The Top 5 Most Expensive Domain Names Ever
What’s in a name? People that are in the business of buying and selling domain names sure know. You can make a pretty penny with the right name, but you may be surprised to find out just how much and for what names.
Sold for: $16 million
Believe it or, not the most expensive domain name was sold to Qunistreet for $16 million in 2009. QuinStreet, in case you didn’t know (I sure didn’t) is the 8th largest internet advertising firm in the world.
Sold for: $12-$14 million
This one made a lot more sense to me considering porn is one of the most lucrative businesses on the internet. There is a colourful history to this domain name. On May 9, 1994, entrepreneur Gary Kremen (founder of Match.com) registered sex.com with Network Solutions. But lurking in the dark was Stephen Michael Cohen who had been trying to get a hold of the name for some time. He fraudulently acquired control by forging a letter purported to be from Kremen’s company, “Online Classified”, which stated that Kremen had been dismissed and the firm was abandoning the domain. Naturally, Cohen could have it. It is estimated that Cohen earned US$100 million between October 1995 and November 2000 from his ownership of sex.com. In April 2001, the court ordered damages of $65 million to be paid to Kremen. Kremen in turn went on to sell the Sex.com domain for $14 million (exact amount is unconfirmed) to Escom LLC in 2006. Escom proved to be unsuccessful as Sex.com and it was put up on a foreclosure auction with an opening bid set for $1 million.
Sold for: $9,999,950
In 2008, Clek Media Inc.paid nearly $ 10 million for the domain name Fund.com in an all cash transaction. Clek is a media consulting firm. Fund.com Inc is a publicly traded Internet company operating in the financial services, product development, licensing and publishing sectors, based in New York City.
Sold for: $9.5 million
The sex industry strikes again, and in 2007 Porn.com was sold for $9.5 million. The lucky owner… MXN Limited, a multimedia and investment firm that acquires, develops and deploys innovative web properties $9.5 million. Heck! That’s almost a steal considering the porn industry pulls in close to a billion dollars a year. Not to mention, there are over 100 million porn-related Google searches a month. And, according to Alexa.com four of the most trafficked sites on the web are porn sites. MXN purchased the domain with a cash transaction. Ka-Ching!
Tied in 5th place are:
5) Diamond.com & Business.com
Sold for: $7.5 million
Let’s get down to business first. Business.com was purchased in 1997 for $150,000 by Marc Ostrofsky a purported domain name investor. Two years later, it was sold to Jake Winebaum, previously chairman of the Walt Disney Internet Group, for $7.5 million. No wonder Ostrofsky is considered a “Technology Wildcatter”.
And, they say diamonds are girl’s best friend, it seems they mean a lot to investors too. In 2006, Ice.com one of the internet’s foremost diamond sellers purchased Diamond.com for $7.5 million. Both sites are run as separate stores.