Tucows' CEO Elliot Noss on domains as an asset class

Elliot Noss explains how domain name portfolios can be treated as an asset class.

Tucows (NASDAQ:) held its investor conference call this morning to discuss Q4 and full year results.

During the call, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss referred to the deal the company did with GoDaddy (without mentioning GoDaddy) last quarter to sell some of its domain names. GoDaddy paid $2 million and acquired about 10% of Tucows’ portfolio excluding the surname portfolio.

An analyst asked about the deal and how big deals like this come about. Noss explained that domain names are an asset class:

So when it’s portfolios as opposed to individual names, then it does tend to be people looking to deploy capital. Domains are an asset class. They are an extremely obscure class with a small pool of investors, but it’s an asset class that performs like any other. You have people who sort of pay attention to different elements of the asset class and who deploy capital for different reasons. In our case, we’re very plugged in the industry. It’s known where we are when somebody wants to deploy capital or somebody wants something else from us, there may be some portfolio transactions that go along with that. So I think that — what would I describe it as, you close the seven-figure deals irregularly, but you discuss them constantly.

That “something else” Noss referred to was a deal for GoDaddy to resume selling Tucows’ expired domain name inventory.

(On a side note, Noss is recuperating from double hip-replacement surgery and I wish him a speedy recovery.)

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