In this edition of the Sedo sales roundup, I’m looking at four interesting sales that happened at Sedo in the past month, to see why those names may have sold and who is using the domain now.
Balancer.fi – $55,000
The sale of Balancer.fi set a record for the .FI extension as the largest ever .FI domain sale reported at NameBio, beating the $22,067 sale of Wi.fi that held the lead since 2017. I don’t think this is the last time we’ll see a five-figure .FI sale in 2021, either.
While .FI is the ccTLD for Finland, the extension has taken on another role recently, thanks to crypto and blockchain projects. You may have heard of DeFi, or Decentralized Finance, a term used for financial applications in cryptocurrency or blockchain. That phrase has given .FI a lease of life beyond Finnish end-users.
In this case, Balancer.fi was acquired by Balancer, an automated portfolio manager and trading platform founded in 2018.
Balancer, operated by Balancer Labs, raised $5 million in funding in February 2021, which likely had an influence on the price that the company was prepared to pay for Balancer.fi. The acquisition of Balancer.fi was an upgrade from Balancer.finance.
Balancer.com, the typical consideration for a domain upgrade, is owned and operated by NetAcutate, Inc., and is likely to have been unavailable. Balancer.fi could be considered the next best thing to a DeFi company.
Hina.com – $50,000
Sedo also facilitated the sale of Hina.com this month, on behalf of an unknown seller that was obscured by WHOIS privacy protection. The name was acquired by Hina, a Chinese recruitment startup founded in 2019. The name Hina translates from 海纳人事, which means “Heiner Personnel,” according to Google Translate.
Hina.com was likely acquired as a domain upgrade from the company’s current HinaPower.cn, perhaps an indication of the company’s intent to do business outside of China, or perhaps it was just a brand protection move. Hina also owns Hina.cn, which also redirects to HinaPower.cn.
Hina has raised 53 Million Yuan (around $8.2 million) since forming in 2019. Usually, a domain upgrade coincides with a new funding round, but on this occasion, the last funding round is listed as September 2019 on Crunchbase.
MyCannabis.com – $42,000
MyCannabis.com sold for $42,000 (subtle 420 reference?) at Sedo. The name looks to have been sold by an unknown domain investor, and WHOIS history shows that the name was registered to Internet Real Estate Ltd. several years ago. Internet Real Estate Ltd. is a company associated with broker Media Options. However, it doesn’t look as though Internet Real Estate Ltd. sold that name.
The domain was acquired by Go Marketing Inc., a Cayman Islands-based company that seems to own a number of other valuable names. According to DomainIQ, Go Marketing Inc. is names as the registrant on domains such as PotSummit.com, WalletX.com, Gaming.net, Augmented.com, and Shopping.io. The owner of Go Marketing Inc. looks to be a serial entrepreneur who has developed numerous domains into businesses, including the aforementioned Gaming.net
MyCannabis.com seems like it might be developed into something similar to Gaming.net – a news resource for its industry. The name currently hosts a very basic page, but expect to see this one developed into a fully-fledged cannabis news resource.
Sergei.com – $33,000
Sergei is a popular first-name of Russian origin and while there are various ways to spell it, such as Sergey (for example, Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin), Sergei seems to be a popular spelling, too. DotDB lists 52 extensions where “Sergei” is registered as a domain. Recently, someone paid $33,000 for Sergei.com.
As a British person that does watch the occasional TV commercial, I thought the domain may have been acquired by Compare The Market, a popular comparison website that has a long-running commercial using an animated meerkat named Sergei. The company bought Meerkat.com, and I thought that Sergei.com would have been a sensible acquisition, too. However, the name was acquired by Sergei Chestakov, a software engineer.
Sergei announced his acquisition of Sergei.com via Twitter. He also acquired a number of other “Sergei” names including Sergei.us, Sergei.life, and Sergei.love. Commenting on the $33,000 price tag, Sergei said:
For the record, it was worth every goddamn penny. I’m holding for life.