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Dollars to Donuts, Bellevue Startup is “Domain Nuts” for Millions in New gTLDs

These are some of the sweetest numbers Northwest tech has seen in some time.

First bite: Donuts Inc., a Bellevue-based startup, has a $100M head start on a potential $800 million first round of fundraising for its domain name wholesaling business.

Second bite:  Donuts has applied for more gTLDs, (Top Level Domain Names), than Google, Amazon and Uniregistry combined.

Third bite:
Donuts has already paid $56 million in application fees alone to vie for 307 new gTLDs.

Big gulp: The 5 backers of Donuts collectively manage and/or have access to $30 billion. That’s a lot of dough!

“The Internet was opened for worldwide use almost 20 years ago, and we’ve had only 22 generic names made available since then. We’re overdue for expansion,”  said Donuts CEO Paul Stahura.  “There are more than 125 million total names in the top five TLDs, with three fourths of them in .COM alone.”

ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom unveiled nearly 2,000 proposed new “top-level” domain names during a press conference in London Wednesday.

The list of proposed new domains  could mean that names like .app and .news will compete with today’s .com and .org, for instance. Approved domains will join 280 existing geographic domains, such as .uk and .in. To have their new domain proposal evaluated, groups and businesses must pay a $185,000 application fee.

Two of the most active corporations were Google (101 domains) and Amazon (76). Google’s choices ranged from the predictable — .android and .youtube — to the ambitious: .are; .baby (a surprise hit, with 5 other applications); .blog; .book; .fun; .game; .mail; .music; and .soy. The search giant also went for .lol and .goo.

Amazon wants to scoop up .author and .buy, along with .app, .search, .wow, and .zappos. And it seems destined to fight Google for .music and .mail, along with a reported 19 other domains that both corporations applied for.

Stahura anticipates strong competition to the currently dominant .COM extension. “This expansion is going to be disruptive in a positive sense. There’s no question competition is coming to .COM and other TLDs–how much of the market the new TLDs will take from them is what remains to be seen.

Seattle24x7 has put its hands on the list of custom domain names released yesterday by ICANN that Donuts is pursuing. (see below)

Donuts was founded by Paul Stahura, Richard Tindal, Jonathon Nevett and Daniel Schindler–four industry veterans with extensive experience in registry and registrar operations and industry governance, and who have successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies, and brought value and choice to the domain name marketplace.

Four of them are IDN’s in Hans script code. .

xn--vhquv — Enterprise, firm, company.

.xn--czrs0t — Commercial shop or store, selling goods

.xn--fjq720a — Entertainment

.xn--unup4y — Game(s)


Donuts’ public launch coincidentally follows last Friday’s National Donut Day, a U.S.  commemoration established in 1938 by the Salvation Army to thank the many women who served donuts to U.S. soldiers during World War I. Donuts has made a contribution to the Salvation Army to mark the occasion, and has designated the day as an annual company
holiday. [24×7]