Minds + Machines (MMX) have started 2019 on a high with the release of a company update last week for the year to the end of 2018. During the 12 month period domain registrations were up 38% to 1.84m year-on-year with steady growth since the year-end 31 December 2018. This includes around 1.65 million for their 30 new gTLDs. The rest of the registrations would be for the 4 gTLDs MMX acquired from ICM Registry: .sex, .adult, .porn and .xxx.
Billings were up 129% year-on-year due to a combination of the first time ICM contribution and a significant increase in billings from China, up over 40% year-on-year, greatly helped by .luxe registrations and healthy ongoing .vip sales. Meanwhile, .law and MMX’s US portfolio are also performing well, up over 9% when compared to the same period last year with Germany 6% ahead of last year.
“The momentum we are generating in the industry is now being reflected not just in our numbers but by the calibre of individuals and partners now wishing to work with the Group,” said Toby Hall, CEO of MMX. “We very much look forward to the positive start to the year continuing throughout the full year and the increased flexibility that potentially provides as evidenced through the early retirement the London & Capital facility.”
Separately, the Company Update reports ICM has now completed its first annual renewals cycle on its main property as part of the Group, with renewal rates ahead of management expectations at 91%. Encouragingly, the company notes new registrations within ICM year-to-date are trending ahead of the same period last year reflecting initiatives that have been put in place since ICM was acquired by MMX to drive new registrations and usage of ICM properties.
As part of the .luxe R&D project, which looks to provide a standardised naming convention for blockchain addresses, MMX announced it is now working with the lead developers of the Namecoin blockchain and XAYA platform to develop an easy-to-use naming solution that will integrate human readable .luxe addresses with bitcoin alphanumeric addresses in a fully secure and decentralised fashion that broadly mirrors their .luxe Ethereum naming solution that successfully launched in Q4 2018. As a result, it will be possible to securely associate memorable .luxe names not just to Ethereum alphanumeric addresses but also to bitcoin alphanumeric addresses, such as an individual’s bitcoin wallet, as well as potentially use .luxe names within the XAYA decentralised gaming universe. It is expected the .luxe bitcoin naming service will go live in H2 2019.
MMX also announced a couple of key appointments: Christa Taylor as the Group’s Chief Marketing Officer and Daniel Schindler, co-founder of Donuts Inc, as a Special Advisor focusing on the monetisation of the Group’s premium inventory in the North American and European markets.
Financially, year-end cash balances stood at $10.4 million. Since the year end, MMX has seen encouraging cash generation following the strong trading in the renewal season in Q4 and a favourable resolution of the .cpa and .gay contention sets. Including an initial repayment of $700k having been made in January on the London & Capital facility, cash balances as at 25 February 2019 have increased to $11.9 million. Coupled with the encouraging start to the year and a positive trading outlook, the entirety of the outstanding debt of $2.3 million under the London & Capital facility will be repaid early in March 2019, leaving the Company debt free.