Minds + Machines Group Limited (AIM: MMX), reported its operational progress across a number of business activities since its trading update announced earlier this year in January 2017.
MMX is targeting global registrations of .vip to surpass one million by the end of 2017. .VIP currently has over 586,000 registrations.
The company is participating directly in the auctions of .vip premium names currently being held by eName, one of the leading registrars in China. Within the first five days of the auction, gross sales of .vip premium inventory released by MMX through the auction has reached CNY1.1 million (approx. US$160,000). The eName auctions will run through to the end of March 2017.
.Boston is scheduled to be released for ‘general availability’ in September 2017.
The company also hired Victor Pitts as new Director of Premium Sales, Americas, that will lead premium domain name business development for the registry.
Here are all the updates reported by MMX today and yesterday:
Update on .vip and Asian Expansion Strategy
In May 2016 mmx successfully launched .vip into the Chinese market. Today it has over 586,000 registrations making it a leading gTLD in China as well as one of the top 10 new gTLD’s worldwide. Following .vip’s success in China, the Company is now looking to target other territories within Asia and is pleased to announce that Japan’s leading registrar group, GMO, has commenced marketing .vip into Japan.
GMO accounts for approximately 90% of gTLD registrations in the Japanese market and is an important strategic partner for the Company. Alongside .vip, GMO is also marketing .work, another gTLD in the mmx portfolio.
Given the interest received by mmx from certain new distribution partners in South East Asia and India for certain TLDs within its portfolio, the Company is additionally reviewing its options for extending its retail distribution footprint more widely into these regions.
Within China, the Company is pleased to report that it is participating directly in the auctions of .vip premium names currently being held by eName, one of the leading registrars in China. Within the first five days of the auction, gross sales of .vip premium inventory released by mmx through the auction has reached CNY1.1 million (approx. US$160,000). The eName auctions will run through to the end of March 2017 and continue to evidence the underlying asset value and popularity of .vip in China.
The Board is targeting global registrations of .vip to surpass one million by the end of 2017.
mmx is additionally progressing submissions to MIIT, China’s regulatory body for the Internet, on up to a further eight of its wholly owned TLDs, which (if approved) will allow mmx to target the growing Chinese SME market with its extensions. China currently accounts for over 46% of new generic top-level domains (“new gTLDs”) and remains a growing and important market.
Positive Pricing Changes in US and Europe and Launch of .boston
In the US, mmx continues to strengthen its distribution and sales channels team with the appointment of a highly experienced new business development director who will focus on further monetisation of mmx’s premium inventory across its portfolio of TLDs in North America.
This strategic appointment follows the Company’s announcement of its revised premium inventory renewal pricing policy to the industry in January this year; and an extensive re-pricing exercise the Company is currently completing across all of its premium inventory which will result in improved premium pricing being released to its retail partners in the second and third quarters of the current financial year. The Board believes this should lead to further margin enhancement.
Separately, .boston, an important Company asset, is scheduled to be released for ‘general availability’ in September 2017. The Company is working together with its distribution and retail partners to implement a strategy to support the launch.
In relation to the Company’s geographic TLDs, mmx is also pleased to report that Heads of Terms have been signed with a distribution partner which the Directors believe should lead to a material increase of registrations in two of the Company’s geographic gTLDs over the next twelve months.
Notice of Results
mmx will announce its Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2016 on Tuesday 25 April 2017. A meeting for analysts will be held on the day at the offices of the Company’s broker finnCap, 60 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1JJ at 10.30 a.m. Analysts wishing to attend should contact Belvedere Communications on the details below.
Toby Hall, CEO of MMX, commented:
“Following the positive progress of 2016 reported in January, I’m delighted that the momentum has continued into 2017. Significant progress is being made on a range of initiatives that should deliver meaningful standard name registration growth and awareness across a number of our TLDs in 2017,as well as premium inventory sales which typically benefits the profile of our top-line billings. We are well placed for further future growth and, with operating expenses under control, we look forward to the rest of 2017 and 2018 with confidence.”
MMX Appoints Accomplished Industry Professional Victor Pitts
Leading top-level domain name registry MMX (formerly known as Minds + Machines) today announced the appointment of accomplished domain industry leader Victor Pitts to the company’s business development team.
In his role of Director of Premium Sales, Americas, Mr Pitts is responsible for MMX’s premium domain name sales and partnerships.
MMX CEO Toby Hall said, “With Victor’s appointment, MMX’s commitment to accelerating sales activity and deepening partnerships with the brokerage and aftermarket sectors is on display. Victor’s excellent reputation within the premium domain sector, combined with his solid managerial abilities make him the ideal leader of our premium business development team.”
Mr Pitts’ two decades of domain industry experience included senior leadership roles in Above.com and Oversee.net, and was a founding team member of renowned domain-investor focused registrar Moniker.
“MMX has demonstrated that it is creating the ideal new domain registry” said Mr Pitts. “The MMX team’s authentic commitment to partnering with the industry is completely compatible with my own approach. Our recent elimination of premium renewal pricing has provided exciting momentum, and I’m looking forward to expanding MMX’s footprint through aftermarket and registrar channels with our excellent inventory.”
Mr Pitts holds a BA for Management of Information Systems at Florida International University. He has hosted over 250 podcast episodes of the “Domain Master” show, targeted to domain industry investors and professionals, writes for several blogs, and he is a sought-after speaker at industry business conferences. Like many premium domain name enterprises and professionals Mr Pitts will be based in Florida.