The First Investment Fund for Domain Names
The Domain Developers Fund is the first and only public open-ended investment fund that invests in domains: the Internet´s real estate. Twenty years after the launch of the World Wide Web, there remain many opportunities awaiting exploitation. Some locations in the address space of the Web are very expensive in today’s market. “toys.com” sold for 5.5 million USD, “sex.com” for 14 million USD. But think about it: there is only one “sex.com” and there will never be another one. Even in real estate, markets are prone to change, with evolving development trends that conform to the times. In cyberspace however, a premium domain name will forever remain a premium domain name. Hence domain names may rightly be called the real estate of the Web.
Customers rely on online businesses as the main source of consumer information — the competition for traffic has become fiercer than ever. In past years, spending on online advertising has risen as much as 40 percent annually (according to studies by Goldman Sachs and Piper Jaffrey). This increase in advertising expenditures is a permanent trend. Domain names have become a decisive success factor: the right domain name can save thousands or even millions in online advertising expenditures over time. Just as real estate prices increase as top locations are snapped up, so it is for the values of premium domain names. To stress this point, let’s look at some of the best worldwide generic domain names and their current owners:
- Bank of America bought loans.com
- CNN owns money.com
- Barnes & Noble acquired books.com
- Nestle owns meals.com
- weather.com and jobs.com have become huge businesses due chiefly to their domain names. With the accelerating shift of business from on-land to on-line, the importance of these generic names is unquestionably growing.
This is the Best Time for Domains
One very common assumption people make regarding domains is that the great names in the field are already taken and that the good ones still available are too expensive to acquire. This observation is false. Would you pass up a property because 500 years ago it was almost free? It’s always a good time to invest in domains; the big names have changed hand many times — just like real estate properties — yet prices are still climbing. That’s because premium domains are a growing market and a very limited resource. However, there are still many great names to be registered or bought at low prices, especially if a buyer looks beyond “.com” domains and considers other top-level domains (TLDs), like those of India, China and many European countries.
The DDF offers you a great opportunity to participate in the growing domain monetization business. The roots of the DDF go back to 2006 when the core team members of the fund assembled around Michael Marcovici. The members joined forces in order to optimize the returns of their portfolios. In 2008, the team decided to merge their portfolios into a single one, allowing each of the three founders to concentrate on one part of the business. In early 2009, the team decided to open the fund to investors with its Friends and Family Program. The fund managed a performance of 124 percent in 2009 and another seven percent in the first nine weeks of 2010. In February 2010 the fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which has proven to be an ideal location for DDF — the first and only domain investment fund open to the public.
*The Domain Developrs Fund is an administered Fund in the Cayman Islands, this means that the Fund is under the strict control of an Administrator appointed by the Government of the Cayman Islands, no Funds can be taken out or in without the permission of the Administrator.