Categorized | New gTLDs

MMX.co… ‘please buy me’ owners of .VIP .Work .Law and everyone favourite .Horse

Posted on 12 September 2017 by Graham Haynes

Mind and Machines (MMX)  are the evangelists for new gTLDs and own the good .VIP .Law .London, the bad .Garden .Luxe and the very ugly .Horse, are up for sale.

Famously MMX’s founder Antony Van Couvering told Godaddy and other registrars at a conference that MMX didn’t need them.

This was the company that fell head over heels in love with the nGTLDs and saw a world where the registry was king and could and would do it all. Very ambitious from the start they built their own back end operation which was haemorrhaging money so quick they dumped it within two years and now use Nominet (who are the back end support for .co.uk). They built a web site creating software Mozart, which was going to be offered to all their new gTLD’s customers, to easily build their websites on, that just swallowed money and never did get finished but was the catalyst for many of the founding members to be ousted.

They had their own registrar, offering only their own tlds and put their middle finger up to the traditional sales channels. Ohh that was quietly folded and all retail names transferred to uniregisrty when the new CEO Toby Hall was appointed.  Toby then went cap in hand to Godaddy to say there had been a change of direction and please sell our name strings. A team of 13 sales guys whose job was selling premium names via outbound calls were made redundant.

In comes Toby Hall a charismatic leader that is far too happy if you ever meet him and a marketing man through and through. He was responsible for the major changes to MMX now being a pure play registry. I have watched him with interest, how the hell do you sell something no one wants. Well, he tried it all, the penny give aways .Work, the high-cost and barrier to entry model of .Law and partnering with other registry(s) Punto and Tucows, buy .vodka and get the .bar or .club at half price.

His diamond was always .vip and they didn’t give them away and sold them at around 8usd, arguably the most profitable new gTLD. But they are now a one trick pony, nothing else has worked and are hugely vulnerable to sentiment in China, who are dumping names like used tissues.

MMX is listed on the AIM public stock exchange in London and has a market cap of $100million. The MMX share holder chat board is very active and it is stark how they view new gTLDs compared to domainers. Naive, blind, eternal optimists with no idea of the bigger picture. No mention on the chat board is made that new GTLDs will have no growth this year, that China’s appetite is not what it was. Instead, they hang on to Toby Hall’s every word and Toby’s financial statements are often just marketing statements.

Here is where the rubber hits the road, about 3 months ago to great fanfare Toby Hall appointed outside advisors to look at strategy regarding getting best value for long term share holders. In everyday speak, they had been approached as a buyout potential. Shares have risen from about 9.5p to 12p BUT some big Asian institutional investors bought at 13p about a year ago. Excited talk on the share chat board has agreed that 20p is fair value and that is seen as cheap. It is not happening, been too long and no drums, so how does Toby manage expectations. Well their financial interim results are released on 26th of this month, watch the undoubted marketing skills of Toby Hall spinning that all is great in the MMX.co garden and read how the investors who don’t understand domains eat out of his hand and how the share price will stagnate and slowly fall back and dreams of riches will fade as reality sets in that minimising losses is now the game for shareholders, no pipe dream of a 20p buyout.

 

 

1 Comments For This Post

  1. THCNames Says:

    Seems nobody is buying new gTLD registries. The .BUZZ registry can’t find any takers. 🙂