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Thoughts on GoDaddy’s Acquisition of Brandsight & UniRegistry- with Jeff Gabriel

Jeff Gabriel, who recently co-founded brokerage firm Saw.com after departing from UniRegistry last August, discusses GoDaddy’s recent acquisition of Frank Schilling’s domain portfolio, UniRegistry and Brandsight. He shares his insights, thoughts on possible product changes, and what this means to the domain industry.

We delve into:

  • How the Name Administration portfolio of 350,000+ domains may be priced, what types of names they are, and how introducing them via Afternic DLS may affect the aftermarket
  • What this acquisition says in followup to Aman Bhutani’s investor-focused keynote speech at NamesCon
  • The future products & services that may roll out with GoDaddy’s strategic prioritization of domain investors
  • The business opportunities of GoDaddy bringing in a corporate domain management
  • How other domain brokers in the space may interpret this bold move… and much more!

Any domain investor, domain broker, or corporate domain portfolio manager will benefit from today’s show!

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This Show’s Sherpas

Jeff Gabriel
Jeff Gabriel
Jeff brings extensive experience to any project in the domain name industry. He recently co-founded the brokerage firm Saw.com, and prior to that was the Vice President of Sales at Uniregistry (formerly known as DomainNameSales.com) for 7 years. Formerly, Jeffrey was the President and Co-Founder of Igloo.com and was also a Domain Broker at Sedo. Jeffrey has contributed to over 250 million dollars in completed transactions while in the industry. His most notable sales include The Guinness World Record breaking sale of Sex.com for $13,000,000 USD and the highest .Org sale ever, Poker.org for $1,000,000 USD.

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https://www.domainsherpa.com/brandsight-uniregistry

On today’s show, Jeff Gabriel joins me for an in depth conversation about GoDaddy’s acquisition of UniRegistry and Brandsight, the corporate domain management company. It’s a very exciting conversation with Jeff’s insights. He spent seven years with UniRegistry and left last August. He’s currently working on his new company, Saw.com, with domain brokerage and portfolio management, but he brings tremendous insight and information and also some great predictions for what to expect. Enjoy the show!

 

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Hey Sherpa Network. I’m Tess Diaz, executive producer of domain sherpa.com and today we have a very interesting interview. [inaudible] Mr Jeffrey Gabriel. Hi Jeff. How you doing? I’m wonderful. How are you doing? Great. Thanks so much for joining us today. You know, Domain Sherpa is not a breaking news site, but, I really appreciate you taking the time to come on here. I’m sure your phone has been ringing off the hook with people who wonder about GoDaddy’s acquisition of UniRegistry and given your extensive background there, um, and, uh, maybe you could share a little with us of your insights, um, after your many years there as a vice president for, uh, you started as employee number four. Is that right? Well, I wasn’t [inaudible] employee. Number four. There was a, the fourth, I think it was a fourth person on the, on the sales team there. So there was some other things going on. It’s quite a, it’s a long history of people coming and going. Yeah, very much so. And you know, in my years at GoDaddy, um, I knew people who had started with Bob Parsons in, you know, I worked the kitchen, I worked the garage. Um, you have a similar story at uni registry or before it was even uni. Yeah. So I had the pleasure of work with Frank and at the time, Vern Jurovich before when I was at [inaudible], um, and uh,

when I left [inaudible] actually, Frank wanted to hire me the, uh, the first time when I left and then I said, no, I wanted to go do my own thing. And I founded, um, main advisors, which has turned into igloo and worked there and worked on selling his names with the people I was working with there at the time. And then during that time and working with them, they were working on building the domain name sales kind of CRM. And I helped them build that with their development team and at the time burn, giving them some pointers and hints on how to build it. And then about two years after I’m going out on my own, Mmm. Frank called me again and said, why don’t you come down here and [inaudible] really go for it. And then that’s when I went down, it came in and, um, I was a fourth person to join the sales team there.

And, um, when I got there, it was really a very small little office room with a few developers in it, a couple of support staff and a unit registry existed because they applied for the, um, the, the GTL TLDs and things like that prior. But at the time it was internet traffic and domain name sales. And we literally had Frank’s old okay. Portable wireless phone that we would kind of pass around the sales floor. Yeah. And we would be making calls and the, and the, the CRM was quite rudimentary. It didn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles that it has today. And um, and then we built it, not just me, but together as a team with developers and Dan Adamson was somebody and then all the sales people together built it up to about 40 people on the, on the sales team. And we went from, I think we did about eight or 9 million our first year in sales and then, and then, um, I didn’t finish 2019. I left in July. So yeah, before we did just under 60 million. And I’m guessing they probably did something close to that this year, but I obviously don’t have access to that, to those numbers.

Wow. I mean, those are, those are staggering numbers. Um, and so, uh, Frank Schilling of course, is someone who needs no introduction in this industry. Um, uh, I’m wondering, you know, what was the like maximum volume of his portfolio? So this acquisition, it’s, my understanding was included 350,000 domains. What do you think was the max volume at any given time, or how much of that portfolio has been sold over the years compared to the percentage that’s left?

Well, that’s kind of a trick question because there was, um, his portfolio, um, that I believe it was about 362,000 names at one point or 360,000 names somewhere in that vicinity. Mmm. In the almost seven years I was, we did, I don’t really know the number of sales that we did, but I would probably say, um, that, uh, we did over a hundred million in sales, just done his portfolio during the time that I was there. And that’s not including the years prior to me getting there. Um, so that takes out a good chunk. But I mean, as Frank did say that he had enough domain names for three lifetimes and he obviously only has one. So I wouldn’t really necessarily look at the number of names sold. I would probably look at the money that has been extracted because every portfolio has names that are lower value or sometimes no value.

And then it goes up in segments from there. Yeah. And we’re still talking about, you know, the cheapest ah, domains in like one of the very best portfolios in the world. It’s not that, it’s nothing to sneeze at. All right. So this acquisition was announced on February 11th. I think. What really has not gotten noticed much was that it was not only uni registry but also brand site. So brand site. Mmm. It was majority owned by uni registry. And so that was tied into the sale as well, correct? I believe so. I mean, I read that brand site was included. Um, and to my understanding, yeah, unit registry is a, um, you know, as the chief stakeholder in the ownership or was the chief stakeholder and the ownership of, of brand site. And it honestly, it really didn’t surprise me when I heard that news that it was part of it because I will always scratch my head and wondered why you were saying it earlier yourself, why a GoDaddy was never in the corporate registrars space.

Um, but I think the argument might be that they already cater to a lot of small businesses and in essence they are there and in some ways a corporate registrar to begin with. But I think, you know, it needs some more of that brand protection and other technology to um, cater to some of the more fortune 500 fortune 10,000 types of companies rather than, you know, your smaller mom and pop kind of businesses. I actually have a very strong opinion on that. You know, in, in my years at GoDaddy, I advocated very strongly created presentations, um, pretty much begged go daddy to get into the corporate domain management space. Um, but I think that the time is right now in my opinion, go daddy has everything else that they need in place that they can maturely bring this, um, additional set of, um, products and services but can truly give it the time that it needs.

Especially wellbeing. Um, owned and operated still as I owned isn’t the right word, but operated as brand site still. Um, so I think I’m super, super excited about that, but I’m also curious about how that will affect brokers and we’ll talk about that in a bit. Um, I want to jump to this sale, what everybody’s dying to know, what you think in particular and I hope you don’t mind. Um, what products do you think might change or that we should watch for in this transition with uni registry in particular? That’s a good question. Um, so when I, when I worked at a union registry and prior to that there was, like I said, domain name sales and on domain name sales. And the initial portion of the platform was again, internet traffic, which was parking, which was first. Then domain names sales came along where, uh, domain or investors could, could broker their own domain names.

And then we added the brokerage component to it where we came along. And, um, you know, part of that is what is a legacy product called self self brokers. Right. So someone would come in, make an inquiry, the seller would see the buyer’s information, they would see what the buyers saying, they track the conversation. And then when the brokerage came along and was added to that, which is always there cause it was the brokerage was there to sell Frank’s names, you know, the seller could see the buyer’s information and it’s kind of a mixture. So with self brokerage people would be responding to leads using the domain name is same domain name sales email address. And now I’m to use the registry, they’re responding using unit registry.com. So now that a publicly traded company with a very world and you know, yeah, there is um, [inaudible] not going to let potentially anybody sign up for a unit registry account and then right messages to potentially their customers on their company’s behalf using their email.

I think would probably give a few attorneys in the Arizona area a little bit of heart palpitations. So I think that that, that product will potentially be sunsetted or you’re going to have to do, um, adding disclaimers or potentially change the email that is being sent that like, you know, maybe use university.link or uni registry self broker.com, and then there’s a disclaimer on the end of every email or something like that, or maybe only templated options. Yeah. Whatever. Right. Um, but the reality was is that that product didn’t really make a unit registry a whole hell of a lot of money, especially after, you know, the customer service that came with it. Um, confusion by buyers. It’s not understanding, even if you did add disclaimers and just in the checkout process and other other kinds of liabilities, I would think that the amount of money that that product creates, it’s probably not worth the potential legal risks.

Okay. So it makes me wonder in general about, um, privacy as well. Um, uh, the sales folks at uni street could sometimes share some, uh, information between a buyer and a seller. Right? Well, domain name sales basis was really sharing the buyer’s information with the seller and the seller could see the communication. And in the last, uh, in the beginning of January, there was, um, some updates to the university site that limited the amount of communication that, uh, the sellers can see, but there’s still the option for brokers to show that information to sellers. So, um, I think that, again, going back to privacy issues and, and, and especially if [inaudible] a buyer inquires who is a customer of GoDaddy’s and then that information is shared with a third party. I’m not sure I’m a lawyer, but I’m not sure the, the lawyers in Arizona, again, you know, they might get some, some heartburn over that as well and they might want to suggest they make changes.

And so watch for that change. And you know, those two products really grew out of uni registry. I always felt like it was such a, um, like a grassroots sharing, like Frank needed a CRM for himself and really fill this out where other domain investors could share in that investment that he made already. Um, so it, it, it makes sense that those were products, but yeah, they’ll probably be changing I think. I think it goes with it. Mmm. Is that when you look at it, go daddy purchasing the Frank’s portfolio, putting into name find and, and one of the things that allowed Frank to get higher than average sale prices was really the system that we were able to build an [inaudible]. And the reality was is that between using the unit registry app, uh, using the marketplace and um, and being able to communicate just in the example of Frank is that, you know, a buyer come in, brokers working with them.

We could look at the communication, you know, submit offers, look at it some past offers or inquiries that were made and make good decisions. I think if leveraged properly, um, by GoDaddy that they obviously could get some, some nice gains on their own portfolio and continue to get great prices on their own. [inaudible] the portfolio they purchased from Frank. Yeah, I agree. And I’m really excited to talk a little more in depth about that. Let’s, let’s look at any other products you think may may change for people to watch out for. Um, so uni registry had a nice little payment plan set up. Um,

uh, which, you know, there’s been a lot of talk. I did an interview a while back with Jeff SAS. Really excited to see what he’s developing, you know, payment plans and leasing. Everybody wants to see that, um, really fleshed out in the next couple of years. What do you think is going to develop with uni registries? Options?

No, I think the thing is with, with payment plans that a lot of people don’t understand or leasing options is that our finance department, Oh, not mine anymore. But when I was at uni registry, the finance department, Mmm. Certainly it was a very labor intensive job and um, collecting the funds and then we had people following up on payment plans that were in default. Um, then you have buyers being confused as to, you know, how to set the name servers and how to do this and how to do that. And it becomes quite labor intensive. And then when you factor in having to pay a salesperson, I’m negotiating the contract, I’m paying the rent, I mean, how much margin is really left. And then it gets into, you know, credit card chargebacks, wires, matching them up with the [inaudible] with the system. It makes it made sense margin wise on really any deal with Frank’s portfolio because you’re making 100% of whatever you make, but if you’re making 15 or 20% commission and then you have to pay all that overhead, Mmm.

And have to go back and forth with the terms and it’s quite labor intensive and in the end it doesn’t necessarily make a whole hell of a lot of sense potentially on a massive scale. Right. And then there’s other issues that could come up being a publicly traded company with, you know, uh, credit card processing, money transmission, you know, potentially thinking that they’re, that they might be providing escrow services without a license or needing licensing and having to deal with different States in the union or in, in Europe or you know, things like that. So, you know, when you’re, when you’re putting 100% of the money in your pocket, it certainly makes sense. But when you’re paying out and only getting a small percentage and you could focus just as much energy in, in, in closed, many more sales that are just cash. It just,

I was, I think that a lot of, uh, domain investors were hoping to hear something more positive on that product or service. Like maybe it would, you know, go daddy would take that and run with it or develop a robust, sustainable, um, uh, you know, leasing or subscription model or something like that. Uh, you’re holding back a smile there. Uh, no, it’s not going to happen. Folks say, I really hope

that they do. Mmm.

I think that it could be a major Mmm. Plus for the business and to create higher and then average sales prices because it gives people that don’t have the money, the opportunity to pay. I mean, we get credit cards like what they did for the economy, right. Um, or credit in general. So this is the same thing. But again, it is, Mmm. Mmm. A massive undertaking by multiple departments. Okay. Potentially spanning different countries, different cultures. You know, it’s, it’s a lot of work and so, and different laws and regulations. So I think that they’re going to have to sharpen their pencils and really look at that one before they just roll it out. And I think the customers need to understand that it’s not just, Oh, it’s easy. What do you mean you just collect the money and you hand it out. You guys make all the money and it’s not, you know,

it’s not that simple. So yeah, to note, cause a lot of people have been asking, um, uh, about that as I’ve had conversations with different folks in the industry about what they think about this. Um, and so maybe it’s just like, you know, 11 years ago I was saying, alright, go daddy, this is the time, you know, develop corporate registrar services are, I mean corporate domain management services. And it’s the time now. And maybe that’s something more on, uh, on, uh, further out. It’s not happening with this acquisition today. Um,

possibly. I mean, you know, I would, I would think that if there is ever a hope that they’re going to do that, they would probably stick their toe in the water and look at like, I mean, cause they’re buying a lot of payment plans that are in process by purchasing unit registry. So they’re going to get the opportunity to see what it’s like to have to service them from first first-person. Right. That’s one. But then the second part is, is that, I mean they can do whatever they want and get exotic with their own name, find portfolio and see how it works out for them there and then, you know, expand it out to others. But I just don’t think that, you know, this is something you’re going to see front and center on GoDaddy as a system, you know, overnight. And I’m not sure how long it’s going to stick around on, on unit registry, depending on what they plan to do with the brand and the business.

Yeah. And this is all speculation, but you know, you speculating is a lot more useful than me speculating,

you know? And in the end, um, I think the app on unit registering on the sales side of thing is great. You know, I think the checkout process when just buying a domain name is pretty smooth on union registry and I think that can help them with their conversions. Mmm. You know, the bulk tools on the registrar, great. I hope that they don’t get rid of those. I hope that they can. Hello. Other customers that own a lot of domains at go daddy and, um, and they keep those things on your registry, you know, so there’s a lot of great things that they’re getting this purchase. And then a lot of great people that I’ve gotten to know intimately living on an Island with them or traveling to England to see the people in that office too. I consider them very close friends of mine.

Yeah. This is, this is a very

high quality acquisition. So there’s a rumor that Frank was the first individual to ever have a contract with directly with Google for parking. Mmm. What, what, uh, you have any, any history or tidbits on that before we talk about their parking? You know, I don’t know. I mean I always thought that, um, from my history or my knowledge with, with parking was that Frank was using Yahoo for the longest time and then Yahoo, his payouts went down considerably. And then he got a Google feed. Mmm. And that’s what created a internet traffic cause he ended up opening it up to the industry. Mmm. But he got his own feed where normally like some company, like an individual you’re talking about. Okay. I thought you were saying like you as the first ever, I always thought I thought CDOT was the first ever. Okay. Possibly. Yeah.

I mean, um, that, that’s definitely a possibility. And I’m guessing that GoDaddy owns that parking feed now too. So it’s definitely a strange situation where one company owns two feeds. And I wonder if Google is going to let them keep those. Okay. I mean, are they going to get separate corporations owned by the same company? I don’t know. But you know, who knows what’s going to happen with that too. And why is that important? Yeah, to my understanding, um, is that, um, and for what I’ve seen, I don’t think Google is just handing out parking feeds anymore. I think that the ones that are out there, it’s kind of, I guess like liquor licenses, the ones that are out there are there. And after that, I don’t think they’re making any more. Right. I think that’s, that’s it. Unless I’m sure there’s some extenuating circumstances that they might, might offer some, but I don’t really see anybody or hearing of anybody looking, you know, starting them and getting a Google feed. [inaudible]

you used to. Okay. And, and I mean, is that going to affect revenues in any way do you think? Or it’s just kind of a technological and historic interesting point. I think it’s, it’s a, you know, you talk to any kind of domain investor who relies on parking to help pay their renewals or to make revenue for their own business and an elimination of yet another player in the market, having another choice is gone. Um, makes it less competitive, potentially less innovation. And it gives, you know, Google might, you know, the trend of parking is going like this. So, you know, it’s just a little bit more of a crunch on the market. So, but at the same time, there’s opportunity for some of the other players out there. Interesting. Okay. Thanks. Um, so what technology is the uni, uh, acquisition bringing to go daddy that, uh, I mean [inaudible] it’s so exciting to think about go daddy’s enormous customer base, the portfolio that they have brains and then you need all together, um, the technology and domain quality and customer base.

Where do you think there are unis? Technology is really gonna shine? I think they’re both tools with the domainers, you know, any, uh, I don’t think that, I know go daddy does offer some of those things, but I just think university’s a little more unit user-friendly and smoother in the, in that regard. Um, I think that, um, you know, looking at, uh, if they take some cues from their sales app, I think that will help get prices and faster, um, when they’re salespeople are asking their customers for pricing. Mmm. You know, I think those are two main things right there. Um, I think their CRM is quite good and I, but I’ve never had the opportunity to look at after next or the one that they use. So I really can’t tell you what they’re getting out of that. Yeah. Mmm. So, and then obviously, you know, Frank’s portfolio creates a lot of opportunities.

Leads and acquisitions are good and the customer lists and the data, I mean, to have the sales lists, the sellers list, the names that they own are all really important, is very, very valuable data that um, you know, many in this space would probably really like to have. Yeah. Agreed. Yeah, very much so. Um, so how about the domain portfolio itself? So the name administration portfolio is over 350,000 domains. What is that going to mean for the aftermarket? Keeping in mind that like when go daddy bought a Michael Berkens’ portfolio, they were really focused on selling it at um, [inaudible].

They were not focused on maximizing every single dollar out of every single sale. They were more focused on growing the domain industry, growing, um, user adaption of, you know, the idea of a valuable premium domain. Um, what do you think this is going to mean with this portfolio and to the market? The aftermarket in, in particular? You know, I’m lucky that I have the opportunity in my career in this industry to get to know Mike very well, and I’ve obviously gotten to know Frank very well. And the thing is, is that they both had a, like a S a emotional attachment to their names to the point where they tell you that, Oh, I bought this name the day my daughter was born, or I bought this name. You know, when I did this, or I remember I was with this person at this domain conference and I won this auction against, you know, Frank or I wanted against Mike or domains. That’s impressive. Yeah. Well, I mean, not all of them, but there’s an emotional attachment and, and Mmm. You know, there, there’s also the, you know, the, they don’t have to make earnings, they don’t have to do anything and that they’re, you know, financially solvent themselves and they’re looking at, you know, what’s going on today and making the decisions, right. Mmm. When it comes to purchasing Frank’s portfolio, I would think that they’re probably going to separate it into certain buckets. Like there’s a portion of Frank’s names that have never gotten an interested buyer

ever,

but what was, Oh, he’s interesting working there is that portion of the portfolio that never got an interested party ever is that every day there was like 20 or 30 names that got a new interested party. Hmm. That came into those names. They were like, wow. You know, I didn’t know this name existed. And so

total random question. Do you think Mike Berkens had that kind of data when he sold?

Yeah. Mike was very, Mike is a very smart man. I learned

okay

so much from him in the industry and he had his own, a little system. He was like his own miniature domain name sales that he logged his offers and kept track of everything that’s going on. So yeah. And that, and Frank was very organized with his portfolio. Like you could click a button and you could get his portfolio in our system. We kept track of the inventory where they were located,

but how long did that take to load?

A couple of minutes. But what, what I’m getting at is, is that I think when GoDaddy gets their myths on Frank’s portfolio is a portion of it they are going to liquidate through there.

Okay.

Auction channels and try to recoup, you know, X percentage of their investment right off the bat to lower their renewals and the, and the cost basis.

You know, another portion isn’t going to get all of the offers and the inquiries, which we’ve walked over the years and they’re probably going to look at all of the offers that were received and probably be like, yeah, go back to this guy and sell it for what he offered and go back to him, him, him, him, Hmm. Grab all the low hanging fruit. And then there’s others that are really premium, but now Frank has a lot of, uh, he doesn’t have these like blockbuster names in his portfolio that make people, you know, sit there and off or just like amazement, like all these two letters and things like that. But he has a lot of like strong two word dotcoms that get steady offers. And so those are why his portfolio consistently delivered strong numbers on a monthly basis when,

and I love the idea of the brand site acquisition in partnership with that bucket of domains. I think it’s going to bring some value there. Um,

it’s going to be interesting and I’m absolutely, you know, but

as you found co founded, um, saw.com, um, for domain brokerage. Um, what do you think as brokers about this, um, go daddy having, as you just said there, what’d you say? Their myths or their paws, their mitts on this portfolio and the um, corporate, um, domain management. What do you think about that as a, as a broker running a brokerage for him right now?

I think it’s a, I think it’s a good thing in a bad thing. Um, I think, um, in a good, in a good way. I think the, the thing is, is what, what I have a hard time doing as broker is when you’re talking to a corporate and they’re telling you that they want to purchase a particular domain name for a project and then you tell them that what the price could probably be, um, more often than people would really, I suspect in our industry, people who are very high up at large companies in marketing don’t realize, again, we’ve had this conversation 3000 times, that domain names costs more than a few hundred dollars and they haven’t budgeted for it and they’re not prepared for that. And when you tell them that you think that it would probably be 50,000, 75,000, $1 million, whatever it is, uh, they think that, you know, that might not necessarily be true.

And I think that I go daddy owning their own portfolio, pricing a lot of it. And, um, and by doing that, having a corporate registrar and hopefully providing more education in the space to them can help corporates understand the value of domains, what they do for the business and that it’s a proven model over and over and over, millions of times over. I mean, I don’t know how many demands go daddy’s selling on a regular basis, you know? Mmm. But, uh, you know, it, but again, GoDaddy is a large company and they [inaudible] they’re really cornering the market and that’s great. I believe in capitalism. So I think myself and the small business, um, that I’ve just founded and others like media options and um, some of these other folks in this space, we’re going to have to step up our game and really get out there and do the best we can, make relationships and provide the value that these corporates need.

That is potentially something that they can’t provide, you know? And, um, and that’s something that we’re prepared to do. I like how you really lit up there. That’s clearly your ultimate passion and you’re awfully good at it. How many dollars of domains have you sold, Jeff? Oh God. Um, I dunno. Um, I don’t really keep track. I’m not like I’m one of those kinds of people, but you know, no. Well, um, it was 400 was it? Uh, like if we combine the people that we all work together at saw, so that’s what we’ve, we’ve been part of together as a group. That’s a lot. Whole dollars. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so how about fast transfer? I mean the uni registry, um, you know, the technology for that, do you think that’s going to make a big difference or that’s just, you know, a great park that everybody’s expecting?

Is there anything further to uncover there? Well, I mean, I think, I think the thing is with that is, um, if you price your names and Mark them as buy it now, you certainly will get the value of that network that it spreads the prices, you know, all around it. It meant a countless number of registrars and other affiliates that they have [inaudible] a lot of the names that are on your registry and a lot of the sellers that use unit registry are more, most of the time, more in the strategy of make me an offer and then I’ll give you a price. [inaudible] so one of the things that I would, I would think that GoDaddy might want to look towards, but I’m not sure it’s part of their strategy is to potentially give more, um, exposure to names that aren’t priced and uh, maybe give, uh, maybe a range or something to give fires an idea.

I don’t know. But I think it’s, it’s really hard because one of the things that, one of the things that I’m, we do it saw is we offer, Mmm. Total portfolio management. So that means that someone could come to us with their portfolio. We’re going to have them point for sale links towards us, but we also can help make sure that all of their inventory is up to date on all the marketplaces and help them price their names. But if you were to price all of the names and you’re handling the negotiations, I mean, I was talking to somebody yesterday that has a portfolio of 100,000 names and they’ve been being urged to, to run they’re poor throat for portfolio through go daddy’s appraisal tool. You know, some are going to slip past the goalie. So if you’re in fast transfer and you [inaudible], you know, you price a.com or a.net or.org whatever it is, it should be 25 K in the threeK bucket for whatever reason.

When that money comes in, it’s gone and there’s nothing there. So you just lost potentially, you know, 1520 grand, whatever it is. So, you know, you need to be really organized and you also need to be, be prepared if it’s going to be fast transfer that if you made a mistake, that’s, you know, Oh, crying to Cheerios is probably nothing you’re going to do about it, but you’re creating that, you’re trading that for more exposure than you had before. So, you know, hopefully it makes up for it in more sales. Right? Yeah. So Aman Bhutani, GoDaddy’s new CEO, he, I gave a really interesting keynote at name’s con where it was just really important to him to highlight that, uh, go daddy is connecting with domain investors and values their opinion in business. Um, and certainly following it up with this acquisition certainly puts, um, you know, uh, some, there’s a saying that I can’t think of.

Um, but I mean clearly he meant what he said. Um, I think that, uh, the mission statement of GoDaddy that he shared at that time is to bring, uh, empowering entrepreneurs everywhere. And so I’m really hearing that in this whole, um, as a theme, so to speak. Right. So the entrepreneurs that go daddy was probably not empowering in the past, are all the ones in the corporate space. There were entrepreneurs once, and a lot of them, I’ll tell you, at media options, we get tons of calls. Oh, I’m the CMO of boom, enormous, you know, fortune 100. But I have my own startup on the side. So anyway, that said, um, part of, I see that I’m looking at two quotes from Paul Nicks on the vice president GoDaddy’s aftermarket, um, where he says, you know, we can’t wait to bring these to market for our customers with competitive prices.

And another one, you know, um, we plan to price them in a way that allows smaller businesses out there to get the name they really need to thrive in such a competitive space. So I’m really hearing, again, the action behind those words of empowering entrepreneurs everywhere, in every budget and every space. Um, so I think this really could potentially impact the growth of the domain market overall. Uh, which is something that, you know, we’ve always wanted. I, I really laughed at the, um, at, at a month’s keynote, he said, uh, grow the pie. You know, we’re all here together to grow the pie. And I was like, Andrew Rosen are saying that, I’ve never heard him say that. Andrew says it all the time. I think Amman came up with that on his own, but I think this is really gonna grow the pie. What do you think?

What do you see is the impact was going to have on the growth of the domain industry over the next five years? Well, I mean going back to what Paul said about pricing and trying to help entrepreneurs, I mean I think again if you start at the root of it, they’ve just spent a lot of money on this portfolio. They’re going to want to kind of clear out some of the um, the not so great names that will lower their expense on renewals and help them recoup some of their money. And then that potentially again will be in the liquidation area. Then your next step is lower priced by it. Now names. Now, one thing that unit registry didn’t do a great job offering because it just didn’t have enough time to get there is what GoDaddy does is they offer so many more goods and services than just registrations and selling you a domain name.

So I would think, you know, knowing Paul very well, he’s, he’s certainly a smart guy that he knows that selling somebody a domain name then latches them into the GoDaddy ecosystem, and then that customer is worth a lot more than just that $2,500 sale. So it’s better to get the sale for $1,500 and potentially sacrifice 500 or a thousand dollars and then sell them the website builder, the hosting, the email, the this, the, that, you know, and everything else. And then you have a lifetime customer that might leave and then go do that at Wix or go do that somewhere else. Right. So, Mmm. You know, it’s, it’s brilliant and it, and it makes total sense. So they’re selling a business in a box and dreams. Right. And so, no, I think I’ve been to a lot of keynotes, um, in my career, in the domain business, but I’ve also been to other similar styles for other industries and other purposes.

And I really liked Mmm. The way he handled [inaudible] handled himself. They had some technical difficulties and each certainly got some strange questions, um, that it was asked of him. Mmm. We don’t need to go into that if I, but handle himself exceptionally on the fly. I think he was great. He kept a very calm and collected, uh, response. Um, I felt that he’s a good leader and I think for the timing and the place that GoDaddy’s in right now, I think he’s the right guy for the job. And, um, you know, I briefly met him at the GoDaddy meet and greet, you know, he’s talking a lot of people, but you know, he seems like a gentleman and he’s approachable person and, um, no, I think they’re in a good spot and hopefully [inaudible] this is the beginning of a lot of great things that everyone and our industry can benefit from.

And I think innovation, whether it’s buying it from somebody or creating it on your own is, like I said before, is going to get all of us to step up and, and do better. And, um, you know, and that’s something that I want to do. I want to do some innovating. I mean, I’ve been able to take the experience that I learned at uni registry and in the short time that I’ve left you in a registry and build our business, I’ve been able to look in and see wet and know what the shortcomings were of the unit registry CRM and what the bottlenecks were [inaudible] and I’ve really been able to start to build the CRM that we have from the ground up, eliminating those bottlenecks and being a lot more efficient. And I think that GoDaddy is smart enough and knows enough to say, you know, these are our shortcomings and unit registry is going to help that’s overcome those, you know, and us to become a stronger [inaudible], better product for others. And so it’s gonna be an exciting year and it’s gonna see, it’s gonna be exciting to see what they do.

Yeah, I agree. And uh, thank you for taking this time, but take a minute now. Tell us about a little more, uh, that you can about, saw about what you were doing at [inaudible] dot com about, uh, what, what you have in the pipeline or any domains you’re brokering. Uh, tell us something about what’s going on over there with you and Amanda volts. And I saw that you recently brought in my neighbor Brooke Hernandez.

Yeah. And uh, and, and Rob Wilson. Um, so there’s four, there’s four salespeople now. We have a, we have some development going on. We have a writer and some other folks that are working for us as well. Um, what we’re really setting out to do is it’s really more of like a, um, is more of a total portfolio management where we help those people with, um, premium portfolios with more of the consultative side of selling and what we’re doing. Uh, for example, you might’ve saw on the news that were, we represent the FMA portfolio, so that’s future media architects and they own domains like ai.com, fm.com, busy.com, research.com, archive.com,

uh, and many others. And, um, we’re not only collecting or or, or representing the inbound leads, but we’re taking names out of that portfolio, whether they’re the higher end ones like AI or research or archive. But some of the lower end ones when we see opportunities to pick up the phone and make calls, and that’s something that, um, our competitors aren’t really doing is offering both. And we have a very robust CRM system that allows us to follow up in many different ways to filter out the unqualified and focus on what matters and Mmm. You know, the, the, the, the other differences is that as you brought up before and others might know in the industry that Amanda and I have, um, a significant amount of, um, experience. Uh, your neighbor Brooke. Mmm. Worked with me at igloo and has been working with me for almost 10 years.

So, um, she’s been stuck with me for a long time. And then Rob has was a sales manager for 10 years and a salesperson for, I don’t know, like 15 or 16 years and we’re all hungry and we all understand the business and there’s nothing we haven’t heard or dealt with before. And the other thing is we’re very nimble, you know. Um, I’ll give you an example. One of the things that we didn’t bring up here, but, but you know, unit registry has their own way to collect funds through their own checkout. They’re also integrated with escrow.com. Um, GoDaddy doesn’t use escrow.com. Right. And so, you know, we’re nimble enough to be able to work with really anybody to clear transactions. Um, we have relationships with, you know, many large companies. And, um, again, we have, um, some great technology that’s, that’s helping us and a team that’s hungry that wants to make sales and, and get out there and make stuff happen.

That’s really, really exciting. Yeah. Thank you so much for taking, taking all this time. Uh, one more question. Uh, you are out in Boston, so is Amanda, you know, that’s where I’m from. ICO is baseball stuff in the back? Is that baseball or is it

Oh, nothing about this picture. That picture. No, that picture is a picture of my grandfather. He is part of the rotary club that, that was a picture of him when he was the president of it in 1972 holding a, holding a banner. So it’s kind of a large old picture of, of him and kind of proud of that. And then you can see over there my Trumpy bear, you know, Donald Trump has a Teddy bear. One of my, uh, some of my friends in the business always liked to tease me. I’m not really a Trump fan, but they all pretend I am and they send me a Trump

memorabilia on a pretty regular basis. Yeah.

So Trumpy bear is usually a, he used to sit next to me. I used to have a like a chair next to my desk and Trumpy berries to sit at my, at my desk at union registry. So I took them with me upon my departure and now he’s looking over the coffee maker.

Hilarious. And what’s the deal with the disco ball? That was in the uni registry. Corporate office. Where, why was there one and do you have one too?

Uh, well the first question back is why not?

That’s fine. That’s what I want to know. Ours is on back order. It’s coming where we’re working on it. All right. I’m holding you to that next, next. Actually we’re filming with you again in a couple of days. Delivers fast job and islands anymore. Yeah, we’re working on it. Cool. Thank you for all your time, your insight, your expertise, chaff. Really, this was very special to have you on and I can’t wait to see what happens with go daddy unit registry and brand site, but also I can’t wait to see what happens with saw.com so

I can’t either. And thanks for having me as I had a lot of fun to talk about it and um, it’s going to be, like you said, excited to see what happens.

All right, cool. We’ll see you in a couple of days. All right. Thanks. Bye Jeff. Bye.

 

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on GoDaddy’s Acquisition of Brandsight & UniRegistry- with Jeff Gabriel”

  1. Michael says:

    Thank you, Jeff and Tess. Uni/Godaddy is going to be interesting going forward.

  2. steven says:

    nice chat… thanks for taking the time to share some candor and insight to help address speculation..
    i like the way you contrasted a few times how godaddy is a publicly traded company and how that changes some narratives going forward

    steven

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