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The .BEST Acquisition: 3 Months After

The .BEST new gTLD Registry was acquired 3 months ago by Cyril Fremont, a French Entrepreneur from Paris, and a team of investors. I took the time to meet with Cyril in the latest ICANN63 meeting in Barcelona to ask him a few questions about his future new gTLD project, three months after it was acquired from the previous owner.

Is the review network launching anytime soon?

Yes Jean we have just released the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of the social network. Our “.best” social network will be officially present at the next Namescon taking place in Las Vegas (27-30 January 2019). Then, it will be open for private registrations only during 3 months as we want to give brand owners the opportunity to protect their trademarks by registering their “.best” brand names before the public opening.

According to our social network experience, there could be a lot of cybersquatting if brands don’t protect themselves before the public opening and we don’t want brands to face thousands of UDRP or URS procedures after the opening.

I am pretty much excited about the platform to be launched for reviews but I wondered: how are you going to manage those who want to use a “.best” domain name for their website and those who want to join the social network using your platform?

It’s 2 different businesses and also 2 different ventures:

  1. The .BEST Registry is and will stay a Registry. We will continue to operate the Registry through our network of accredited Registrars and offer “.best” domains to every registrant who wants to register a domain name for his business.
  2. The social network will be a new venture that will act as a booster for “.best” domain names as we expect millions of users for the next years. It will benefit not only to the .BEST Registry itself but also to all our .BEST network of accredited Registrars. Indeed, we will also offer Registrars the possibility to be part of the on boarding process.

We want to be fully decentralized:

  • both on the users side giving each user a “.best” domain name and website for his reviews,
  • but also on the registration side with our network of accredited Registrars.

It’s a fantastic and unique opportunity for our .BEST Registrars to get millions of “.best” domain registrations with us.

I wanted to know if it is possible to test the new social network you referred to in our previous interview: is that possible already?

For the moment, this is only possible for investors and after signing our NDA. As we are actually working on a $10M fundraising to bootstrap the marketing of the social network, we want to keep it secret until Namescon. So be patient—it’s just 3 months from now—and I can already tell you that you will like it for sure!

Our Beta influencers that actually test the platform said the UX was clean and really intuitive for reviewers.

You recently published on LinkedIn that something was about to be revealed in a few weeks: is it the ”.best” price drop or is it something different?

Yes, starting 1st of November and until 31st of January 2019, we will make a huge promotion dividing the “.best” wholesale/Registrar price by 10 for each new registration!

We set the wholesale price for Registrars lower than a “.com” for each new registration. Then, depending on your region and your favorite Registrar pricing strategy, the new “.best” retail price for each new registration should be between $7 to $10 on the market.

I just came back from the ICANN summit in Barcelona and we received a huge support from all Registrars that we met for this promotion.

I saw that you sold quite a few Premium “.best” domain names recently, can we talk numbers?

We do not communicate numbers on our Premium sales because we have an NDA agreement with our clients. We’ve started “.best” Premium domain name sales in September 2018 only and in just 2 months we’ve already had a strong track record. This is due to the huge value on the .BEST domain name extension. Each domain almost becomes a Premium as the organic traffic volumes are high on strings using “best” as a keyword. For example, “best cars” is more than 100M searches/month in Google!

For this reason, we sold many “.best” Premiums: asian.best, gaming.best, cms.best, marketing.best, sauna.best, care.best, date.best, 777.best, family.best, mgm.best, pub.best, printer.best, silver.best, and many more. We also sold many Premiums in foreign languages (french, spanish, german, italian) like banque.best, avocat.best, etc.

The price of “.best” registrations is divided by 10 during the promotion period which just started on November the first but then it will get back to the previous price, which remains rather expensive. Is there a chance that “.best” domains stick to the price of “.com” one day?

First, the wholesale price will be divided by 10 but it will be also available for multi-years registration at the same discounted price. It means that if you want, you will be able to register and secure your domain for 2,3,4 years ... until 10 years maximum at the same promotion price. Then, when the promotion period ends and depending on new registration volumes, we will make an analysis and set a new price. The more registrations we receive during the promotion period, the more we can lower the price then.

It appears that the price of “.com” could be increased by the US government, do you see this as an advantage to develop the .BEST Registry?

We set a wholesale price lower than a “.com” for Registrars. The final retail price is now in the hands of our Registrars. We heard that lots of our accredited Registrars will set a price lower than “.com” for their customers too to offer an alternative. The reason for this is that only a few names (<3000 names) were sold by the previous owner of the Registry. It leaves plenty of free and good names available for registration: that’s the reason. Our Registrars expect a lot from this promotion from buyers as .BEST is like a new gTLD coming on the market with many great name opportunities.

Finally…I have seen that you were selected by the Web Summit and I saw also that American Express shoots a movie on the .BEST Registry. Can you tell me more about it?

Yes, things have been going really fast after the acquisition of the Registry by my team. We were selected as Best Startup by the WEB SUMMIT that will take place in Lisbon from 5-8 November, to be part of the Alpha program in the social network industry category. We will have a booth and exhibit on Day 2 of the event (on Wednesday, Nov 7). Just come and visit us.

We were also selected by KASPERSKY LAB to pitch our project on November 6th at 12.30 pm during the WEB SUMMIT in front of Venture Capitalists. Regarding AMERICAN EXPRESS, it’s true too—they are shooting a movie on us. The .BEST movie will be spread in all the AMEX network. So stay tuned!

By Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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