new posting with a poll: “Domain Deathmatch — Top 41 of Berkens vs. Castello” :-)

  6. says

    let’s see… 21 million is the top price that ebay will let you list a domain for… 42 names minus commission… he’ll be lucky to get 800 million.

    • says

      hehe Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

      I obviously missed a bunch of others, like Garry Chernoff, Thunayan/Elequa, Shepherd/Sahar Sarid, Rick Schwartz, and others who’d likely prevail in a “Top 41 Domain Deathmatch” against the Castello list.

  7. Joseph Peterson says

    $300k would be a high price for KingTut.com in today’s market. Ditto EEL.com. And, as a buyer, if someone quoted me even $30k for GreatGatsby.com, I’d simply assume I was their first domain inquiry ever, laugh, and walk away. $3k would be the normal retail range on something like GreatGatsby.com — not $30,000,000.

    You can probably identify a number of domains in that list of 41 where the highest realistic asking price is maybe mid 6 figures at most.

    $300k is just 1% of $30 million, which is the average sale price implied by that $1.2 billion price tag. So for every domain in that list that can’t be expected to sell above 6 figures, some other domain in that list has to compensate for 99% of the missing $30 million.

    In other words, for every domain in that list that maxes out in the 6 figures, the Castellos would need to sell a different domain in that list for $60 million.

    • says


      :…$3k would be the normal retail range on something like GreatGatsby.com — not $30,000,000″.

      I believe that’s probably why the seller stated that his package as a whole is greater than the individual parts; Castello didn’t want the portfolio parsed, not even into logical syntactic components.

      So, let’s give him that.

      It has been reported that Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants to buy L.A. Clippers for $2 BILLION, and some in the press have described this figure as “stunning”; so value-wise, this portfolio is just shy of the impending Clippers deal.

      The whisper of such deal could shake the earth.

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