Here they come: Dot-word warehouse Donuts to launch new top-level domains this week
Vanity domains for cyclists and plumbers among first seven
Upstart domain registry Donuts has announced that its first seven new global top-level domains (gTLDs) will be made available to the public on Wednesday, with more to come throughout the year.
"This is a unique opportunity for businesses, brands, organizations, and individuals to find an online identity that speaks precisely to their products, services and interests," Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura said in a canned statement.
The domains to go on sale this week – including .BIKE, .CLOTHING, .GURU, .HOLDINGS, .PLUMBING, .SINGLES, and .VENTURES – are just the first of more than a hundred that Donuts plans to launch this year to compete with the likes of .COM, .NET, and .ORG.
The company's second batch of domains is scheduled to launch next week and will include .CAMERA, .EQUIPMENT, .ESTATE, .GALLERY, .GRAPHICS, .LIGHTING and .PHOTOGRAPHY.
The new domains will be managed by Donuts but will be offered to the public by various accredited registrars worldwide – including 1&1, GoDaddy, Register.com, Secura, and Tucows, among others.
A well-heeled startup backed by venture capitalists, equity funds, banks, and other investors, Bellevue, Washington–based Donuts has emerged virtually out of nowhere to become the largest registry to capitalize on internet overseer ICANN's new gTLD expansion scheme.
On its website, Donuts describes venerable domain-name giant Verisign as "a registry with a few old TLDs such as .com and .net." In comparison, Donuts says it applied for no less than 307 new top-level domains in 2012 and it has already signed contracts with ICANN for 105, which is more than any other registrar.
"Reaching 105 gTLDs under contract is a good landmark, but we won't be satisfied until all of our remaining contracts are completed and all our gTLDs are fully available to the public," said Donuts executive VP Jonathon Nevett.
Under ICANN's process, each application carries a fee of $185,000, meaning Donuts has spent at least $56.8m on new gTLDs so far.
Recouping those investments shouldn't be too hard, though. Mega-registrar GoDaddy has been charging customers a $12,500 fee for early access to Donuts gTLDs, and the domains themselves will be sold in a tiered pricing model, with "premium" names commanding higher rates.
Trademark owners also have the opportunity to register their marks on the new domains for a $130 fee, although the bill for this service will quickly balloon if they want their marks secured on all 105 of Donuts' domains.
Donuts says that following the launch of its first seven domains on Wednesday, it plans "continual" gTLD roll-outs throughout the year. ®
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