/ News / Domain marketplace Undeveloped acquired by US registrar Epik

Domain marketplace Undeveloped acquired by US registrar Epik

Undeveloped, a startup that lets you easily buy and sell domain names, has been acquired by US registrar Epik (who calls itself ‘The Swiss Bank of Domains’) for an undisclosed sum.

The Amsterdam-based startup, founded in 2014, “will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Epik Holdings Inc group of companies executing on its existing roadmap with the current management team”, said founder Reza Sardeha in an e-mail to users.

In said e-mail, Undeveloped also wants to assure that their full team will remain intact.

Liquidity

Both parties said they want to introduce more liquidity in the domain industry for sellers. And here’s the interesting part: in the near future, Epik and Undeveloped want to introduce “new ways of monetizing your domains which will allow you to create recurring build-up revenue streams instead of having to depend solely on situational transactions every single month.”

Sardeha has written a Medium-post in which he describes what the acquisition means both technically and business-wise.

From seed funding to exit in two years

Undeveloped was in the 2015 Rockstart accelerator Web & Mobile class. It only raised a 400.000 euro seed round from the Dutch private equity firm Axivate Capital around the same time they became alumni. So within two years of getting an investment, the startup managed to get acquired.

Six months ago, Undeveloped got the first offer from Epik. But the startup wasn’t keen on selling at first. Sardeha didn’t thought it was the right time, he says in an interview on the Rockstart blog.

But then “we realised that we could actually accelerate our growth dramatically by gaining access to Epik’s core technology and resources that we could use instantly, instead of taking two years to build it ourselves.”

Image by Saaleha Bamjee on Flickr

Lorenz van Gool

Lorenz is co-editor-in-chief of StartupJuncture. As a freelance editor and journalist, he writes about startups, innovation and (e)-business. Loves to report from conferences. Really likes cleantech and journalism startups. You can ask him anything about dinosaurs. Twitter: @lorenzroman

  1. Jan Willem says:

    Good news for the guys!

    But for me as a reader this news is hard to interpret, since the dealterms are not shared: Is a successful company sold or is a company is successfully sold? A small but very important nuance!

    Many times I read hallelujah stories of acquihires that are shared as successful exits; too bad – then we don’t grow our common knowledge as Amsterdam startup hub!

    • Reza says:

      Hey Jan Willem,

      I get your point. We always operated not too publicly and prefer to keep it that way. Besides that, even if we wanted to, we haven’t been granted the right to share exact numbers for the coming period. The number most likely will air somehow later down the road.

      All I can share now is that we’ve doubled our number of transactions in 2016 compared to 2015 and generated a tad more than €1M in revenue in 2016.

      We didn’t have to sell, we had other options on the table like giving away more equity in a small series A round, but eventually went for this option because of the tremendous upside we could create post acquisition. If you’re interested in the domain industry and our motivation behind why we think combining the primary market with the secondary market creates a huge upside, let’s grab a cup of coffee next week. I’m more than happy to share our story.

      In the end both our team and our investors are happy with the deal and it’s up to us now to keep pushing and making our vision a reality.

  2. Lorenz van Gool says:

    Hi Jan Willem,

    We share your concerns as well, but simply in this case we don’t know exactly whether it’s a succesful company sold or a company succesfully sold – as we didn’t see the dealterms.

    Normally we try to be as neutral as possible. At first, it seemed impressive (hence the ‘Impressive!’ at the end) to get an exit so early. But as you rightfully said, it could just be the other way around. We therefore deleted that adjective 😉 Thanks for keeping us sharp!

  3. Jan Willem says:

    Hi Lorenz & Reza,

    Thanks for your comments!

    @Reza: Peddle to the metal and good luck!!

    Jan Willem.

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