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Meredith Sold the Money (Money.com) Brand for $24.9 Million

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Data Driven: Unicorn Upgrades – When Did They Happen? – Part 1

Unicorns. Aside from being mythical creatures, the term unicorn is also used to describe companies. In particular, privately held startup companies that are valued at $1 billion or more.

Most unicorn companies don't start out by owning their best, exact-match .COM domain name. When a company starts its life, domain names aren't necessarily a priority, so many opt for lesser names. Lesser names could include a prefix word (such as "Get" or "Try"), or they could be an alternative extension to .COM (such as .CO or .IO).

On their way to becoming a unicorn, many of these companies paid the sometimes vast amounts of money needed to acquire their exact-match .COM domain.

Let me start by saying that this isn’t listed by Meredith as a pure domain name sale, so it wouldn’t be eligible to rank on any domain sales charts. 

Founded in 1972, Money is a personal finance brand that thrived under the ownership of Time Inc. The brand smartly acquired Money.com in the early Internet era, but it took until 2014 for a dedicated Money.com website to be established.

Naturally, with an asset like Money.com, the website soon proved to be a hit, growing its traffic steadily over the course of the past six years, with the domain and overall Money brand both included in the $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc by Meredith in 2018. Unfortunately, though, this wasn’t deemed a key title and Meredith seemed keen to sell the Money brand, following Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated out of Meredith’s door.

After ditching the production of the physical Money magazine (and the 400,000+ subscribers) in summer 2019, Meredith subsequently sold the Money.com brand separately.

According to an SEC filing (page 13) from Meredith, the company sold the Money.com domain, website, and associated assets for a total of $24.9 million in October 2019. While FolioMag states that Meredith wasn’t actively selling the brand at the time, they received an inbound offer that was inline with their own valuation of Money.

WHOIS data shows that the Money.com domain eventually moved out of Meredith’s possession and into a privacy-protected NameCheap account around November 20th, 2019.

Meredith sold the @Money brand (including Money.com) for $24.9 million.Click To Tweet

The brand was acquired by Ad Practitioners LLC, a startup founded by two ex-employees of Google and Moz respectively, that owns a portfolio of digital brands including the popular ConsumersAdvocate.org.

While the $24.9 million acquisition of the Money brand included the website, content, traffic, social media accounts, and more, the lure of the Money.com domain name will likely have played a significant role in Ad Practitioners LLC’s valuation of the brand.

How much of the $24.9 million can be attributed to the Money.com domain itself? It’s very difficult to say, but this was a significant price to pay to gain control of one of the best financial domains out there.

 

An Ad Practitioners representative would not confirm the acquisition price, but the information in Meredith’s SEC filing should suffice as evidence that the Money.com brand sold for $24.9 million.

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AbdulBasit Makrani
AbdulBasit Makrani
3 months ago

Great domain! Thanks for sharing.

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Meredith Sold the Money (Money.com) Brand for .9 Million

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Last week, a couple of investors noticed that the domain Resolve.com moved from its longstanding ownership at financial technologies company D+H Ltd into a Sedo holding account.

Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly tweeted the news:

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Telepathy Inc, the domain investment portfolio founded by industry veteran Nat Cohen, has a penchant for short names. The company is listed as owning hundreds of three-letter .COM's, and also several two-letter .COM's.

It seems that Telepathy may have sold one of its two-letter .COM's after LT.com was transferred out of Telepathy's Name.com account to a NameCheap account. At the same time, the domain's nameserver data was updated. As of writing, the WHOIS data connected to LT.com's owner has been redacted for privacy purposes.