I’ve been reading with interest about the sale of the .org registry by the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital. The value of the deal is just shy over $1.1 billion and if you are to believe some people, the deal was done in a cesspool of corruption and scandal.
What’s in it for PIR? They are now funded to do good for the Internet in the long,long,long-term future without having to worry about running a registry. Could you imagine being on the board of PIR, facing the prospect of another round of extensions being released by ICANN and then having a billion-dollar opportunity fall out of the sky and into your lap? You would be crazy not to seriously look at it!
Now let’s think about the numbers for a second. A typical .org domain sells for $10 (to make the maths easy) and since they have roughly 10 million domains in the registry then .org generates a top line revenue of $100 million per year. Of course, this is shared with the registrar in a variety of different agreement structures but let’s imagine that it wasn’t.
By paying $1.1 billion for the business either Ethos Capital is possibly going to be looking for a long-term hold (ie. north of 11 years) of the business, plan on growing the number of domains or there is some other reason they purchased it.
Growing the registry is a long, hard road. The entire domain space grows by about 5% per year and .org is a small percentage of that. If they managed to grow by 200,000 domains (ie. 2% per year) it would be a miracle. This would only add $2 million to the top line revenue and doesn’t really change the ROI economics that much for Ethos Capital.
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Original source: https://www.igoldrush.com/newsfeed/ig271897