The two letter domain name BY.com has just been added to the RightoftheDot.com domain name auction as part of the Namescon conference.
The domain name already has gotten a bid of $500,000 on Namejet.com in pre-bidding.
No only is BY.com become the 4th two letter .com in the auction, but it joins AT.com as the second two letter domain that is a word.
I had a chance to chat with the owner of the domain, André Eidskrem, about the very interesting history behind the domain name and why he is now finally offering the domain for sale.
André bought the domain name By.com back in 1996 for around $5,000, which at the time André sold me he thought was “an enormous amount of money to spend on a domain”.
Remember back in 1996 there was no escrow.com or other service which insured delivery of a domain. Back then you had to send your money off and hope the domain got transferred.
From Norway, André was interested in By.com because in Norwegian the word “By” means “City”.
Founder and CEO of IntraHouse, André set up his technology business years before he acquired BY.com which he later used as a search engine of current news in real time.
In 1999 Microsoft incorporated a lot of the technology used by By.com search engine in “Internet Explorer” in Norway.
We then used By.com, which as I said means city in Norwegian and Danish, to create a portals for all major cities so domain names like oslo.by.com Copenhagen.by.com and we had a publishing solution that we used for the search engine to create the portals.
As mobile came into popularity in 2004 and before there was .Mobi, André created a technology that by adding By.com to your domain name, would convert your site to a mobile friendly version in real time. This technology won the European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia award.
BY.com also in essence a proxy server for other websites. In this way people in China could have access to sites that were otherwise blocked by the government by typing in By.com before the domain name so google.by.com or google.com.by.com.
“In 2007 Cisco signed a contract with the BY.com solution to convert Cisco.com to a mobile version. In 2007 the iPhone came along which scaled websites for mobile viewing but it still was needed for other devices. This year we sold a new technology to Cisco which is now using it for their flagship App for marketing their products, which now allows us for the first time to sell BY.com since we acquired it 20 years ago.
“Although the domain was not for sale we have received unsolicited offers this year as high as $1.5 Million. But we didn’t answer them as we were still using the domain until recently for the Cisco project, but now the time is right as I want to plough forward with intraHouse projects and my other baby, Shapingtheodds, which aims to bring together and help entrepreneurs from around the world.”
Since the domain name was listed on Namejet.com without any announcement it received bids as high as $500,000.
It should also be noted the .By is the ccTLD for Belarus, so its rare two letter .com which has the letter’s that appeals to the Chinese market, is a word in English, has meaning in other languages and has a matching ccTLD.
We are excited to have By.com in the RightoftheDot.com auction being held at the Namescon convention in Las Vegas from January 10-13th, 2016.
The live auction will be held on January 11th, 2016 at 2PM from Namescon.
Live and online bidding will be available.