In this edition of the Sedo Sales Roundup, I’m looking at five domain sales closed at Sedo in April 2021 to see whether we can work out why the domains in question sold for the prices they did. I’ll be looking at Angel.com, Spline.com, 147.com, Overloop.com, and Pie.co. Both Overloop.com and Pie.co may have been acquired in anticipation of rebranding.
Table of Contents
Angel.com – $2 million
Sedo booked its largest publicly-disclosed domain sale for some time this month, thanks to its senior broker, Dave Evanson. Evanson took the domain under an exclusive brokerage agreement a couple of weeks before the sale.
Evanson announced the $2 million sale via Twitter, but who bought it and why did it sell for $2 million?
Angel.com was acquired by Angel Studios, a crowd-funded content platform that recently rebranded from VidAngel, which offers content filtering for TV and movies.
Angel Studios’ rebrand comes after the company sold its VidAngel filtering business for an undisclosed fee. Now, Angel Studios offers crowdfunding for TV shows and movies.
One success story from Angel Studios, which has already tested the waters with its crowdfunding platform, is The Chosen, a 7-season TV show depicting the life of Jesus. Both seasons 1 and 2 were fully funded at $10 million each. Angel Studios is now raising funds for The Chosen season 3.
Angel Studios used its own platform to raise funds for the company, with a $4,999,993 funding round filled. According to Angel Studios, it received revenues of $47 million in 2020, a 4.4x growth compared with 2019.
The Harmon brothers Jeffrey, Daniel, and Neal, who run Angel Studios, also operate a successful marketing agency, Harmon Brothers, which boasts mattress maker Purple among its clients. Purple notably paid $900,000 to acquire Purple.com.
Angel.com was sold by Sedo on behalf of Genesys, a customer service and contact center technology provider, which acquired Angel.com during the purchase of self-service application specialist Angel in 2013 from MicroStrategy. According to Forbes, MicroStrategy sold Genesys the Angel business, along with the domain, for $110 million.
Spline.com – $62,500
Technically, this was a one-word .COM sale, although perhaps not an obvious one on the first inspection. I’ve not heard of “spline” before, but it’s defined as a mathematical function predominantly.
The domain Spline.com was acquired via Sedo by Spline, a design company founded in 2020. Spline closed a seed funding round in March 2021, with incubator Y Combinator participating in that round.
It’s no coincidence that the funding round closed weeks before Spline acquired Spline.com.
By acquiring Spline.com, Spline secured its digital identity and will not need to focus on a domain upgrade at a later date.
As of writing, Spline.com still redirects to Spline’s old domain, Spline.design, but I imagine that Spline will switch to Spline.com at some point.
Spline announced its acquisition of Spline.com on Twitter:
We just got https://t.co/8lVn19aOtt
— Spline (@splinetool) April 6, 2021
147.com – $56,555
The last time we saw a five-figure, three-number .COM domain sale was in May 2015 when 284.com changed hands for $75,000. Since then, sales prices for three-number .COM’s increased exponentially, largely driven by demand from Chinese domain investors.
We’ve seen sales such as 114.com for $2.1 million, 345.com for $800,000, and even 417.com for $165,000. Why did 147.com sell for just $56,555?
I think the answer is cryptocurrency. The majority of three-number .COM domains are in the hands of Chinese individuals or companies. These domains are seen as liquid digital assets that circumvent China’s strict capital laws.
Cryptocurrency achieves the same results and with a bullish crypto market, liquid domains popular with Chinese investors have been brought onto the market in order to free up funds for cryptocurrency investment in many cases.
Since demand for three-number .COM domains generally hasn’t been high recently, the likes of 147.com haven’t achieved those mid to high six-figure prices that we’ve become used to.
Overloop.com sold $42,888 at Sedo. The seller of this name was AbdulBasit Makrani, a name this successful domain investor acquired for a three-figure fee over seven years ago. According to AbdulBasit, this was a BIN sale, meaning that the buyer clicked the “buy now” button at Sedo without any negotiations.
The domain was acquired by Prospect.io, a Belgian company offering a sales automation platform.
Why did Prospect.io acquire this name? As of writing, we can’t say for certain. The domain is pointing to a GoDaddy “for sale” page, and Prospect.io’s website currently doesn’t mention Overloop at all.
However, a Belgian trademark search shows that Prospect.io registered Overloop as a trademark in April 2021, around the time that the company acquired Overloop.com. According to the available details, Overloop will be used in as the brand name for something relating to SaaS (software as a service). Perhaps Prospect.io will be rebranding to Overloop.
Pie.co – $32,000
This isn’t the first time that Pie.co has been sold for a five-figure fee. In 2014, the domain sold for $21,500 in a private transaction. The 2014 buyer was Pie, a web-based messaging app that was ultimately acquired by Google.
As far as I can tell, Pie.co was retained by Pie’s founder until it was sold this year. This time around, Pie.co was acquired by HTTPie, pronounced aitch-tee-tee-pie.
The company, founded in 2020, offers a user-friendly HTTP client. HTTPie operates on HTTPie.io, and Pitchbook reveals that the company raised $3.5 million in funding in November 2020.
As of writing, Pie.co is redirecting to HTTPie.io. HTTPie’s parent company Apible Inc registered “Pie” as a trademark in March 2021, according to the USPTO. The mark identifies Pie as “Providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software for use in software development, deployment, and utilization; Providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software for use in testing and debugging software”
That sounds very much like the service HTTPie currently offers. Is HTTPie about to rebrand to Pie, using Pie.co as the company’s main domain?