DAN.com, an Amsterdam-based domain marketplace startup, raises multi-million dollar Series A funding to disrupt the $10 billion domain industry
Are you thinking of of starting a new business or startup only to find out that the domain name you wanted was no longer available for registration? You are not alone. Since the Internet gold rush started 37 years ago, many early adopters went and registered thousands of premium domain names. Some still hoard these names until today. You can still buy these premium domain names but it’s going to set you back thousands if not millions of dollars. There are a dozen domain aftermarket places and auctions sites that sell these names.
The domain aftermarket is the secondary market for Internet domain names in which a party interested in acquiring a domain that is already registered bids or negotiates a price to effect the transfer of registration from the registered holder of that domain name. The most popular ones are: GoDaddy.com, Sedo.com, Afternic.com, NameJet.com, SnapNames.com, DomainMarket.com, and many more.
The problem with the current aftermarket places are like of competitions. These companies have the first-mover advantage and as such, have little to no incentive to innovate. The current domain industry nowadays finds itself in a very outdated and inefficient state. It suffers from complicated workarounds which make it inefficient. Usable and available registered domains are hard to find and have become too expensive.
Here are some facts and figures: in total there are 334 million registered domains, of which 147 million are unused! The average price on the secondary market for a domain is €2.759 which means there are €405 billion illiquid assets. That’s where DAN.com comes in. Formerly known as Undeveloped.com, is aiming to disrupt the $10 billion domain industry, make unused domains accessible to all, and simplify the domain buying process for both and buyers and sellers.
To bring greater efficiency and process automation into the domain name marketplace, DAN partnered with IBM and IBM Business Partner Unchain in 2019 to use IBM Blockchain technology to automate previously manual processes, such as transferring a domain name from one registrar and registrant to another.
Today, DAN.com announced today it has raised a multi-million-dollar Series A round led by Airbridge Equity Partners to meet increasing demand for premium domain names, further grow its business and accelerate its platform roadmap. The total amount of funding was not disclosed. As part of the deal, Airbridge will be a minority owner after the investment.
Founded 2014 as Undeveloped.com in 2014 by Reza Sardeha, the Amsterdam-based startup changed its name to DAN.com in early 2019. DAN focusses solely on solving the biggest problems that the domain industry faces. Its platform makes a change of control and ownership of domains easier, safer and faster.
Commenting on the funding, DAN CEO Reze Sardeha, said: “We took this investment to significantly accelerate our product development and to professionalize our organization on all fronts. The vision of the company as described in this blog post hasn’t changed and so the investment will be used to introduce everything we describe in our post ranging from our own integrated registrar to launching the only real open distribution network for domains.”
In a separate press release, Rick van Boekel, Co-founder and Partner at Airbridge Equity Partners (AEP), said: “DAN’s game-changing network allows making a change of control and ownership of digital domains easier, safer and instant. Their use of blockchain technology enables to automate processes required to provide trust-less domain transfers, also referred to as escrow. Escrow automation also makes it possible to introduce new domain purchases and use models like renting domains, lease to own & fractional domain ownership in a scalable and frictionless way.”
Rick van Boekel added:”*Deal Day* – Airbridge Equity Partners invests in DAN.com. We wish Reza Sardeha and his team a lot of success building out the company further and disrupt the domain industry through process automation and rolling out new technologies by using blockchain and escrow automation.”