In this week’s edition of The Sales Roundup, I’m taking a look at DNJournal’s final chart of 2020 to see why certain domain names sold for the prices they did. The domains I’ve picked to research this week include Engage.com, News.com, and Heal.me.
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Engage.com – $803,025
This blockbuster sale came in at the last second to steal second place in 2020’s top domain sales chart, beating previous incumbent NAS.com by around $80,000.
The domain was sold by Buckley Media on behalf of Sparks Network, a major player in the dating industry that owns brands such as Zoosk, Christian Mingle, and JDate.
The buyer was Koober Investments Ltd, a mysterious company listed as residing in the British Virgin Islands. The company already owns some of the best .COM names around including Bank.com, Fund.com, and Luck.com.
While most of Koober’s domains haven’t been developed, Engage.com has. The name started displaying a site for a customer engagement service within days of the purchase. It seems obvious that the buyer had a distinct plan for the name.
Why did Engage.com sell for $803,025? That, I think, is down to a combination of things:
- A corporate owner that knows the value of the domain name to them.
- A motivated and highly talented broker that has a track record of achieving high sales numbers for one-word .COM names.
- A buyer that obviously appreciates the value of an ultra-premium .COM domain and is willing to invest a significant sum of money to own it.
These three criteria aligned to produce an $803,025 sales price.
Newz.com – $70,000
Newz.com, which keeps being auto-corrected to “News.com” by my laptop, is a name that was sold by EmpireNames. Founded by Riz Memon, EmpireNames owns a portfolio of predominantly .COM domains. The company has a constant stream of purchases and sales.
The Newz.com domain was acquired by EmpireNames for $15,5000 just three months before it was sold for $70,000.
According to a LinkedIn post from Riz Memon, the name sold thanks to Epik CEO Rob Monster, who was influential in closing the sale.
A tweet in mid-December revealed that Massi Squillace was the buyer of this domain:
— Massi Squillace (@massisquillace) December 14, 2020
Massi is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and founder of a service called Contents.com. With a background in journalism and an obvious passion for domain names, Massi was motivated enough to spend $70,000 on Newz.com. We can assume that Massi will develop the name at some point in time.
Five-figure sales for names such as this aren’t uncommon. Last year, Herz.com sold for $16,450 at GoDaddy, and Gemz.com sold for $30,000 at Uniregistry in 2017.
Heal.me – $43,000
The larger .ME domain sales seem to be names that create a phrase or action. Meet.me, Date.me, and Join.me have all sold for five or six-figure fees in the past. The latest five-figure .ME sale is Heal.me, courtesy of Sedo.
Sold for $43,000, it’s the second-largest .ME sale of the past five years that we know of. The name was acquired by an end-user — DaoCloud.
Founded in 2014, is the largest national network of vetted wellness practitioners. The company shouldn’t be confused with DaoCloud, a Shanghai-based cloud computing firm that has raised $14.6 million in funding. California’s DaoCloud has raised $1.2 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.
There’s no obvious reason why DaoCloud acquired Heal.me, but I would suggest that this might be an eventual rebrand. To avoid future confusion between the two DaoCloud companies, is the Californian brand about to switch to Heal.me?
DogChef.com – $30,000
Another sale from Sedo on my list this week is DogChef.com, a brandable two-word domain that sold for $30,000.
Online pet nutrition brands have become hot property. With some pet owners willing to pay a premium for the best food for their animals, brands such as Ollie (myollie.com) have capitalized and have raised significant funds in the process.
DogChef.com was acquired by a Belgian pet food developer that provides tailor-made meals for dogs. The acquisition of DogChef.com is an upgrade from DogChef.be, the Belgian ccTLD.
DogChef’s purchase comes as the company announced a €1 million funding round. Using just 3% of that to get your company’s exact-match .COM is a smart move.
Cardeo.com – $20,000
My final name is Cardeo.com, a name that I thought would have been sold to the fitness industry as an alternative spelling of “cardio.” No. The name was acquired by Cardeo, a British company founded in 2020 that offers easy credit card management.
The company is lead by Gavin Shuker, a former British Member of Parliament, and lists Dr. Ewan Kirk, a former Goldman Sachs partner, as its executive chairman.
This was an upgrade from Cardeo.co.uk and signals international intent from the British company. The upgrade comes early in Cardeo’s lifespan and was sold by DomainMarket.com’s Mike Mann — a seller that is notorious for achieving five or six-figure sales.