The Sale of .Co To Neustar Closed Today; Offices To Stay In Miami

Although it was announced a few weeks ago, the sale of the  .CO Internet S.A.S to Neustar for $109 million dollars actually just closed today.

According to the MiamiHerald.com, the “Champagne popped and bonuses flowed after .CO Internet closed its chapter as an independent company and became part of the publicly traded Neustar on Monday afternoon.”

“In his first comments to the press about the transaction, Juan Diego Calle, co-founder and former CEO of .CO, said “The timing was right for both sides, Calle said. “We are going from a very regulated environment where there are a limited number of domain extensions into a world where there is essentially an unlimited number of options for consumers,” said Calle, referring to the thousands of new domain name options coming into the marketplace. “There’s this movement by the larger players in the industry to consolidate their positions of power and be market leaders in the new paradigm, and here we are, .CO, the most appealing of the new alternatives, so you can grab that asset and make it your flagship brand.”

“And for us, we were a small company with limited resources, we were profitable, we were growing. In that paradigm with thousands of alternatives, having a public company behind us owning the asset is a huge competitive advantage.

“Calle said Neustar’s plan is to keep the offices – and the jobs – in Miami and Colombia for the forseeable future.  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  .NYC, New York City’s soon-to-be-launched official domain extension.”

“Jose Rasco will continue as managing director of STRAAT Investments, independent of Neustar. ”

“Eduardo Santoyo, based in Bogota, will continue to lead the Colombia office and all matters relating to government relations and Internet policy.”

“I’m over the moon,” said Wardi on Monday. “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.”

“Before the sale, STRAAT and the co-founders were planning to open a headquarters and co-working center in the 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 Pop.co, 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, but right now the focus is on integrating .CO into Neustar as seamlessly as possible.”

Congrats to some of my favorite people in the domain space, Juan, Lori Ann, Jose and Nicolai.  An incredible success story achieved by some very hard working, brilliant people that took on the big boys and won the .Co contract from the government of Colombia over Verisign.

Excelente Trabajo.
Nos sentimos muy orgullosos y felices de que nuestros amigos.
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/the-starting-gate/2014/04/champagne-popped-and-bonuses-flowed-after-co-internet-closed-its-chapter-as-an-independent-company-and-became-part-of-the-pu.html#storylink=cpy

.CO Internet S.A.S Acquired for $109 Million

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Neustar traded on the NYSE under the symbol NSR has a market cap of roughly $2.16 billion, today after the close they announced the acquistion of the company behind the .CO extension.

Neustar is acquiring  .CO Internet S.A.S for $109 million. Neustar recorded $4 million in revenue for its role as the back-end provider for .CO Internet, which will be eliminated upon consolidation.

 

.CO Internet exited 2013 with an annual revenue run-rate of $21 million. There are currently just over 1.6 million .co domains registered, Neustar manages the .US and the .BIZ extensions as well.

Neustar is unchanged in after hours trading.

Congrats to Juan Diego Calle, Lori Anne Wardi and the team at .CO.

 

Sandwich.co Sells For 18K After The .Com Sells For $137,500

The domain name sandwich.co sold on Sedo today for $18,000 USD.

Yahoo sold the domain name Sandwich.com for $137,500 back in November 2013 also on Sedo.

The buyer of Sandwich.co is Sandwich Company of Los Angeles, California.

The buyer of Sandwich.com seems to be a different party.

The purchase price of the .co is over 13% of the .com.

Congrats to the buyer and seller.

Confirmed: There Will Not Be A .Co/Godaddy Super Bowl Commercial This Year

Godaddy.com released one its commercials that it will be airing during the Super Bowl today.

I confirmed with Godaddy that there will not be a .Co domain name registry co-branded commercial running on this year’s Super Bowl.

The .Co registry ran co-branded ads with Godaddy for the past three Super Bowls.

My favorite of the bunch, actually my favorite television commercial of all time for domain names, was last years Godaddy/.Co commercial entitled Your Big Idea .Co.

Godaddy also confirmed that neither of its two Super Bowl ads will be marketing the new gTLD’s, instead Godaddy’s Super Bowl ads will “Talk about the importance of getting found online and using tools like GoDaddy Website Builder.”

I personally didn’t like the 1st Super Bowl commercial Godaddy released.

I don’t think its going to rake high on the love or hate monitor and not sure its going to drive a ton of registrations or business to Godaddy’s site.

I guess we will find out after the Big Game.

 

 

 

Juan Diego Calle of .CO: Want to Control Your Brand Experience? Look to Top-Level Domains

Tech Cocktail did a piece on Juan Diego Calle from .CO Registry. In the video Juan talks about his start in the Internet in 1999, that his first business went bankrupt, he talks about how he got started with .CO in 2009. He talks about building a community and the ROI on getting early adopters with credibility. He also calls .com a wasteland.

From the article:

With the gradual release of new top-level domains (TLDs), 2014 is going to be a big year for the Internet. It’s all very exciting for Juan Diego Calle, the CEO of .CO, who believes that access to new TLDs will bring about new business innovation and improve control of a business’ brand experience.

The impact of gTLDs is expected to be huge, and has motivated even .CO to plan to launch its own new TLDs. This expansion will allow the company to attract niche markets that require domain extensions that may be more suitable than its current .CO offering.

They included a video which I have posted below, the video was recorded in late November 2013.