Donuts yesterday announced what is believed to be the largest ever sale of a new gTLD domain name with the sale of the “platinum” vacation.rentals for $500,300.
The sale was brokered by Brooke Hernandez, senior domain broker at Uniregistry and the domain name was acquired by Michael and Handan Kugler, long time resort owners and entrepreneurs. The Kuglers, along with Marshall Hart, William Whelpley, ITM Investments, Kalus Enterprises, and Jim and Wendy Sherrill, founded Vacarent, LLC, the parent company of the Vacation.Rentals website.
Donuts is the largest registry by new generic top level domains managed with 238, the largest being .ltd with over 353,000 registrations while .rentals is their 72nd largest with 12,300 according to nTLDstats.com.
Leveraging their experience as resort owners and entrepreneurs in digital commerce, the Kuglers created the Vacation.Rentals website with several objectives. First, they wanted to offer property owners a more responsive online experience from a trusted provider with direct understanding of their needs, and a business model that was based on annual subscriptions – not on bookings transaction fees. Second, they wanted to empower vacationers with the ability to easily find what they need and interact directly with property owners.
“While online rentals are well established, there is a growing unfulfilled need with property owners,” said Michael Kugler, founder and CEO of Vacarent, LLC, the parent company of the Vacation.Rentals website. “We aim to give owners the best online destination for them to easily market their properties. The term “vacation rentals” is THE most frequently searched term online for vacation properties; it’s a name I’ve had my eye on for a while and finally it’s our brand. We’re excited to leverage our name and our website to benefit both property owners and vacationers.”
“The travel and vacations category is huge and growing rapidly,” said Matt Overman, senior vice president of sales, Donuts. “We are delighted that Michael and Handan Kugler and the Vacation.Rentals team are offering an exciting, differentiated solution for property owners and vacationers. Vacation.rentals is a terrific domain name and already has “page one” ranking on popular search engines. We look forward to following the growth of Vacation.Rentals and supporting its success.”
The Vacation.Rentals sale comes on the heels of Donuts’ announcement that is has acquired the .TRAVEL top-level domain.
“This record-breaking sale further supports the rising value and demand for new TLDS,” said Brooke Hernandez, senior domain broker at Uniregistry. “This is only the beginning, and we are excited to be a part of it. Congratulations to Donuts and to the Kuglers!”