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Monday, June 11, 2012

Top Domain Broker

Sedo (an acronym for Search Engine for Domain Offers) is a domain name and website marketplace and domain parking provider based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cologne, Germany. The company, which is a subsidiary of German-based United Internet, has more than 16 million domain names listed on its website for buying and selling.

Sedo was founded in 2000 by three German college students - Tim Schumacher (previous CEO of Sedo Holding AG), Marius Würzner (now COO of Sedo GmbH's German office), and Ulrich Priesner (currently CTO of Sedo) - and modeled after the core concept of Schumacher's Master's Thesis, "Price Formation in the Trade of Internet Domain Names". In February 2001, with 1&1 Internet AG's investment in the business through purchasing a 41% share, Sedo GmbH became an officially entity in Cologne, Germany. During the first few months, the company was operated solely by Schumacher and Essmann while Priesner and Würzner finished their studies. Helga Schackenberg became the first employee of the company, followed soon thereafter by Würzner. At the end of the year, Essmann left the company for nearly two years to complete his medical residency. In the meantime, Sedo moved into a bigger office in Cologne in 2002, and Matt Bentley joined the company to serve in Essmann's absence to oversee Sedo's development. Sedo's funding prior to IPO was N.M. Rothschild Holdings .

Sedo began planning in 2003 to open a subsidiary office in the United States. During this planning phase, Essmann returned to the company with a desire to lead overseas. Bentley and Essmann headed to America, with Jeremiah Johnston joining the team shortly afterwards as General Counsel. In 2005, the Sedo office was opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), under Sedo.com, LLC.

In 2006, CEO Tim Schumacher temporarily joined the Cambridge office to assist with expansion into the US market, and the company introduced domain name auctions. In 2007, Sedo took a minority investment in DomainsBot; DomainsBot’s technology later contributed to the update of Sedo’s domain search tool. The company acquired GreatDomains.com, a competing online domain name marketplace, from VeriSign on June 19, 2007.

Expansion continued in 2008 as Sedo opened up shop in the United Kingdom, an operation headed by Hugo Dalrymple-Smith and Nora Nanayakkara. On February 24, 2009, Sedo purchased RevenueDirect, and formed a strategic partnership with its parent company, Dotster of Vancouver, Washington, to take advantage of the latter's services of helping businesses establish online profiles. In March 2009, Sedo provided seed funding for the new start up Bloson.com, a social charity website. Later in September 2009, Sedo acquired a competing domain monetization (parking) site, ParkingPanel, for an undisclosed amount. On February 17, 2010, Sedo helped broker the purchase for the most expensive .org domain name ever—poker.org—for US$1 million. PokerCompany.com purchased the domain name. Later that year, Sedo was awarded a Guinness World Records record for the sale of sex.com, the most expensive public domain sale at $13,000,000.

On February 1, 2012, Tim Schumacher left his role as CEO of Sedo Holding AG to focus on other projects and join the company's Supervisory Board. Tobias Flaitz, formerly of the privately-held German-based Hubert Burda Media, joined Sedo as the new CEO of both Sedo Holding AG (including Sedo's sister company, Affili.net) and Sedo.
Sedo Holding AG

In 2009, Sedo's sister company within the Adlink Group, AdLINK Media, was sold to the Hi-media Group. This sale led to the reorganization and renaming of the group to Sedo Holding AG in 2010. That same year, Sedo welcomed its sister company, Affilinet, to its Cologne office. Tim Schumacher was named CEO of Sedo Holding AG while retaining his leadership role within Sedo, and Liesbeth Mack-de Boer was named Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of Sedo.
Products & Services

Sedo offers domain name-related products and services. Core services include an online domain name marketplace, a domain parking program, and domain brokerage for both buyers and sellers. Additional products and services Sedo offers are domain appraisals, featured listings for its marketplace, and a domain name transfer and escrow platform for sales completed both privately and through its marketplace.
Sedo's Domain Marketplace

Domain owners can list their domains for sale on Sedo's Domain Marketplace through a Sedo account. Domain listings can be set up as open to negotiations, Buy Now, or - if certain conditions have been met - as an auction. All domains listed on Sedo are also syndicated across Sedo's domain distribution platform, SedoMLS. Sellers can also opt to activate a SedoMLS Premium service for domains that qualify. Interested buyers can search or browse Sedo's database of domain names and make offers or bids on, or purchase instantly, domains they want.>
Sedo's Parking Program

A domain owner can forward their domain's visitors to Sedo's parking name servers for free.
Sedo's Brokerage Services

Sedo offers domain brokerage services in the forms of seller representation or domain acquisition assistance. A seller can hire one of Sedo's domain brokers for free, so long as their application has been accepted and they sign an exclusivity agreement; if a deal is brokered, the seller pays a 15% commission based on the gross sale price. A buyer can hire one of Sedo's domain brokers for 69 USD/EUR/GBP, plus the cost of the domain and an additional 15% commission based on the gross purchase price.
Domain Appraisals

An automated price suggestion tool is built into each Sedo account. Sedo offers two manual appraisal options: a "premium" appraisal package for 49 USD/EUR/GBP] and a "standard" package for 29 USD/EUR/GBP]. Appraisals from Sedo are delivered by email as PDF documents.
Featured Listings

Sellers listing domains on Sedo's website can order featured placement of their domains in search results or within categories. A featured listing costs 39-64 USD/EUR/GBP], and a category showcase costs 9-19 USD/EUR/GBP].
Domain transfer and escrow

Sedo facilitates the transfer of all domains sold or purchased through its Domain Marketplace; escrow of the payment for the domain is also included. This service is offered free-of-charge for those sales. If a seller or buyer chooses to negotiate privately (outside of Sedo's Domain Marketplace), they may request Sedo's Transfer & Escrow Service for a 3% fee based on the gross sale or purchase price, payable by either party.
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