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June 22, 2007


Russ Goodwin

Keep in mind that its the whole company that's for sale, not just the name or the site. The article doesn't say what else the company owns (domains, sites, or otherwise), but Work.com is linked in the Business.com footer and appears to belong to the same co.

***FS*** Good point.. work.com 'and' business.com .. thats "two" things of intrinsic burndown value. The question is, could you relatively easily reinvent the remainder for 5-10mm in cash spent on people etc.. so hence the skepticism about the value.


Das a lot of money mang.....

***FS*** bahhh! .. :)) Couldn't have said it better myself Mr. Montana


What kind of elbow grease are using? hehe

It will take allot of capital to arbitrage and net $15 million at the end of the year though right?

***FS*** Not really .. I have a friend who recently started arbitrage for his sites and he's netting about a million a month.

Steve Morsa

At anything more than 200 mill, how many ways can one say, o.v.e.r.p.r.i.c.e.d.?

Since 95%+ of the value's in the operating business itself and NOT in the domain, a better approach would be to also develop, oh, I don't know--say a Businessly.com--following the successful path Business.com's already blazed... :-)



Can you be Frank with me? *smirk* The $$$ is in the details!!

You mentioned before that a domain like hobbyshop is worth 50K'ish, and maybe 10x that amount if developed.

Can you provide some action items on what you would do, I just can't believe a content site could pull more than a ecommerce site!

What would your sources of arbi be? What kind of daily spend?

1. design + logo
2. 100 content pages/reviews
3. blog with 3+ posts per day
4. ??????


I got automobiles.com in Japanese..
I'll be waiting for that 100 million dollar check when values go up. ;-)


so does mark get part of this? Jay says he has already cashed in his chips a while back... Another article said Mark HOPES it sells for 300 million cause he will make a nice chunk.


How about vote4democrat.com ? It is for sale on market now. I think this domain is good for US election 2008.

Javier Marti

Hey Frank,
Did you hear already about the .com button on the iphone? Also, I would like to ask you your analysis on the results of the Moniker auction for .mobi names. What's your take in the light of these new developments?
Best regards


***FS*** I did "not" hear about it.. At last!! Sweet redemption. This going to be huge. I think .mobi is not .real.. Thats all i can say about it.. Let the passage of time prove me wrong.

Alex C

Life's Been Good - The Eagles / Joe Walsh

I have a mansion forget the price
Aint never been there they tell me its nice
I live in hotels tear out the walls
I have accountants pay for it all

They say Im crazy but I have a good time
(everybody say oh, yeah.....oh,yeah)
Im just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Lifes been good to me so far

---- sounds familiar ;)

***FS*** Thats funny. It actually 'does' sound familiar


As I recall, the old (pre-crash) Great Domains used to run an advert. that said:
"Is your next billion-dollar IPO amongst this list..?" (of Dot-com names).

I've long thought that the killer concept for top-end domains was IPO.

IPO changes all valuations spectacularly. As a hypothetical, consider an
existing corporation that could presently go IPO for $5bill. (smallish by today's standards), but could make $10bill. if it had a top-end flagship name with a quality built-in consumer-recognition presence. What price would Business.com
be worth to that type of IPO ? I suspect that 400Mill. (cash+stock ?) would be
considered a cheap deal.

All speculation for the future, but one thing's certain, domainers may be ahead
of the loop on domains, but we're babes in the wood in the IPO commercial jungle.

***FS*** True sir.. but that stuff can be learned.. Learning when names drop and how to get them was incredibly difficult.. Subsequent challenges seem less like Everest and more like speedbumps

John Reese

Nice post, Frank.

I think their actual business model is unknown. I don't think it's primarily arbitrage. Their annual revenue is in the $50 million range with profits of around $15MM (as has been reported.)

They have a lot of strategic partnerships in place (it seems) at an affiliate level and also at a syndication level. It 'appears' as if they sell quite a few of their $199/year listing fees to businesses that want placement in their directory -- this is outside of their Google search results.

If they are indeed doing $50MM/year in revenue, then their asking price would be 7 times earnings; not completely unrealistic, especially if they are showing anykind of serious growth potential. * They claim their traffic grew 50% in the first quarter of 2007.

A peek inside their books would reveal more about the value. If they aren't spending a small fortune on traffic (i.e. arbitrage in motion) then their business is pretty valuable.

Compete.com data shows their site is currently about 3.5MM unique visitors a month. You can see the recent growth in their traffic over the past few months. BUT... as I mentioned, if this is merely "turning up the ad spend" for arbitrage purposes then that's definitely overrating the value of the business. BUT, on the other hand, if their traffic is naturally growing from repeat visitors, then that's another valuation completely.



If business.com really does $15mm a year in profits (assuming profits=EBITDA), then a price of $300mm wouldnt be that bad. That would equate to about 20x EBITDA, vs Marchex trading at 15x EBITDA, and the downtrodden newspaper group trading for 10x. If they really are growing at a big clip each quarter, then 20x EBITDA is is darn cheap. And if a large, well known company bought it, took out duplicate overhead costs and added revenue synergies, then $300mm is a downright steal. All this assuming that it really does $15mm/year in profits of course.

Patrick Kerr of PTRADES

yes, its the domain NOT the site agree 100%, sky was ahead of the curve but wasa right about it


Hey, even an SEO guy, Aaron Wall gets it:


"I have spent $10,000+ buying a non-type-in domain name that someone paid $8 for. I have done it more than once in the last month. Why? Synergistic value in branding, associated perceived trust, and market differentiation...which are all important in a crowded marketplace."

Bottom line is that not only you get great type in traffic with a generic domain....but you also get the intrinsic value of automatic brandability. With Business.com, they turned a $7.5 mill generic domain into possibly a $300 mill enterprise by leveraging it's generic domain name with content and arbitrage.

Sounds like a blueprint for generic domain holders to me.

Max Bailey

Yes, I would agree that it is the domain, not the site. However, I would say that they have done a good job at displaying the sites value by putting advertisements on the site and saying - if we can make millions off of simple ads, think of how much you could make with a site that offered valuable services or products. So I would say that the reason for the sites high value is not just the domain, it is also what they have done to make the domain what it is.
Max Bailey.
http://www.cmyblogs.com - Free Blogs.
http://www,cmyos.com - Free Online Operating System

daniel rueda

Certain things stick out on this planet and the generic term business.com is one of the greatest. You can compare it to the sun. A huge mass that needs no explanation and is seen in the minds of the world on a daily basis. what is the value of the sun if you could put your ad sign on it. Your absolutely right. Priceless.

Sat Jun 30, 03:49:00 PM EDT

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