Minds + Machines Group Limited announced that following the recent series of private auctions, the Company will receive in aggregate $4.4 million (approximately £2.8 million) for withdrawing its applications on .latino, .school and a third domain application that at present cannot be named due to the rules governing the private auction process. The cash to the Group is net of auction fees and includes refunds that the Company will receive from ICANN for withdrawing its applications. Cash and cash equivalents within the Group following the latest private auctions now stand at approximately $45 million (approximately £29 million).
The Company anticipates the auction rounds for the remaining 17 contested applications in which MMX has an interest will be completed by the end of Q2 2015.
Separately, the Company is delighted to confirm that its wholly-owned registrar businesses expect to introduce new, fully-integrated consumer-focused services in Q1 2015. The services will provide Minds+ Machines’ customers with an immediate web presence upon acquiring a domain name. The services, run on Mozart software, will also feature easy to use content management tools that will enable both private and public sharing of content, further details of which will be provided at the time of launch.
Under the Company’s exclusive agreement with Needly, the developer of Mozart, Minds + Machines will fully own the customer billing relationship and associated revenues, both where Minds + Machines’ customers adopt Mozart and where customers are referred to Minds + Machines for a domain address by Mozart.
To further support the Company’s ongoing marketing, Minds + Machines is pleased to announce new pioneers for its already-released top-level domains including Quiksilver, the world’s largest manufacturer of surf apparel company, for .surf; the renowned Academy of Country Music for .country; the successful craft brewery, New Belgium Brewing, for .beer; and Parelli Natural Horsemanship for .horse. The Company is also pleased to report that it will shortly be releasing two-character domain names for sale, which were previously blocked by ICANN.
Minds + Machines’ executive Chairman, Mr Krueger, separately confirms that further to the announcement of 17 October that he will be investing the proceeds from his recent net options exercise to increase his interest in the Company through market purchases of existing Shares but not before the auction process is complete and the business’s revenue streams are fully understood by the market.
The Board also confirms that no RSU awards to directors are being made at this time.
Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, commented:
“As we head into 2015, Minds + Machines is in excellent position. The Group’s cash reserves continue to grow meaningfully through the private auction process; our portfolio of gTLDs is a leader in revenue per domain name, with .london leading the pack as one of the highest revenue earners of any new gTLD; and now we are creating a portfolio of services that the Board is confident will significantly help drive the adoption of gTLDs, as well as directly capture new customers for the Group. Maximising customer adoption of new domains and customer ‘wallet share’ are increasingly the two key KPI’s for the Group and its ambition of becoming the premium new gTLD player.”