The domain name Convoy.com sold for $135,000 to a startup that is backed by Jeff Bezos and Marc Benioff. The buyer used a brand protection agency and a generic Gmail email address for the negotiations.
Interestingly enough the domain was saved in a UDRP back in December 2010. (The Convoy startup had nothing to do with the complaint.) John Berryhill represented the owner and then seller of the domain. The complaint brought by a Hong Kong company was denied by a 3 member panel.
The domain was sold in June 2015 to the Seattle startup and that was before it raised $2.5 million in October 2015 from an impressive group of investors.
The funding round in October 2015 was led by Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi. Other participating investors include Bezos Expeditions — the investment arm of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos — Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, former Starbucks President Howard Behar, KKR CEO Henry Kravis, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar via Omidyar Technology Ventures, and several others.
The startup was founded in April 2015 and it doesn’t seem that the company had used another domain name previous to buying the premium domain Convoy.com 2 months later in June 2015. Up until September 26 the website on Convoy.com displayed just this:
The “Get in touch” link was to a convoy.com email address. Were they being secretive until they were funded? It is unknown but by December their current website was built.
The startup operating in Washington State, Oregon and Idaho aims to make it easier to book local and regional trucks on demand. Every truck and driver in our network is equipped with the Convoy mobile app to provide you with real-time shipment tracking, status updates, and on-time deliveries. The startup has built a smartphone Uber-like app that lets truckers find jobs in a matter of minutes without the traditional legwork — and monetary cut — required when using a broker.
Convoy added more of technology’s biggest names to its roster of investors in a $16 million funding round announced in March 2016. Convoy added to its list of investors Silicon Valley venture firm Greylock Partners plus individual investors including Amazon executive Jeff Wilke, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom and LinkedIn executive Mike Gamson.
(I tried to get in touch with convoy ask a few questions on the domain acquisition but they declined: “Thanks for your inquiry. Our executive team is very busy, and we must
respectfully pass on this inquiry.”)
OnlineDomain.com talked with the seller Josh Bond about the 135k sale and tried to get some insight into the negotiations and the 2010 UDRP complaint. (It took me a while to realize that his last name is Bond and his email address in using the MrBond.com domain name. Clever… He registered MrBond.com a day after he hand registered Convoy.com back in 2000.) Here is what he had to say:
They used Safenames House (http://www.safenames.net/abou