Bill Hartzer

NameMedia Files for IPO

NameMedia, a company that acquires, develops, and trades digital real estate, has filed with regulators in the United States today to raise up to $172.5 million dollars in an IPO.

One of the NameMedia web properties includes BuyDomains.com, a services that offers premium domain name sales, and exclusive offers for website hosting and registration of names that are not currently owned by anyone. NameMedia also owns ActiveAudience, and Afternic.

According to their website, NameMedia is a leader in the acquisition, development and trading of digital real estate through a network of highly targeted websites and a marketplace for premium domain names.”

A Reuters report says that “Credit Suisse, Jefferies & Co Inc, Banc of America Securities and RBC Capital Markets are underwriting the IPO, the online media company told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus.”

The S-1 registration statement here has a lot of infomration about the company and their strategies:

We were incorporated in February 2005 to acquire a business which was formed in 1999 and to primarily engage in buying and selling Internet domain names. Accordingly, although the Predecessor commenced operations in 1999, we have a limited operating history and limited financial results that you can use to evaluate our business and prospects. Although we have experienced significant growth in recent periods, we may not be able to sustain this growth. Because we have limited historical financial data upon which to base planned operating expenses and forecast operating results, we cannot be certain that our revenue will grow at rates that will allow us to maintain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. If we fail to grow our business or maintain profitability, the market price of our common stock will likely fall. You must consider our prospects in light of the risks, expenses and difficulties we face as an early stage company with a limited operating history.

What I particulaly find interesting about this and the domain business as a whole is described somewhat in the risks that NameMedia shows below, which is a part of their registration statement:

We derive nearly all of our revenue from the sale of domain names and performance-based online advertising, both of which industries are undergoing rapid and dramatic change. Our business model is new and evolving and it may not be successful. Our business and prospects are difficult to evaluate and must be considered in light of the risks and uncertainties often encountered by companies in the early stages of development. Some of these risks and uncertainties relate to our ability to do the following:

— continue to grow our revenue and meet anticipated growth targets;

— maintain and develop relationships with online advertising providers;

— maintain and develop relationships with sources of domain names;

— successfully acquire domain names that can be resold profitably;

— maintain and increase the number of affiliate websites and domain names;

— successfully develop websites that Internet users will visit in increasing numbers;

— increase the number of our premium enthusiast websites and the Internet traffic on these websites;

— attract and retain qualified management and employees;

— continue to identify attractive acquisition candidates;

— successfully integrate acquired businesses, websites and technologies;

— enhance and build upon our existing technology platforms;

— manage our expanding operations and implement and improve our operational, financial and management controls;

The domain name real estate and industry is quite a dynamic one, and it appears that NameMedia will continue to increase the number of affiliate websites that they own and maintain as well as acquire domain names that they can sell profitably.

NameMedia plans to list their shares of stock on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “NAME.”

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