We think the Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry is uniquely positioned to become, pound for pound, the most successful new gTLD operator.
So first a disclaimer, we don’t own any part of Uniregistry (unfortunately) and Uniregistry doesn’t and hasn’t even advertised on TheDomains.com. Finally this is obviously an opinion piece as opposed to a news post.
With that out of the way, Uniregistry has applied for just over 50 strings.
Uniregistry is one of the largest applicants for new gTLD’s. Many of the strings (extensions) the Uniregistry applied for are in contention and will wind up going to ICANN Last Resort Auctions based on Uniregistry very public rejection of private auctions.
So why we say pound for pound Uniregistry will be the most successful?
1. Lets start with the fact that Frank Schilling’s own domain portfolio of over 300,000 domains, generates some 4.5 Million visitors a day.
Those 4.5 million visitors can all be served up an ad for Uniregistry, a pop up ad and/or pop under ad or simply be re-directed to Uniregistry.
That’s a lot of eyeballs and it won’t cost Uniregistry a penny.
2. Frank Schilling own portfolio generates some 700+ incoming offers a day by someone looking to buy one of Frank’s domains.
Talk about qualified leads.
You have people sending in offers through emails and from inquiry links on domain landing pages inquiring on domain names that have a price tag of $5,000, $25,000, six figures and even seven figures.
For those that can’t afford a aftermarket domain priced at $25,000 for example, what is the chance you can turn that customer into a registrant of a new gTLD.
I would say pretty good.
I don’t know if its 25% or 10% or 5% but anyway you slice it out of 250,000 incoming buyers a year looking to buy a domain name you should be able to turn those into a lot of registrations.
The there are the buyers of premium domain names. Someone that goes ahead and buys one of the Frank’s premium domain names, what percentage of those people who just plunked down $25,000 or $100,000 for a domain name would go ahead and purchase some variants of that domain in the new gTLD space for $20 a piece, call it a defense purchase or call it an upsell. Either way if someone is interested in buying domain names its much easier to sell them a new gTLD registration than someone off the street.
3. Couple the above with the fact that Frank’s DomainNameSales.com has 17 domain name brokers (and growing) who sell domain names full time, every day of the year.
It one thing to try to start an organization by trying to hire people with domain sales experience and quite another to have an organization already set up and operating and selling ten million plus in domain names each year.
4. A customer list of domain buyers.
Frank not only gets a lot of inquiries but sells a lot of premium domains for premium dollars and guess what, he has the email address and other contact information for each of his customers and for everyone who has ever inquired about a domain name.
That’s quite a list.
5. Frank is self funded.
While all other big applicants are public companies, that have to answer to shareholders or companies that have raised money and have to answer to investors, Frank doesn’t have to answer to anyone (except for Mrs. Schilling). Investor money is expensive and investors want a return on their investment and typically are not exceptionally patient waiting for that money to flow back to them.
6. Frank has over 10 years experience and knowledge in buying and selling domain names.
While operating a registry is a different business model than being a domainer, the knowledge and experience that a successful domainer possesses can’t be replaced or duplicated by someone new to the business. A lot of new gTLD applicants have little to no experience in buying and selling domain names.
If you look at the success of the .Co registry somewhat lost in their success story is that Juan Calle the CEO of the operating company is in his own right a successful domainer and Lori Anne Wardi was a domainer well before she started working for the .Co registry. Registries that have domainers on board will have a huge advantage to those registries that don’t
7 The number of registrations don’t have to be big.
Lets say Uniregistry winds up with 40 new gTLD’s and each one does an extremely modest 25,000 domain registrations a year at an average wholesale cost of $20.
That is $500,000 per extension and at 40 extensions that a cool $20 Million dollars.
Why do I say that 25,000 registrations is modest?
Consider that .Tel has 200,000 registrations.
.Name has over 210,000 registrations.
So $20 Million a year is based on 40 new gTLD registries generating 1/10th the volume of .Tel or .Name.
Of course if even is a few of the 40 extensions generate the volume of a .Tel or .Name well that $20 Million dollars a year figure will increase exponentially.
8. Uniregistry is located in the Cayman Islands (for real).
So Uniregistry, like Mr. Schilling and all his companies are based in the Caymans, all of his staff is located in the Caymans and the Cayman Islands has no income tax.
That means instead of paying 30% + of its profits to a government, (even when its closed) Frank can reinvest it back into his business.
He can hire more people, do more marketing, lower registration costs, offer special deals to customers or just bank a lot more money that most other registries that are located in high tax jurisdictions, like the US, UK and Germany.
Of the major new gTLD applicants only Famous Four which is based in Gibraltar share this huge advantage.