Top Level Domain Holdings (AIM: TLDH) provided an update on the progress of its uncontested gTLD applications, Minds + Machines’ OPEN Priority Reservation programme and the private auction process.
Progress of uncontested TLDH and client applications
Of the 24 uncontested applications in which TLDH has an interest, the Company is delighted to confirm that contracts have now been exchanged with ICANN on seventeen – fifteen of which are wholly/majority owned by TLDH, with the remaining two being client-led applications.
The fifteen TLDH wholly/majority owned applications where contracts have now been signed and exchanged with ICANN are: .fishing, .casa, .budapest, .vodka, .rodeo, .work, .miami, .cooking, .horse, .luxe, .nrw, .country, .bayern, .beer, and .surf. Of these, .fiashing, .casa, .budapest, .cooking, and .horse have already passed pre-delegation testing (“PDT”).
TLDH is confident that all of its uncontested portfolio will continue to move smoothly through the PDT and final approval phases ahead of delegation into the Internet’s root zone.
Meanwhile, TLDH’s portfolio of uncontested client-led applications continues to progress well with .KIWI now delegated into the Internet’s root and scheduled to start its Sunrise later in January. The Sunrise is the 30-60 day period where trademark owners can claim their name within a new gTLD ahead of the public launch of a new top level domain.
Priority Reservation Platform
Further to the announcement of 18 December, reservations for TLDH’s wholly-owned domains .casa, .cooking, and .horse via the Company’s OPEN Priority Reservation platform continues to be strong, as have early sales of PeopleBrowsr’s .ceo and .best names which are also available through Minds + Machines OPEN service. To date, 17 registrars from around the world have signed Registry-Registrar Agreements (“RRAs”) with TLDH enabling them to market/sell names to consumers within TLDH owned domains when launched; in addition 11 registrars have agreed to implement Minds + Machines’ Priority Reservation service thereby extending its marketing reach.
Private and ICANN Auction Update
As previously announced, the directors fully expect TLDH to participate in the upcoming private auctions for the 43 contested strings in which it has an interest as and when they occur.
The Board also notes ICANN has recently published a preliminary schedule for potential ICANN sponsored auctions for contested strings on which ICANN is seeking comment. The Board believes this development should provide further stimulus to those applicants not wishing to go down the ICANN auction route to resolve contention issues in a timely manner and enable the Company to take a more strategic view on those applications that advance to the ICANN auction rounds.
Antony Van Couvering, Group CEO, commented:
We have an exceptionally strong portfolio of uncontested applications already in place, the first of which are now entering their respective launch phases. We likewise are gathering significant market insights through our OPEN platform which in turn is enabling us to better understand the potential value of our contested gTLDs. We therefore look forward to advancing our contested portfolio in a manner that best returns value to our shareholders.
About Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
Top Level Domain Holdings is a publicly-traded holding company listed on the London AIM market. The company is focused on the new top-level domain space. Top-level domains, such as .com, run by VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), and .biz, run by NeuStar (NYSE: NSR), are regulated by ICANN. ICANN has announced plans to expand the number of top-level domains. TLDH intends to make targeted investments in this space, focusing on both infrastructure technologies and specific top-level domains.
About Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines is a registry services provider that works internationally with commercial organisations, cities, not-for-profits, and entrepreneurs to secure and operate new web domains, known as top-level domains (TLDs). Minds and Machines Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Top Level Domains Holdings Limited.