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, 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, 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:

Neustar – 80 % of Local Searches on Mobile Phones Convert

Neustar put out a study and an infographic on the high conversion rates experienced  in local search by those using mobile phones.

Jessica Lee covered this on Search Engine Watch

From the article:

How Local Searches Convert

Four out of five searches via mobile devices lead to a purchase, often within a few hours, the survey said. Compared with other devices, the mobile phone showed the highest conversion rate, with nearly 80 percent of mobile phone searches ending in a purchase.

And, nearly three out of four of those mobile phone searches that converted brought the customer into a brick-and-mortar store.

“This research may be our clearest indication yet of the ongoing maturation of the mobile market,” said Brian Wool, vice president of content distribution at Neustar. He added that consumers “expect a consistent and navigable search functionality that serves up exactly the depth and quality of information they need.”


The Denver Post Apparently Has Never Heard of Neustar

The Denver Post is not too familiar with Neustar, they referred to the company as “virtually unknown”.

The article  is pertaining to Neustar and their bid to retain a very lucrative contract in the telecom space.

This is the same “virtually unknown” company that just spent $109 to million to buy .CO Internet S.A.S.

The Denver Post doesn’t seem to be aware that Neustar (NSR) is a publicly traded company with a valuation of over $2 Billion dollars based on its closing share price on Friday and operate the .US registry as well.

From the article:

A virtually unknown outfit purchased full page ads in The Denver Post last week trumpeting its “flawless performance” and warning of “a $719 million gamble” tied to switching number portability administrators, a puzzling strategy that left some readers scratching their heads.

That company is Neustar, which is vying for a $460 million-a-year contract to be awarded based, in part, on feedback from several members of Colorado’s telecommunications industry.

The winning vendor would manage a database of more than 500 million telephone numbers in the U.S. and Canada for more than 2,000 carriers and provide the back-end work to ensure consumers can seamlessly take their phone number with them when they switch providers.

Sterling, Va.-based Neustar has served as the administrator of the database since its formation following the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The so-called Number Portability Administration Center was established to help foster competition by allowing consumers to “port” their number from one carrier to another.

Neustar’s contract expires in June 2015. It is competing with Telcordia, owned by Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, for the new, five-year deal. The carriers that tap into the database fund the contract.

“The ads that you’re seeing are part of a campaign to ask the people who are in charge, the people who are managing the RFP (request for proposal), to take a step back and try not to rush things,” Neustar spokeswoman Gayle Kansagor said.

She said it’s largely a Beltway campaign, but the company included Denver because of the area’s significant telecommunications presence.

You would think that the Denver Post would have done a little more research into the company.

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


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.


US Gives NeuStar New Contract To Run .US Domain Extention For Up To 5 Years

The Department of Commerce has re-awarded the contract to operate the .US domain extensions for three years with two additional one-year extension options to Neustar Inc. (NYSE:NSR).

The .US Top Level Domain (TLD), is the official country code domain of the United States (ccTLD)

“Neustar has successfully administered this critical domain since 2001, when the Department of Commerce first selected the company to build and manage the new domain.”

“The .US domain represents Main Street America, helping American small businesses and individuals to create and expand their online presence. Neustar manages this critical domain and oversees the growing network of registrars who sell the .US domain names.”

“Since becoming the administrator of the .US TLD, Neustar has created an extensive enforcement program to ensure a safe and secure environment for the .US Internet community. Neustar also launched the “Kickstart America” campaign to raise awareness of the .US domain. In 2013, Neustar initiated the .US National Road Racing Championships through a three-year partnership with USA Track & Field.”

“In 2014, Neustar plans to launch a new multi-stakeholder council including members representing localities, registrars, small businesses and non-profit organizations as well as entities involved with STEM education and cybersecurity. The .US TLD Stakeholder Council will provide a vibrant, diverse, and independent forum for future development of the .US TLD, working directly with .US TLD stakeholders and helping Neustar to identify public needs and develop policies, programs, and partnerships to address those needs while continuing to enhance America’s address.”