Info-tech

How to make millions trading domain names

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on September 22, 2014 Published on September 22, 2014

Prakhar Bindal

Prakhar Bindal is working with BSE to start a domain name exchange

It is not just bullion and shares that can be traded to make millions. Now, trading Internet domain names is becoming big business. Domain names purchased for as little as ₹100 are being resold for lakhs or crores now.

Take the example of Prakhar Bindal, who founded a company called Axsiom to act as an exchange for trading domain names. Bindal bought a domain name called legalapp.com for $69 and then sold it for $100,000. He bought obituaries.in for only $2 and sold it for $1,200. Similarly, hashish.com fetched $65,000 after he bought it for just $8,000. Bindal, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, now helps others find buyers and sellers for a commission.

“Trading domain names is already big in the US and Europe. In India not many people are aware of the potential. We are organising seminars and awareness campaigns to encourage youngsters to invest,” said Bindal, who is now looking to start a new service where even retail users can start buying and selling domain names.

Bindal started Axsiom while he was studying at BITS-Pilani. The business grew during while he studied at IIM-Calcutta. He has already got some of the world’s largest companies, some of them Fortune500 firms, such as Walt Disney, Microsoft, IBM and Shell, as customers.

“The latest example is the famous American television series Entourage, which is coming out as a full length movie. They bought the domain name, ‘entouragethemovie.com’, from us. (We acquired it for) $10 and sold it for $1,000,” he said.

Bindal said he earns 95 per cent of his revenues from the US and has sold around 850 domain names till now globally. The reason why many start-ups or established companies buy domain names is because it is 100 per cent unique and no one else can own it. Also, it gets a better search rankings on search engines like Google, he said.

Going forward, Bindal is also in discussions with the Bombay Stock Exchange to create a proper exchange for such domain names.

“It might take up to two years, but we are optimistic (that) it will happen. It is not only a question of the BSE, but rounds of clearances by the Government, like SEBI approval and many other regulatory reasons,” he said.

Looking at such possibilities, Bindal expects to list around eight-lakh domain names on his platform by next year, from around 1.25 lakh right now. That should take his revenue between $10 million and $15 million in next two years. The optimism rises from the recent decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to open up domain name registration beyond the .org and .com. to allow generic names like .hotel and .shiksha.

Published on September 22, 2014
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