January 9, 2019

“People take pride in their cities and their geographies. That’s why geo-TLDs work.”

Siddharth Taliyan, Director of Business Development for MMX (Minds+Machines) gets candid with WebHosting.Info, talking about a niche but an upcoming segment of geography-based TLDs.

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Siddharth Taliyan, Director of Business Development for MMX (Minds+Machines) gets candid with WebHosting.Info, talking about a niche but an upcoming segment of geography-based TLDs. He further goes on to explain why city-based TLDs are exciting and what MMX have in mind for the road ahead. Without further delay, here is the interview:

With a wide range of domains to offer, how are MMX differentiating themselves from the likes of Donuts or any other nTLD providers?

If you notice, most of our TLDs are very niche. Now apart from our geoTLDs like .BOSTON, .LONDON, .BAYERN, we have .FASHION, .YOGA, .FIT which really appeals to a specific audience. Now if you look outside MMX, most registries have very generic names. They really don’t fit into any specific segment.

Our goal and focus right from the beginning has been to engage with a niche audience; say cities and organizations which deal with fashion, fitness, and then promote these top-level domains by their venue.

As a geography-first TLD company, which geographies other than the ones you have, look exciting to you?

Currently, we own .BOSTON, .BAYERN, .LONDON and .NRW. What we have seen is that when you go with an offering of a city-based domain name, it sells a lot more. You don’t have to go out giving a one dollar domain name, because being specific and niche gives you the liberty to price it up to USD 15 to USD 20 and still make sales. The reason this works is that people take pride in their cities and their geography. Hence, they are more than willing to buy a .LONDON or a .BOSTON  as compared to a .COM or a .ORG. They could be secondary TLDs for now, but domainers want to reserve it going ahead.

We have also seen MMX penetrating the cryptocurrency market in August’18 to simplify domain names. What has been the progress on that end?

We recently launched .LUXE (Lets You Exchange Easily). The idea behind this TLD is to ease the transactions on Ethereum, an open source blockchain-based cloud computing platform. We partnered with them an year ago before we launched .LUXE.

As far as Ethereum are concerned, their wallets needed a 40-character unique code for anyone to do a transaction and those codes are very hard to remember. So, now you can buy a .LUXE name and replace the 40-character code with the purchased name. For e.g. you can go with Yourname.LUXE and do transactions on the Ethereum wallet very easily. So it is far easier and convenient.

As far as the market is concerned, .ETH was launched sometime back. It is a blockchain operated TLD. It is not managed by the DNS but there are restrictions as to how you can book a domain name. For instance, you need to have at least 7 characters for a domain. However, the trust factor for .ETH is missing because a lot of domainers are not sure about how .ETH will go down the line. So, coming back to your question, most of these domainers are quite excited about .LUXE. Infact, most of the .ETH owners are looking to buy a .LUXE domain name going forward.

You spoke about .LONDON at length. Can you tell us about the response for the geo-TLD in 2018 and what are your plans for the same in 2019?

In 2018, we saw a spike in new registrations. But most importantly, we saw a 77% renewal rate. Just to draw a comparison, the renewal rates for any new TLDs are USD 6-9 but MMX’s are USD 35. People are renewing a domain which is more than 15-20 dollars because they find value in the domain name.

We also work with a lot of aggregators. Apart from the ones in the web hosting industry, there are companies that provide legal and advisory services to startups and SMEs. With this segment, we (MMX) have seen that most people having a business in the U.K. have a presence in London. So it makes sense to have a .LONDON name or an email.

Our goal is to keep chipping into this segment, spread more awareness and make it easy for them to buy a domain name. Not just that, but we also bundle our domain name with cloud service. So, usually, it goes with a .LONDON name, email and a site builder if it is a micro SME. Or if it is a bigger company, then its just the domain name.

If you have enjoyed reading this interview, you can read more about Minds+Machines here.

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