The transaction sees around 200,000 domain names change hands in a $28.1 million cash deal “with additional earn out considerations,” according to the GoDaddy press release. Marchex has already made $6.7 million in domain sales since January, bringing its total to $34.8 million in domain names this year. The additional “earn out considerations” GoDaddy refers to are basically sales targets — so Marchex could stand to gain more if GoDaddy does well with its new portfolio.
Founded out of Arizona in 1997, GoDaddy has emerged as one of the world’s largest registrars, with almost 60 million domain names under its wing. The company went public earlier this year, debuting on the New York Stock Exchange on April 1 (no joke).
While the acquisition of 200,000 new names may not seem huge on the surface, given GoDaddy’s existing arsenal, the price it has paid for them — averaging at around $150 each — suggests they’re of a decent quality.
“GoDaddy views this as a unique opportunity to acquire a large group of high-quality names and make them available to businesses worldwide,” explained Mike McLaughlin, GoDaddy senior vice president and general manager. “These names have not been generally available to the public. This means we’re able to bring more visibility and liquidity into the market for businesses everywhere.”
McLaughlin also added that it wasn’t planning to acquire any more domain names in bulk like this, so it clearly just viewed this as an opportunity to get a hold of some hot, in-demand names it could profit from. You can get an idea of the kinds of names GoDaddy now offers here, including the likes of salsa.com, kungfu.com, tourguide.com, and beijing.com.
As for Seattle-based Marchex, well, it will now focus on its core mobile ad tech business. “A significant and growing majority of the consumer engagement and sales driven by mobile advertising happens offline, such as through phone calls,” said Pete Christothoulou, CEO at Marchex. “Narrowing our focus on this opportunity, while growing our balance sheet, strengthens our ability to continue delivering technology solutions that bring accountability to mobile advertising and transform business performance for our clients.”