My rough estimate of the Uniregistry acquisition price

After the announcement of the Uniregistry acquisition by GoDaddy some people commented that the acquisition price would be around $50m to $100m.

I don’t think the price was near this level. Here is my (extremely) rough estimate.

The acquisition involves 350,000+ domain names owned by Frank Schilling’s company: NAME ADMINISTRATION INC.

GoDaddy’s NameFind purchased the portfolio of Michael Berkens‘ Most Wanted Domains in 2015. It is widely accepted that the sales price of the 70,000 domains was between $30m and $35m.

So if we assume the sales price was $32.5m and the domains sold by Frank Schilling were about 365,000 then the sales price was at about $170m. I will also assume that the highest volume of Frank’s portfolio will counter weight Frank asking more money (per name) for his portfolio. That is because Frank has an army of brokers and thus higher revenue per year than what Mike Berkens had. (BTW, no, valuation of a domain name portfolio can NOT ONLY be done by some multiple of annual revenue.)

I would guess the price of the domains was higher than that. Maybe closer to $200m. I believe that $167m is the absolute minimum but let’s work with that for now.

The sale also includes Uniregistry’s domain registrar and marketplace businesses.

CentralNic Group recently acquired Team Internet, a domain parking company, for $48m. Uniregistry seems to have a little less parked domains than Parking Crew so that will be another $40m into the deal. (I have the 2 companies at about 1,250,000 to 1,300,000 million parked domains each.)

I will add another ~$20m based on the acquisitions Namesilo and Ascio that were a similar (or lower) sized registrars with similar clients and margins.

Of course GoDaddy will also be buying the Uniregistry marketplace system and the brokers/contacts/leads. I would value that at another $20m.

So that brings us at a very rough estimate that is $250 million USD. My initial estimate was that the price was somewhere between $200m and $250m but now that I broke the business elements down I think is is closer to $250m.

Please feel free to correct me if any of my numbers are off.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and now live in Athens, Greece. I love domains and building websites. I am online since 1995, learned about HTML in 1996 and about domains in 2002. I started publishing the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

25 comments

  1. I.M.O uniregistry was garbage. a third world banana republic co it just seemed filthy a fly by night co it was worth 40 mil tops

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      I don’t really understand why it matters where the company is located. This is a tech company and 365,000 domains you can transfer in 5 minutes to GoDaddy.

      • “This is a tech company and 365,000 domains can transfer 5 minutes to GoDaddy.”

        Uhh no, could opt make things difficult , stupid GD 60-lock, though, Uni’s credit ONLY GD does this.

        Oh No!!! think GD will force garbage 60 lock policy for Uni like all GD pushes, closeouts “350k Uni” to GD 5 min, but 60 days stuck in that hell-hole.

        Disregard Cayman company, dont understand principle some support American companies? it’s a pride thing, same reason “Buy American” cars & secure no chance give any CAYMAN my domains accredited or not..

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        GoDaddy will not put a 60-day lock on its own domains.

        No, I don’t understand this supposedly pride when we talk with domains. Does a domain owned by someone in the US worth more than someone in the Caymans?

  2. The acquisition news Godaddy of Uniregistry was only in principle Market and Broker Domain, Parking Domains, now you write that Registration domains also enter the acquisition, if this is so.

    I look for a business Consulting domains because I with Godaddy have a problem always paying in Euros and I pay 45% of sales taxes with Godaddy every month, and not in USD if it were only paying 25% tax month as the other sales

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Frank’s domain name portfolio was the main asset in the acquisition. Sale of the 350,000+ domains was clear in the announcement.

  3. It seems that they value the technology and the engineering team that are behind that technology. If it is true that Godaddy will migrate largely to the Uniregistry platform and sunset a lot of legacy code, then clearly the platform for web, mobile, back-end and even registry operations is of some material value.

    As for the acquisition price, I believe it is higher, e.g. $350 million. If they amortize it over 80 quarters, the earning impact is only about $4.3 million per quarter. They will sell at least that much in domains over the next 12 quarters, so that makes Aman look like a genius to analysts who miss the impact of selling the cream first.

    The fact is that there is enormous execution risk in managing a migration of this scale. Domains may go missing, staff may struggle to keep up with support, disgruntled former staff may settle scores, etc. Apparently the risk of emission (do something) was lower than omission (do nothing).

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      I have serious doubt that GoDaddy will migrate to the Uniregistry platform. They are very afraid of big changes.
      They couldn’t even migrate Afternic into GoDaddy. The risk you mention will not let them do a large migration. They may migrate small parts of the system. Otherwise I think the systems will remain as they are for at least 2-3 years.
      I would value the tech a bit more but my opinion that GoDaddy will NOT be integrating it keeps my valuation lower.

      And yes GoDaddy will sell all the cream/”liquid” domains ASAP.

      • The way Uni tends to load during stress times, and large name changes, I think the system would crash if you put all of the Godaddy customers on there. I would think they run it status quo as the Uniregistry sub of Godaddy for a bit, until they have a clear plan of what to do.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        This is what I said, not because of the Uniregistry load though. I have not used it in a couple of years so I am not sure how it reacts to stress.

      • Wouldnt you say IP goodwill of Uni wort more than most?

        compared NameSilo to Uni? One UX looks 1996 & other looks 2020. Not Uni fan, but platform nicest on the eyesIMO
        NS isnt bad, simple way to go,
        but Why discontinue what was probably worth the most (IP) ?Wouldnt make business sense, GD interface way inferior…

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        More than most? No. You can probably build a better system for less money. It is worth money and it is better than GoDaddy at first sight. I don’t know how it would work with millions of domains and customers.

        The company valuation is based on domains under management, customers and revenue. I put the system on a different segment.

    • Rob, makes a lot of good points, he seems to have a good birds eye view on things.

      Remember Moniker how names went missing, and ended up in the wrong places, support was so overwhelmed they stopped answering their phone.

      Many of the employees work out of the Caymans, and Frank took good care of them with their massive catering budget, and paid meals, I can’t see Godaddy doing that. They have lost some brokers, and it seems they have handed off the FMA portfolio to his buddy Jeff Gabriel, and his new company saw.com.

      Godaddy needs to get someone down to the Caymans, to oversee this handoff as Rob mentioned, as it only takes one things to go wrong, and thousands of people to be affected.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        Moniker did the dumb thing and threw away a system that was old but working. They then transitioned to a bad system and also threw away any information that would not fit in that bad system. e.g. All old invoices vanished in a second.
        They did a terrible job.

        Uniregistry employees were constantly fleeing the company. Something was off there. And most didn’t manage to live in the Caymans for more than a few years.

        Somehow I don’t believe FMA was “handed” to Jeff Gabriel…

        Maybe Uniregistry was not the company that some people thought. Mainly in terms of the people running it.
        I have now completely left Uniregistry!

  4. You forgot to add in BrandSight.com, Matt Serlin is not chump change. Database of 1 million domains.

    I am guessing Frank probably instructed his brokers to go back, and check with old leads, and try to close deals that were probably within 30% of closing, before handing off that final list to Godaddy.

    I think your a bit light on the value of Uniregistry.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      You are right. I excluded BrandSight.com. I don’t know how to value this. Do you?

      • It’s worth a lot more now it’s in Godaddy hands, I value it in the people that came over from Mark Monitor like Matt Serlin etc… I think in Godaddy’s hands this could be a very undervalued asset, considering it’s a newer venture, and not fully matured it couldn’t be more than a few million, but Godaddy could really undercut prices in this sector, and cause a lot of disruption for Mark Monitor Safe Names, and others.

  5. Hi Konstantinos

    Thank you..

    I will send you a written form.

  6. I think Price range $250 million USD to $350 million USD

  7. Gut feeling is that the Name Admin estimate is too high. Think you are using the high water mark comparable, Mike Berkens who also had a lot of Chinese names that could be liquidated straight away at high prices, sold right at the peak. I think he also had a lower % of EMD style names that have become very hard to move.

    What about Marchex portfolio which Godaddy bought 200k domains for $35million? What do you the number look like if you apple that instead?

    Sounds like Name Admin was maybe around $20million in yearly sales, then you have reg fees, broker commissions, other overheads. Suspect around $100million for the portfolio only.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Mike had some Chinese names but Frank has some nice short and one-word domains that are also very liquid.

      I believe the Marchex portfolio was of lower quality. It had a lot of “traffic” domains when it first sold and parking went south.

    • If Frank wanted to raise $100M he could do it with a firesale within a year, and still have 200,000 names left.

      • Think you may be over estimating things. Most of the really exceptional domains have been sold. Majority of the value is in 2 word combinations.

        Probably also isn’t the money floating around to soak up that value of domains from domainers either. $100 million is around the sum total of all reported sales in a typical year.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        The way you describe it is like Frank could sell 165,000 domains in a year for $100m. How could he do this unless it was a bulk sale?
        And the price per domain you give is $606.

  8. Very simple his platform is automated, he has a team of brokers, and they have all their old leads, and offers. You know the crazy prices they quote, like names they just picked up for $800, quote $40-$60k the next day. If they came down to $2500-$5000 sweet spot, he could move a lot.

    Frank was already quite wealthy before all this happend, just saying if he really wanted to raise $100M, given domain prices in the auction aftermarket are the highest we have seen in a while.

    There has to be more to the story, and we are just not getting in today.

    If it was about money, Taryn would have been turned off a long time ago.

    Maybe now, or never chance, if not godaddy, who would ever step up?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.