In the Sedo sales roundup for November 2021, I’m taking a look at the purchases of domains such as Binance.ae for $300,000 to see whether we can understand why each domain may have been acquired for the price it did.
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Binance.ae – $300,000
We start this month’s column with an intriguing one. The largest publicly-disclosed sale closed at Sedo in November was Binance.ae, which sold for $300,000. The sale sets an all-time record for a .ae domain sale, with NameBio listing it as the largest .ae sale ever and the only one to reach the six-figure range.
The .ae extension is used by the United Arab Emirates, which consists of wealthy locations such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
When I think of Binance, one company comes to mind and that is the world-leading cryptocurrency exchange that has been in business since 2017. The term Binance is trademarked in many countries around the world including the UAE, where it filed a trademark in late 2020.
Logically, then, you’d assume that Binance acquired Binance.ae for $300,000. It’s not that straightforward, though. The registrant of Binance.ae is listed as Kirill Zalipaev. While Kirill may work for Binance or the IP firm that registered Binance’s trademarks, I cannot find a link between Kirill and Binance. That isn’t to say a link doesn’t exist, though.
If Kirill didn’t acquire Binance.ae on behalf of Binance, it becomes a very risky purchase. Other third parties have acquired Binance domains in the past. Names such as Binance.nl ($18,325) and Binanceus.com ($5,800) redirect visitors to Binance’s official website using affiliate codes in order to earn up to 50% commission on qualified trades. Perhaps the owner of Binance.ae is hoping to cash in by referring wealthy UAE investors to Binance using the Binance.ae domain.
Internet speed testing is an important service. Google offers basic speed testing facilities, and Netflix even acquired Fast.com to host its own speed test.
In the sale of TestMySpeed.com, the domain itself does have value, but if we look closer at the data surrounding the name, we see some attractive history. According to Ahrefs.com, the domain has a rating of 48/100 and over 8,000 backlinks to it thanks to its years of use as an Internet speed checker.
The domain was sold by its long-time owner recently, but it’s unclear who the buyer is. As of publishing, the domain hosts the same website that it has for several years. Was this a pure domain sale, or was it sold with the website assets?
BankOfLondon.com – $50,000
BankOfLondon.com was acquired as a brand protection move. Unsurprisingly, it was acquired by a company calling itself The Bank of London and operating on TheBankofLondon.com.
The Bank of London is a new company that has just launched as the UK’s sixth clearing bank, becoming only the second new clearing bank in the UK in 250 years. A clearing bank approves and processes payments. The new setup is led by former Barclays Bank CIO, Anthony Watson, and is being chaired by former Goldman Sachs executive, Harvey Schwartz.
To The Bank of London, dropping $50,000 on a domain name is nothing. The company launched with a valuation of $1.1 billion and closed a recent $90 million funding round and has created a huge amount of buzz, receiving coverage from important outlets such as the Financial Times and CityAM.
Lendly.com – $47,000
In October 2021, Sedo announced the sale of Lend.ly for $4,500. The domain was acquired by an Ohio-based company called Lendly, which operates on the GetLendly.com domain. Weeks later, the company might have purchased Lendly.com, too.
The company, founded in 2019, provides online loans and financial services.
After selling, Lendly.com moved under WHOIS privacy protection to GoDaddy, away from its long-term German owner, who also owns Lendly.de.
As of publishing, Lendly.com doesn’t resolve and its nameservers point to those of the previous owner. However, GetLendly.com and Lendly.com are both under WHOIS privacy protection at GoDaddy and the company very recently purchased another domain from Sedo.
Ohio-based Lendly would seem to be the most obvious buyer for the name at the moment.
MetaTime.com – $40,000
Meta keyword domain names have been hot property since Facebook rebranded to Meta, with most of the high-value meta-related domains purchased by Meta via various IP firms. However, MetaTime.com doesn’t seem to have been bought by Meta.
Instead, WHOIS shows a Turkish organization as the registrant, with the domain currently hosting a basic landing page displaying a logo for MetaTime. I can’t find much on the registrant, SG International Elektrik Elektronik, and I can’t find any trademark data relating to the company and MetaTime. The timing of the purchase along with the price suggests this could be a metaverse related venture.