Go Daddy Buys Afternic
September 20, 2013

GoDaddy Buys Afternic, Streamlines Domain Shopping

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

GoDaddy announced on Thursday that it has acquired domain marketplace Afternic from NameMedia, a move it says will make it easier for people to purchase domain names that are already registered.

GoDaddy will also acquire domain parking service SmartName and business name generator NameFind from NameMedia, the company said.

Massachusetts-based Afternic provides a marketplace for domain owners to sell their domains. The company currently lists more than 5 million domain names and says users make more than 75 million domain searches on the site each month.

“We’re making [it] really, really simple for anyone who wants to find a great domain associated with their venture, regardless of whether it’s in the aftermarket or something that’s never been claimed before,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving in an interview with Domain Name Wire.

Many people become frustrated that “all the good domains are registered already” when they search for a domain, Irving said. This frustration is further intensified by the complicated process for buying an existing domain name from its owner.

By integrating Afternic, millions of already registered domain names will be available for GoDaddy customers to purchase in much the same way unclaimed domain names are now registered.

GoDaddy's latest acquisitions are part of the company’s strategy to improve its small business offerings, said Elizabeth Driscoll, vice president of public relations at GoDaddy, in an interview with PCWorld.

The majority of GoDaddy’s 12 million customers are small businesses, and the domain name provider mainly targets firms with about five employees, she added.

Until recently, GoDaddy built all its services itself. But the company shifted its strategy to acquisitions after Blake Irving, former Microsoft executive and chief product officer of Yahoo!, became CEO in January, Driscoll said.

In the past 14 months, GoDaddy has also acquired Locu, a service that helps local merchants get discovered online; M.dot, a service that offers mobile website creation; and Outright, a cloud-based financial management application.

Terms of the Afternic acquisition were not disclosed.