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Old 27th April 2006, 08:16 PM
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Speculating on domain names

Speculating on domain names

Back in December 1999, Houston entrepreneur Marc Ostrofsky sold the domain name www.business.com for $7.5 million to eCompanies. It was a record sale for an Internet address and established Ostrofsky as a leader in the business of domain name speculation, an area that was red hot at the height of the Internet boom.

Now, Ostrofsky is back with a new Houston startup called Internet REIT that has purchased more than 400,000 domain names. The competitor to Seattle's Marchex also recently scored funding from Perot Investments and Maveron, the Seattle venture capital firm co-founded by former investment banker Dan Levitan and Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz.

Ostrofsky and other domain name speculators will be in Bellevue this week for the "Domain Roundtable" -- a 3-day conference that will try to explain the art behind buying and selling Internet addresses and how to attract advertising dollars to large networks of Web sites.

Have we returned to the dot com boom years? I think we have. And it goes to show that some venture capitalists are not afraid to dust off business plans from five or six years ago. USA Today wrote about the domain name business last week, reporting that 15 domain names have resold for more than $100,000 so far this year.

Internet REIT, whose Web sites are attracting about 50 million visitors per month, is attempting to build its growing portfolio of Web sites into attractive online destinations where consumers and advertisers flock. This business -- known as direct navigation -- also is a core strategy behind Marchex. In 2004, Marchex jumped into the domain name game with a $164 million purchase of Name Development -- owner of more than 100,000 Web sites such as Debts.com, LasVegasVacations.com and RentGuide.com. The publicly-traded company strengthened its domain name business last year by obtaining more than 70,000 zip code Internet addresses, ranging from Seattle's www.98103.com to New York's www.10041.com.

In December, more than 27 million unique visitors landed on one of Marchex's Internet properties.

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/v...ves/102660.asp
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Old 27th April 2006, 08:21 PM
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Re: Speculating on domain names

Good Find Great Read !
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