RetailMeNot Spends $4.3 Million To Buy New gTLD Domain Names

retailmenotRetailMeNot, a US coupon company, paid $4.3 million to buy New gTLD domain names from a new domain name registry, according to a SEC filling.

(Thanks to George Kirikos of Leap.com for the tip.)

The number of the domain names and the name of the registry are not disclosed.

Also it seems that RetailMeNot and the domain name registry are somewhat connected:

On December 26, 2013, we entered into an agreement with a domain registry company and certain of its subsidiaries. We agreed to pay the domain registry company $4.3 million for second level domains, or SLDs, contingent upon the domain registry company becoming the registry operator for such domains. In April 2015, we used $4.3 million to purchase the SLDs from the domain registry company pursuant to the terms of our agreement. An investment fund holds more than 10% of the outstanding capital stock of the domain registry company and holds more than 5% of a class of our voting securities as of March 3, 2015. In addition, during the period in which the agreement with the domain registry company was entered into and as of the date the purchase of the SLDs was completed, a member of our board of directors was a general partner of the entity that indirectly is the general partner of the investment fund.

My feeling is that the registry involved is Donuts that won the auction for the .coupons string in March. The above $4.3 million purchase was made in April, 2015. Donuts won the auction for an estimated $5 million price beating out Coupons.com that was the other applicant for .coupons. Effectively Donuts got .coupons almost for free. .Coupon is owned by Amazon.

My feeling is reinforced by the fact that RetailMeNot bought 849 New gTLD domain names from Donuts last year. This one of a kind deal (have not seen something similar in all new gtlds) was done in the small window between Sunrise and the start of the Early Access Program(EAP).

.Coupons is currently in the EAP phase and general availability starts in 2 days. No RetailMeNot domains have appeared in the zone files so far from what I can see.

Finally, I wonder of RetailMeNot fired some employees to buy .coupons domain names?

In August 2015, we announced plans to reduce operating expenses in order to realign our cost structure with our current strategic plan. As part of this expense reduction, we have reduced U.S. headcount by approximately 10 percent.

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. They were big in .codes also, alot of registry reserved type names they got

  2. What a big waste of money for a struggling, low profitability company … just to please their financial backers … vested interests strike again …

  3. One wonders about the thought process at RetailMeNot. When they bought the likes of cybermonday2019.codes or in-store.codes, how serious were they about using them for marketing or stockpiling them defensively? And how conscious were they of placating an investor even at their own direct loss?

    • WhoIsInfoNotAvailable

      thanks for sharing. I dont get it – do they actually understand what they are buying ? is this the case where an exec confuses SLD vs and actual .tld ? given the above example, it gives me the impression they could have bought one domain and subdomain the sequenced numbers ? what am i missing ?

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