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As Many As 5K .Com’s Taken Away By Sealed Court Order By Verisign Including Some Of Mine

October 2nd, 2014 Comments off
Overnight I received a notice that several domain names I owned were transferred by a sealed court from Verisign without notice and of course without the court order. The domain names just were transferred by Verisign to another domain and are now listed for sale at another marketplace. Another domainer sent me an identical notice […]

UPDATED: The Rise and Fall Of Oversee.net

April 23rd, 2014 Comments off

With the news that Oversee.net sold DomainSponsor.com as well as their owned and operated domain portfolio which reportedly numbered between 700K and 1M domains, to Rook Media, it marks the end of to a 14 year run of one of the biggest companies to ever exist in the domain space.

It’s important to point out that the current management of Oversee.net including Debra Domeyer who was just appointed CEO back on March 2, 2012 were not involved in much of what happened to this company over the years.

It’s a really interesting story on many levels

Since the company is not public we can only take information that was made publicly available.

It’s just my opinion but it could be that Oversee may have lost the most money of any company in the domain name space.  As I said don’t have all the numbers, so it’s just a guess but an educated guess.

Also on a personal note, over the years I have done  millions of dollars in business with Oversee.net starting from the days when Ron Sheridan got my company Worldwide Media, Inc, to place its domain name portfolio at DomainSponsor to spending money with Moniker and Snapnames, so I find the story kind of sad and it brings me no pleasure in reporting and revisiting the timeline and stories

Keep in mind that while Oversee.net was founded in 2000 and DomainSponsor in 2002, we didn’t start writing TheDomains.com until in December 2007.

Here is a timeline of the company with a lot of assistance of  CrunchBase.com as well as other sources including TheDomains.com

2000:                        Oversee is founded by CEO and Co-Founder Lawrence Ng.

September 2001:   Oversee named  Ron Sheridan as Director of  Business Development

July 2006:              Oversee named  Jothan Frakes as Senior Director

July 2006:              Oversee names Jeff Kupietzky as CEO

January 2007:       Oversee receives $60M in Debt funding from Bank of America

February  2007:    Oversee holds the First Domainfest Conference in Hollywood

June 2007:             Oversee acquires SnapNames for a reported $35M.

July 2007:              Oversee named Mason Cole as Vice President of Communications & Industry who had worked for Snapnames since 2001

July 2007:              Oversee announces buying $7 Million in domains in May & 66 portfolio’s in past 10 months & Has over 600K domains

October 2007        Namejet.com is formed and Network Solutions & Register.com leave SnapNames.com

December 2007:   Oversee acquires Moniker for $65M

January 2008:      Oversee added Lawrence Ng as Chairman.

January 2008:      Oversee receives $150M in Private Equity funding from Oak Hill Capital Partners

August 2008:         Oversee fires 10% of its staff

November 2008:  Jeff Kupietzky named President of Oversee.net

January 2009:       Oversee lays off 18% of its workforce 39 people including Jothan Frakes

February 2009:     Third Domainfest held resulting in $3,148,000

January 2010:        Fourth Domainfest live auction produced $930K in Sales plus a low reserve auction of $150,000

May 2010:               Oversee holds a Domainfest in Florida and the auction generated over $2 Million in Sales.

December 2010:     Monte Cahn who headed up Moniker, the live domain auctions and Snapnames.com leaves the company.

January 2011:          Oversee acquires ShopWiki.com for undisclosed amount

January 2011:          Oversee names Scott Morrow and Debra Domeyer as Co-Presidents.

February 2011:        Domainfest live auction generates $500K in Sales but over a hundred people got a mysterious illness from the party at the Playboy Mansion

May 2011:                Monte Cahn files suit against Oversee, CEO Jeff Kupietzky and founder Lawrence Ngover $13 Million dollar incentive plan

July 2011:                Jeff Kupietzky resigns as CEO of Oversee

September 2011:    Oversee.net “lays off” 13% of its Staff

February 2012:       Oversee.net sells its Moniker & SnapNames domain aftermarket and registrar business units to KeyDrive S.A. for an undisclosed amount.

March 2012:            Debra Domeyer & Scott Morrow are promoted to Co-CEOs and will also hold seats on the Board of Directors.

August 2012:           Monte Cahn Settles Lawsuit for an undisclosed amount

April 2014:               Oversee.net sells DomainSponsor and its domain portfolio for an undisclosed amount.

Of course the timeline only tells part of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say now for the rest of the story as told over the years on TheDomains.com

On January 15, 2008 we reported that Oversee received $150,000,000 investment from Oak Hill Capital Partners, a lot of that money was used to buy Moniker.com and Snapnames.com

When they acquired SnapNames.com, it was the largest drop aftermarket and had exclusive arrangements with the then largest domain name registrars to auction off their dropped domains including NetworkSolutions.com and Enom.com.

Of course the price Oversee paid for SnapNames.com was based on all the business Snapnames.com had done in the years previous to the sale selling drop domains for these registrars, however just a couple of months after acquiring Snapnames.com, NetworkSolutions.com and Enom.com  used an escape clause in its contract with SnapNames.com (which Oversee either didn’t see or didn’t consider) to exist SnapNames.com.

Not only did that cause SnapNames to lost its most valuable drop inventory but to add to its problems NetSol and Enom.com started their own drop service NameJet.com to compete with SnapNames.com which of course went on to become the largest domain drop auction house.

Then we learned that a former employee of SnapNames.com had engaged in bid rigging, which came to be known in the domain industry as the Halvarez scandal.

Oversee lost three ways on the The Halvarez scandal.

Oversee had to refund Millions of dollars to bidders for bids placed back when they didn’t own SnapNames.com; the rigged bids artificially inflated the revenue numbers for SnapNames.com for the year previous to Oversee purchase, which in turn increased the amount which Oversee paid to buy SnapNames.com and Oversee’s reputation in the domain industry took a big hit.

Here are some of the stories we wrote about the Halvarez scandal.

Oversee Uncovers Huge Inside Bidding Scheme At SnapNames.com & Will Offer Refunds 11/04/09

Can Oversee Get Some Of The Money They Paid For Snapnames.com Back? 11/04/09

The 5 Most Surprising Things That Came Out Of The SnapNames Scandal 11/05/09

Will “Halvarez” Face Criminal Charges? It Maybe Up To You  11/07/09

Breaking News: SnapNames.com Puts Back Auction History To August 2004 11/07/09

12,000 Auctions: The Halvarez Effect On Our Account (So Far) 11/08/09

12,000 Auctions, 8,900 Bidders and 350,000 Bids: We Conclude Halvarez Was The Only Shill Bidder At Snapnames 11/12/09

An Open Letter To Oversee/SnapNames.com: Hey Guys Here Is A Plan To Fix The Halvarez Scandal 11/17/09

I Just Signed Off & Accepted The Snapnames Settlement Agreement 1/07/10

Then in 2009 Oversee bought Moniker.com but by and saw tremendous loss of domains under management once Monte Cahn left the company at the end of 2010.

By April 2011 Moniker.com had dropped to the 8th largest registrar, by June 2011 they dropped to the 9th.

Today Moniker.com is the 17th largest registrar.

In 2010 some insiders of Oversee.net put there shares up for sale on SecondMarket.com based on an implied valuation of Oversee of over $1 Billion dollars and there was talk about the company going public.

So from a company with an implied valuation of over $1 billion dollars in 2010 to have just a handful of developed sites, well for me and in my opinion its kind of sad.

Monte Cahn Leaving Oversee.net and Moniker.com at End of December

December 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Monte Cahn At Affiliate Summit West 2009

Oversee.net , parent company of Moniker.com, announced today that Moniker.com founder Monte Cahn will no longer be with their organization effective December 31, 2010

Oversee purchased retail registrar Moniker.com at the peak of the domain name auction boom in 2008, when Moniker had been enjoying a string of huge auction events during TRAFFIC conferences.  The company soon merged Moniker and Snap operations and launched new live auction formats and new auction events.  Moniker lost the contract to TRAFFIC events shortly after the Oversee purchase but pushed out some more impressive auction results with these new events and at DOMAINFest.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those that have worked with me at Moniker, SnapNames and Oversee and helped build an industry-leading brand and company.  I know that their successes as individuals and as a company will continue for years to come,” said Cahn.  “I also want to express my thanks to our loyal customers and business partners who believed in and contributed to the domain name industry.  It has been a real pleasure serving the industry for the past 15 years.”

Cahn is a well known figure and some have even coined him “the hardest working guy in domains“. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from Monte in the future.

Company press release after the jump

Domain Name Industry Pioneer Monte Cahn Will Conclude Relationship With Oversee.net

Cahn Plans Departure At End of Contract Period on December 31

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (December 3, 2010) — Oversee.net® said today Monte Cahn, the founder of Moniker® and a widely-known domain name industry pioneer, has elected to leave the company at the conclusion of his contract later this month.

“Oversee appreciates all of Monte’s contributions to the company and to the industry,” said Oversee CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky.  “We respect his desire to part ways and look forward to working with him in new capacities.”

Cahn joined the organization in December 2007, after Moniker’s acquisition by Oversee.  He was instrumental in the successful integration of the retail registrar function into Oversee’s other operating divisions, and continued his prominent industry role as a leader and facilitator of domain name sales through private and live domain name auction events.  During his time with Moniker, Cahn helped create and introduce inventive services like domain name appraisals, escrow, theft protection, WhoIs privacy, bulk name and asset management, and live domain auctions.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those that have worked with me at Moniker, SnapNames and Oversee and helped build an industry-leading brand and company.  I know that their successes as individuals and as a company will continue for years to come,” said Cahn.  “I also want to express my thanks to our loyal customers and business partners who believed in and contributed to the domain name industry.  It has been a real pleasure serving the industry for the past 15 years.”

Cahn will leave the Oversee organization on December 31, 2010.

(c) 2010 DomainNameNews.com (3)


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Patrick Ruddell aka Chef Patrick Joins Moniker’s Brokerage Team

April 8th, 2010 Comments off

DNN learned earlier today that our friend Patrick Ruddell (of ChefPatrick.com seen to the left in his “domainer NASCAR shirt”at DomainFest) had joined Moniker as a domain name sales specialist.  Oversee confirmed this today with an announcement sent to all the domain blogs.

We talked to Patrick earlier today on the phone about his plans. At the time was getting his passport to join the Moniker crew at the IGaming Super Show in Prague where Moniker is holding a gambling domain auction.  Patrick plans to continue blogging on his site and looks forward to this new position.  He’s also moving again. This time down to the Ft Lauderdale area from Orlando

Oversee stated in the announcement  “Patrick is a longtime entrepreneur and has been active for several years now in the domain name industry, and has had a strong interest in brokerage.  By joining with Oversee, Patrick can put his interest to work with the backing of the industry’s top service provider.  We’re very pleased to have him join us.”

According to DomainNameWire, Patrick will also be joining Vctor Pitts as co-host on Domain Masters on Webmaster Radio.

(c) 2010 DomainNameNews.com

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Zappos CEO to Headline DOMAINfest Global

September 23rd, 2009 Comments off

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual DOMAINfest Global event, scheduled for January 26-28, 2010 in Santa Monica, California.

Hsieh is one of the most respected and successful business innovators in the online world, founding his shoe company in 2000 with new approaches to marketing, human resource management, and customer service. Within the decade, Zappos grew to a $1 Billion-per-year online retailer and was recently sold to Amazon.com for more than $850 million.

“We’re delighted to have Tony Hsieh join us as a keynote speaker at our 2010 event,” said Oversee CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky. “His fresh thinking, insights related to online consumer behaviors and needs, and intelligent risk-taking have set new standards for how to succeed in e-commerce. DOMAINfest has always been a breeding ground for new ideas on how to get the most out of a domain name investment, so Tony’s fireside chat will provide our guests with plenty of innovative ideas and inspiration.”

Early-bird discounted registration rates for DOMAINfest end on September 30. Visit www.domainfest.com for more information.

[via DFG]


Registration Open for DOMAINfest Global 2010

August 25th, 2009 Comments off

DOMAINfest Global 2010 — the premier domain industry event taking place at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California from January 26-28 — is now open for registration.

The theme for this year’s event is “Domain Names: Overlooked. Underutilized. Essential to Online Marketing Success.” There will be a number of industry experts on hand to lead relevant sessions such as “Turning Killer Domain Names Into Killer Websites”, “Domain Names: How Prime Internet Real Estate Builds SEO and SEM Success”, and “New gTLDs: Bonanza or Bust?”

The early bird discounted rate is $895 and will be available through to September 30, 2009. Click here to register today.

[via DOMAINfest]