Every so often, you run into some entrepreneur and that one thing he (its mostly he) who laments about: lack of available domain names. Which means people use dyslexic spellings of popular words, or even translate words from other languages and then Valleywag gets a chance to make fun of them. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly obvious: its easier to find one great true love in New York City than it is to find one great true love. (Oh, if you go by the money spent by the likes of Sphere, Dabble, and Flock on their domains, the “love ain’t cheap” theory ports well to domains as well.)
The domains are so hot that domain squatters are making more profits than some of them real estate speculators. About 2.2 million new domains are being snapped up every month in the US alone, according to some estimates. Marchex, a Seattle-based public startup which has built up a massive portfolio of domain names claimed in a Business 2.0 article that it was nearly 10 percent of the global paid search market, about $9 billion or so. Another proof, Donald Trump is no money-genius.
The madness is going global it seems. IPWalk says that new .eu domain, when opened to all European Union residents last week (aka Landrush) has zoomed past the .biz domain and will lap .info in about four months. EURid, the registry of .eu, received 346.218 applications, in comparison with approximately 800.000 applications within the first 24 hours. Today there are 1.454.128 active .eu domain names, a number that surpasses 1.352.984 active .biz domain names.
Given the frenzy, looks like GoDaddy, the domain registrar with enough power to unleash major swings in web-server market share might begoing public. Wow… the company most known for its steamy commercials, hasn’t filed any documents with SEC, but boy, it could be an interesting read. Folks over at Techdirt think that a known name like GoDaddy could be the trigger to get IPO-lemmings out of the door as well.
Just a few things I gathered about GoDaddy.com from IPWalk. The company uses three name servers for its domains, WildWestDomains, Jomax.net and of course Godaddy.com. The only name server, WWD is going up, while the other two are trending down. WWD is the #1 host in the US. GoDaddy has a total of 6.66 million domains registered to it. At a very rough average of about $10 a year for registration, that would work out to about $66 million in annual sales just form domain sales/renewals. Warning: This is a very very very rough estimate.