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In September 2023, the domain name "Room.com," which had been sold for $1.5 million in July 2019, finally completed its transaction. The previous owners of the domain name were well-known domain investors Michael Castello and his friend
In September 2023, the domain name "Room.com," which had been sold for $1.5 million in July 2019, finally completed its transaction. The previous owners of the domain name were well-known domain investors Michael Castello and his friend Walt. The transaction was facilitated by Mark Daniel, and the buyer was the end-user company GetRoom.com, who acquired Room.com for a brand upgrade.
The terms of the transaction were as follows: an upfront payment of $250,000, with the remaining amount to be paid over the next five years, at a rate of $62,500 every three months. The buyer pleasantly surprised everyone by making the final payment ahead of schedule in September this year, thus closing the deal early.
The word "ROOM" carries meanings related to "room, space, and rental." Currently, the Room.com website serves as a comprehensive platform aimed at meeting users' various needs in the fields of accommodation, real estate, and home design.
Those in the domain industry may remember the exciting story about the sale of Room.com that was featured in dnjournal magazine in 2019. The article included an interview with domain industry pioneer Michael Castello and his friend Walt, who jointly owned the domain, and it revealed the behind-the-scenes story of how they sold the valuable $1.5 million Room.com domain.
In 1997, Michael met his friend Walt, and Room.com was registered in June of the same year. Michael had met radio celebrity Walt through a friend's introduction and invited him to his studio, marking the beginning of an amazing collaboration.
Walt was very open to new opportunities, and in the studio, he observed Michael working on website development and recognized the potential in domain investments. They jointly invested $3,000 to register over 30 generic domain names, including "Room.com, Wash.com, LYL.com, Harlem.com, Racer.com, and Mouth.com," among others. They agreed to a 50-50 revenue-sharing arrangement based on sales and website business earnings.
Michael Castello also recalled the process of selling Room.com in the interview:
Michael said, "In 2019, Mark Daniel reached out to me, and he's an excellent negotiator we've known for many years. He had contacted me the previous year, offering $400,000 for Room.com, which I declined. Mark mentioned that there was a company interested in Room.com and was willing to negotiate a higher price. I initially asked for $4 million, and we went back and forth for several days, trying to make this deal work.
I knew there was a potential buyer, but I also realized the limitations of new startup companies in terms of investment and funding. However, my final offer was $2 million. I told Walt that my price wouldn't go below $1.5 million.
When Mark conveyed this price to the buyers, they responded that it was still challenging for them. I proposed a lease-to-own agreement over five years, and the buyer ultimately agreed. They made a $250,000 upfront payment, and then they will pay $62,500 every three months over the next five years."
What Michael Castello didn't expect was that the buyer would make the final payment ahead of schedule in September this year, bringing the transaction to a perfect conclusion.
Michael Castello recognizes the significant potential for value appreciation in four-letter single-word .com domain names. He firmly believes, "We should unlock the potential of great businesses because high-quality domains bring more traffic to companies. Therefore, we must ensure that high-quality domains are fully utilized, helping businesses reduce their dependence on search engines like Google."
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