Minds + Machines Registry Struggles With Only 63,000 Domains Over 13 New gTLDs

MindsAndMachinesMinds + Machines Group Limited provided an update on its portfolio of generic top-level domains and registrar operations ahead of the Company’s year-end financials.

The purpose of the update is to: provide shareholders with a better understanding of the Group’s existing portfolio of top level domains; identify which top level domains remain in contention and expected timings for their resolution; as well as to provide an overall view of the total number of registrations the Company is managing. Going forward, the Company will provide a quarterly update of total registrations across its portfolio of domains.

In addition, this update provides additional clarity on the structure and aim of the Group’s registrar business.

Registry Update

Uncontested Domains

Currently the Company:

  • wholly-owns, or majority owns, 20 uncontested generic top-level domains of which 13 have been launched to date;
  • owns and/or operates 5 geo-domains from which it shares revenues with the relevant government, 3 of which have been launched to date;
  • is partnering on a further 4 uncontested top-level domains of which 1 has so far been launched; and
  • is the back end registry service provider for a further 5 clients, of which 2 have launched to date.

In total, 19 of the 34 uncontested domains in which the Group has a commercial interest have so far entered General Availability and have received 165,364 registrations as of 20 April 2015. Since 1 January 2015, the Company’s portfolio has achieved over 63,000 registrations.

The average registration number of the 13 wholly-owned TLDs is 4,846 domains. Actually only 2 New gTLDs are doing ok. .Work with 20,605 (although M+M is not making any money on it as domains were sold at cost) and probably .Beer that has 6,957 domains. All the others are struggling with .rodeo only having 322 registrations. .Rodeo wouldn’t survive past year one if it was launched by a 1-TLD registry.

From the New gTLD they have the only one I see having big potential is .law. .VIP is nice but rather limited.

Contested Domains

In addition, the Company has interests in a further 11 contested applications, 8 of which it either wholly or majority owns. The Directors anticipate that the contested domains should mainly be resolved through the private auction process before the end of Q3 2015. Those that are not resolved through the private auction process are likely to go to an ICANN auction of last resort where ICANN retains the winning bidder’s funds rather than those funds being divided amongst the competing bidders. Currently, cash reserves within the Group stand at US$48 million.

Registration Revenues

The Directors anticipate that registration revenues should build significantly in the second half of the current financial year as a result of: planned domain launches in that period, including .law and .abogado; domain name renewals in respect of those domains launched by the Company in the second half of last year; and the impact of its Premium Name activity currently being developed (see end of release).

Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, commented:

We believe the Group is strongly positioned to compete in the remaining auction rounds. We are likewise encouraged by the Group’s ability to have grown its cash reserves since 31 December whilst completing 7 top-level domain launches during that period. Our focus is now on the successful commercialisation of those domains already launched and the phased launch programme for our remaining domains to maximise the penetration of each in their given markets.

The launch schedule for the Company’s domains will be regularly updated at http://mm-registry.com/launch-schedule/.

A full breakdown of the Company’s gTLD portfolio is set out in the tables below. Registrations numbers are derived from internal company records as at 20 April 2015 and therefore may vary from those available at www.ntldstats.com.

Table 1: Wholly-owned

gTLDs
Launch date
Registrations
to date
Back end provider
.cooking Sep-14 1,491 Minds + Machines
.fishing Sep-14 1,297 Minds + Machines
.horse Sep-14 1,755 Minds + Machines
.rodeo Sep-14 322 Minds + Machines
.vodka Sep-14 1,415 Minds + Machines
.beer Sep-14 6,957 Minds + Machines
.surf Sep-14 2,080 Minds + Machines
.casa Feb-15 2,919 Minds + Machines
.work Feb-15 20,605 Minds + Machines
.yoga Feb-15 3,272 Minds + Machines
.wedding Apr-15 1,783 Minds + Machines
.fashion Apr-15 2,205 Minds + Machines
.garden Apr-15 400 Minds + Machines
.fit Apr-15 Minds + Machines
.abogado Q3 ‘15 Minds + Machines
.law Q3 ‘15 Minds + Machines
.dds TBD Minds + Machines
.luxe TBD Minds + Machines
.vip TBD Minds + Machines
.购物 (shopping – IDN) TBD Neustar
Total 20 46,501

Table 2: Geo-domains

gTLDs
Launch date
Registrations
to date
Back end provider
.london Sep-14 62,143 Minds + Machines
.bayern Sep-14 29,351 Minds + Machines
.nrw Mar-15 7,701 Knipp
.budapest Q3 ‘15 Minds + Machines
.budapest Q3 ‘15 Minds + Machines
Total 5 99,195

Note 1: MMX earns revenue as the registry owner, selling domain names at wholesale prices to registrars. Knipp is paid a per domain fee to manage the registry platform out of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia.

Table 3: Joint ventures & partnerships

gTLDs
Launch date
Registrations
to date
Back end provider
.country Sep-14 5,322 Minds + Machines
.basketball TBD Minds + Machines
.review TBD Minds + Machines
.rugby TBD Minds + Machines
Total 4 5,322

Table 4: Client applications

gTLDs
Launch date
Registrations
to date
Back end provider
.kiwi Apr-14 11,406 Minds + Machines
.gop Jul-14 2,940 Minds + Machines
.bradesco TBD Minds + Machines
.broadway TBD Minds + Machines
.tube TBD Minds + Machines
Total 5 14,346

Table 5: Contested applications

gTLDs
Type
Back end provider
.art Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.cpa Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.data Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.gay Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.home Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.hotel Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.inc Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.llc Wholly-owned Minds + Machines
.eco Partnership Minds + Machines
.music Partnership Minds + Machines
.radio Client Minds + Machines
Total 11

Registrar Update

The primary distribution channel for the Group’s portfolio of gTLDs is the international network of registrars through which the Company already sells its domains.

The Company’s own registrar provides a complementary additional distribution channel that is designed primarily to support the Group’s own gTLD portfolio through a range of targeted initiatives, rather than replicate the sales channel provided by existing registrars. In particular, Minds + Machines’ registrar is currently:

  • securing pioneers and key partners able to generate awareness and penetration into key vertical markets that relate to Minds + Machines’ portfolio of gTLDs;
  • providing online affiliate programmes for dedicated marketing partners that operate in given sectors, 20 of which have now been signed;
  • selling premium domain names to targeted audiences; and
  • providing additional consumer services that facilitate consumer adoption and usage of new domain addresses bought within Minds + Machines’ portfolio of domains.

The registrar also provides the Group with direct access to consumers which enables it to understand consumer buying patterns, test and refine marketing programs, and determine additional services to promote the adoption and renewal of domain addresses within Minds + Machines’ portfolio across all its registrar distribution channels.

The Company is also currently undertaking final testing of the website building tool, Mozart, as well as other consumer services for integration into its registrar operations – including email and privacy tools – ahead of their formal launch.

In relation to the Group’s Premium Name activity, the Company is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Trent Tucker who joins from eNom/Rightside where he was responsible for running their sales department. Currently, Premium Names account for approximately 3 per cent. of the Group’s registrations and 25 per cent. of its revenue.

At present, the Group holds a significant inventory of Premium Names across its gTLD portfolio and sees significant opportunities for recurring annual revenues in this area. The Directors expect that the benefits of this activity should begin to make a contribution in the second half of the current financial year.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

4 comments

  1. Scanning that list, .london seems a clear long term winner and an intuitively great space. I also regard .review as one that could have great usefulness in the years ahead. It strikes me as one in which developers/entrepreneurs could legitimately operate independent review sites on any company or service provider.

  2. I think the only reason this company will survive is because they hanging onto their cash that they’ve raised. In terms of “doing business” they are doing very little.

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