Donuts

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Donuts-logo.png
ICANNWiki Member
Type: Privately held
Industry: Internet
Founded: 2010
Founder(s): Paul Stahura
Jonathon Nevett
Headquarters: 10500 NE 8th Street
Suite 350

Bellevue, WA 98004

Country: USA
Website: donuts.co
Key People
Paul Stahura, CEO
Jonathon Nevett, EVP
Daniel Schindler, EVP
Richard Tindal COO
Kevin Wilson, CFO
Mason Cole, VP of Communications
Chris Cowherd, CTO
nTLDStats
TLDs: 197
Registrations: 2,112,897

More Info: nTLDStats

Donuts is a start-up company that was created to apply and run new gTLDs as made possible by ICANN's gTLD expansion program; it was co-founded by Paul Stahura, Jonathon Nevett, Richard Tindal, and Daniel Schindler. In April 2011, the company was in stealth mode and raising capital; based on the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Donuts raised $1 million equity financing.[1] Since then it has submitted 307 gTLD Applications and secured an initial investment of $100 million in financing, and a subsequent round of an undisclosed amount though apparently it "almost doubles" its reserves. The second round of funding was earmarked specifically for gTLD Auctions to resolve its 158 contention sets.[2] The company's headquarters is located in Bellevue, Washington.

In September 2012, Donuts was ranked #14 in The Wall Street Journal's Top 50 Start-Ups for 2012. It was also the newest start-up on the list.[3]

New gTLD Applications

On June 5, 2012, Donuts announced that it submitted applications for 307 generic top level domain names (gTLDs), including IDN TLDs, and secured $100 million in capital from multi-billion dollar private equity and venture funds.[4]

According to Daniel Schindler, one of Donuts' four co-founders, the company originally came up with a list of 3,000 prospective domain names. He said, "We made a long list of dictionary terms, in multiple languages and character sets. We created our own proprietary way of valuing the [gTLDs], and that helped us narrow it down. But 307 is still a lot, obviously."[5]

At one point, an article from Bloomberg reported that the company plans to apply for 10 gTLDs. [6] Mason Cole, the company's Vice President of Communications and industry relations explained that the reporter from Bloomberg misunderstood or had miscommunication with Stahura. He said that at the time of the interview, the exact number of the gTLD's to be applied for hadn't been finalized. Mr. Cole also said that the company is well prepared to operate all the 307 gTLDs.[7]

In terms of intellectual property rights protection, the company said that it created rights protection mechanisms for new gTLDs and it will implement an open Internet philosophy. According to Stahura, "The Internet is an engine of information, ideas and commerce, and one that’s not restrictive unnecessarily. Donuts intends to preserve that openness for all users, not operate a ‘by invitation only’ section of the Internet."[8] This statement can be seen to reference the plans of other large portfolio applicants such as Google and Amazon, that are not only applying for brand TLDs for exclusive corporate use, but are also applying for generic terms with no plans to offer public registration.

Partnerships

Donuts signed a strategic partnership with Demand Media in pursuit of certain gTLDs. According to a press statement, under the agreement, Demand Media has the right to acquire some of the approved gTLDs applied for by Donuts.[9] Furthermore, Demand Media's wholly owned subsidiary, Demand Media Europe Limited, will serve as the back-end registry service provider for Donuts.[10]

In October 2012, Donuts announced that they would use Architelos' NameSentry software-as-a-service to detect and mitigate domain name abuse. The patent-pending NameSentry application protects new gTLDs from phishing, malware, spam, botnets and other types of abuse. It is the first independent, third-party resource of its kind for the domain name industry.[11]

It was reported on May 1st, 2013 that Donuts will not be pursuing joint ventures in its gTLD applications, asserting that its strategy continues to be focused on securing their applications and solely managing them.[12]

Auctions

During ICANN 45 in Toronto, auction expert Peter Cramton outlined a private gTLD auction model as a solution for resolving 158 new gTLD contention sets. Donuts co-founder Jon Nevett says that Donuts will handle as many of its contention sets as possible via this method, as auctions will be cheaper and faster for applicants than ICANN's original method. "The cost of losing an ICANN auction is greater than the cost of losing a private auction," Nevett said. "If you lose an ICANN auction you get nothing, zero, you lose your asset... [but with private auctions] it doesn't hurt as much to lose, so the theory is the second-place guys won't stretch as much."[13]

In June 2014, Donuts' CEO Paul Stahura posted a blog entry noting that Donuts had spent $50 million so far on Private auctions for New gTLDs and that it has won roughly 50% of the auctions it has participated in. As the exact figures of most private auctions are not disclosed, it is not known how much was spent or gained on individual auctions.[14][15]

GAC Early Warnings

Donuts received 49 GAC Early Warnings, which represents about 17% of its portfolio. The Early Warnings do not constitute GAC consensus and only represent one government's view. The large majority of Donuts' warnings came from the Australian GAC Representative and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. She stated that a number of their strings were related to regulated markets and that Donuts had not sufficiently addressed verification or protection mechanisms to prevent consumer fraud and confusion. This arguably can be seen as a result of Donuts filing ever one of their applications with the exact same wording, and not addressing the relevant market at hand. Ms. Dryden issued the most of any GAC representative, and also warned some of Donuts' largest competitors, such as Google and Amazon, that they should not be allowed to obtain a generic word, such as "blog", and use it for their sole corporate purposes. Donuts does not propose any closed TLDs and consequently can be seen to benefit from those style of warnings.[16][17]

PICs

Donuts submitted a Public Interest Commitment (PIC) for every one of its gTLD applications. PICs are voluntary amendments that applicants can create, sign, and undertake along with the general registry agreement in order to hold their registry operations to certain standards. They seem to originally have been developed as a way to allow applicants to appease GAC members that may be concerned about how their application stands as is, or how ICANN will be able to ensure a potential registry remains compliant with its aspirations and mandate as it defined in its summary of its proposed operations in the TLD application. Prior to PICs, there was no clear way of defining operating procedures when moving from the long form essays in the TLD application to the Registry Agreement.

The PICs Donuts submitted largely reinforce the best practices and protections it defined in its applications. The PIC submission process and proposed New TLD Registry Accreditation Agreement controversially include provisions giving the ICANN Board the unilateral right to amend further agreements and restrict registries to working with registrars that have signed a non-existent but forthcoming update to the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Donuts notes in its PICs that it does not support these provisions.

Their PICs provide for: open registration policies; geographic names protections; frequent Whois database audits; establishment of a Domains Protected Marks List (DPML); establishment of a claims notification service for additional trademark protection; binding registrants to terms of use that define abusive behavior; reservation of the right to exclude non-compliant registrars from distribution; reserve the right to suspend, cancel, or otherwise take control of names that are suspected or proven of being involved in abusive activities; and maintaining a clear, singular point of contact for all abuse related correspondence.[18]

Contracting

Donuts became one of the first applicants in the New gTLD Program to sign a Registry Agreement (RA) with ICANN. The company's application for .游戏 (as Spring Fields LLC) was one of the first 4 applications to receive an RA.[19] Donuts has since received many signed RAs from ICANN for various applications.

Sunrise Periods

Donuts became the first new gTLD Registry to announce Sunrise Periods for a number of its applications. The Sunrise began on October 29, 2013 for nine strings: .camera, .clothing, .equipment, .guru, .holdings, .lighting, .singles, .ventures and .voyage. The period ended after 60 days.[20]

General Availability

Although it is customary to hold a Landrush Period following the closing of the Sunrise Period, Donuts will instead go directly to General Availability with its current New gTLDs. However, they are holding an "Early Access Program" that takes place the first few days of General Availability. A list of premium domain names will be on sale for at least $10,000 the first day of General Availability, and fall in price each consecutive day until they settle at average market prices. A select number of registrars are offering this early program.[21]

DPML

Donuts, in its applications and PICs, has propose the creation of a Domains Protected Marks List (DPML). The service seems to be based on ICM Registry's "Sunrise B" service implemented during the launch of .xxx. In its PICs, the company describes this as, "a trademark protection service that allows rights holders to reserve registration of exact match trademark terms and terms that contain their trademarks across all gTLDs administered by Registry Operator under certain terms and conditions."[22] Donuts' Richard Tindal has since given greater body to the current thinking on the functioning of the DPML, including:

  • Companies can block exact matches of trademarks, and domains that include the exact match of the trademark along with other terms
  • Each domain blocked by DPML will need its own block, that is, a company cannot block "company name" from being used across all second level domains in Donuts' TLDs but must register each domain independently.
  • The standard for a trademark is whether or not it is listed in the official Trademark Clearinghouse
  • A domain can be unblocked by a company that has a matching trademark registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse
  • The DPML listings will be available for either 5 or 10 years.
  • Pricing will be between 5 - 10% of the cost of a normal registration[23]

Demand Media has also committed to using a form of DPML for its own applications, as noted in its PICs. The company has close ties to Donuts.

Contention Sets

All of Donuts' current contention sets are documented below:

TLD # of Applicants Notes
free 4 Amazon, Google, Uniregistry
inc 9 Afilias, Dot Registry LLC, GMO Registry, Google, GTLD Limited, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Domain Holdings
rugby 3 Famous Four Media, International Rugby Board
team 4 Afilias, Google, Uniregistry
tickets 5 Accent Media Limited, Famous Four Media, Shubert Internet, Inc., Tickets TLD LLC
lawyer 2 Top Level Domain Holdings
hot 3 Amazon, dotHot LLC
band 2 WhatBox?
insurance 3 fTLD Registry Services LLC, Radix
home 10 Dot Home LLC, Dothome Ltd., Google, Home Registry Inc., Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc., Merchant Law Group LLP, Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
art 10 Aremi Group, .Art Registry Inc., Dadotart, Inc., Donuts, EFLUX.ART, LLC, Merchant Law Group LLP, Top Level Design, Top Level Domain Holdings, UK Creative Ideas Limited,
fashion 4 Famous Four Media, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Uniregistry
auto 4 Dot Auto LLC, Fegistry, LLC, Uniregistry
energy 2 Famous Four Media
college 2 XYZ.com LLC
poker 4 Afilias, Dot Poker LLC, Famous Four Media
style 5 Momentous, Top Level Design, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
casino 4 Afilias, dotBeauty LLC, Famous Four Media
world 2 Radix
online 3 Dot Online LLC, I-Registry Ltd., Tucows “Team of rivals”,
family 3 Donuts, Google
search 4 Amazon, Google, Famous Four Media
buy 4 Amazon, Famous Four Media, Google
design 8 BET Inc., Design Trend Registry Inc. (Momentous), Starting Dot, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Design, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Uniregistry,
coupons 2 Coupons.com Incorporated
racing 3 Famous Four Media, Uniregistry
boats 2 Dominion Enterprises
legal 2 Primer Nivel
theater 2 Key GTLD Holding Inc
tube 3 Google, Latin American Telecom LLC
garden 3 Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
doctor 3 Radix, The Medical Registry Limited
law 6 Famous Four Media, Merchant Law Group LLP, Radix, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Domain Holdings
charity 2 Famous Four Media
site 5 Google Interlink (Urban Brain), Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
blog 9 Afilias, BET Inc., Google, Merchant Law Group LLP Primer Nivel, Radix, Top Level Design, Top Level Domain Holdings,
tennis 4 Famous Four Media, .TENNIS Australia LTD, Washington Team Tennis, LLC
corp 5 DotCorp Ltd., Dot Registry LLC, Google, STRAAT Investments
realty 2 Fegistry, LLC
cloud 7 Amazon, ARUBA S.p.A., CloudNames, Google, Symantec, Top Level Domain Holdings,
luxury 2 Luxury Partners, LLC
sarl 2 mySARL GmbH
memorial 3 Afilias, dotCOOl, Inc.
sucks 3 Momentous, Top Level Spectrum, Inc.
tires 3 Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
book 7 Amazon, DotBook, LLC, Famous Four Media, Google, R.R. Bowker LLC, Top Level Domain Holdings
storage 2 Self Storage Company LLC
gmbh 5 Google, InterNetWire Web-Development GmbH, STRAAT Investments, TLDDOT GmbH
casa 2 Top Level Domain Holdings
website 3 Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings
marketing 3 Tucows, Uniregistry
security 3 Defender Security Company, Symantec Corporation
flowers 4 Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Uniregistry, Piper Ventures
football 2 Famous Four Media
pizza 4 Asiamix Digital Limited, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Uniregistry
llc 8 Afilias, Dot Registry LLC, Google, myLLC GmbH, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Top Level Design
soccer 4 Famous Four Media, Soccer United Marketing, LLC, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
spa 2 Asia Spa and Wellness Promotion Council Limited
bet 4 Afilias, Famous Four Media, LADBROKES INTERNATIONAL PLC,
construction 2 Minardos Group
fish 2 Dot Club LLC
global 2 CloudNames
health 4 Afilias, DotHealth, LLC, Famous Four Media
juegos 2 Uniregistry
broadway 3 Celebrate Broadway, Inc., Key GTLD Holding Inc.
gifts 2 Lucy Ventures, LLC
media 3 Tucows, Uniregistry
now 6 Amazon, Global Top Level ApS, One.com A/S, Starbucks (HK) Limited, XYZ.COM LLC
sale 4 Dot-Sale LLC, Famous Four Media, Uniregistry
direct 2 Dish DBS Corporation
hockey 2 Famous Four Media
live 2 Google
news 7 Amazon, Famous Four Media, Merchant Law Group, Primer Nivel, Radix, Uniregistry,
love 6 Famous Four Media, Google, Merchant Law Group, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
audio 2 Uniregistry
church 2 Life Covenant Church, Inc.
discount 2 Dot Discount, LLC
vip 6 I-REGISTRY Ltd., Google, Top Level Domain Holdings, VIP Registry Pte. Ltd., Vipspace Enterprises LLC
gold 2 WGC (World Gold Council)
forum 3 Famous Four Media, Fegistry, LLC
apartments 2 Dominion Enterprises
wine 3 Afilias, Famous Four Media
loans 2 Radix
cars 3 DERCars, LLC, Dominion Enterprises
coach 2 Coach, Inc.
club 3 .CLUB Domains LLC, Merchant Law Group
dog 3 Google, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
eco 4 Big Room Inc., Planet Dot Eco, LLC, Top Level Domain Holdings
cricket 3 Famous Four Media, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
school 4 Fegistry, LLC, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
basketball 3 Famous Four Media, The International Basketball Association (FIBA)
trading 2 IG Group Holdings PLC
golf 4 Dot-Gold LLC, Famous Four Media, Fegistry, LLC
furniture 2 Uniregistry
mba 3 Google, Your Dot Phd, Inc.
app 12 .APP REGISTRY INC., Afilias, Amazon, Dot App Inc., Famous Four Media, Google, Merchant Law Group LLP, Radix, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., TRI Ventures, Inc.,
tech 6 Dot Tech LLC, Google, STRAAT Investments Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Uniregistry,
video 4 Amazon, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
expert 2 Minardos Group
movie 7 Amazon, Dish DBS Corporation, Famous Four Media, Google, Motion Picture Domain Registry Pty Ltd, STRAAT Investments
realestate 4 Second Generation Ltd., Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
film 3 Google, Motion Picture Domain Registry Pty Ltd
money 2 Famous Four Media
salon 4 Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network Pty Ltd, DaySmart Software, L’Oréal
living 2 Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc.
ltd 5 Afilias, Dot Registry LLC, myLTD GmbH, STRAAT Investments
rent 2 Dominion Enterprises
taxi 3 Famous Four Media, Taxi Pay GmbH
cafe 2 Punto 2012 Sociedad Anonima de Capital Variable
help 3 Dot Tech LLC, Uniregistry
diet 3 Famous Four Media, Uniregistry
gratis 2 Uniregistry
mobile 3 Amazon, Dish DBS Corporation
data 3 Dish DBS Corporation, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
beauty 3 L’Oréal, Top Level Domain Holdings
group 5 Amazon, STRAAT Investments, Top Level Design, Tucows
web 7 Afilias, Google, Radix, Schlund Technologies GmbH, STRAAT Investments, Web.com
bingo 2 Famous Four Media
store 7 Amazon, Dot Store Group LLC, Google Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
chat 4 Famous Four Media, Radix, Top Level Spectrum
auction 2 Uniregistry
deals 3 Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings
forsale 2 Dominion Enterprises
express 2 Express LLC
shopping 2 Uniregistry
baseball 2 MLB Advanced Media DH, LLC
fyi 2 Google
restaurant 4 Famous Four Media, Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
show 4 Amazon, Google, Zodiac
place 2 1589757 Alberta Ltd.
guide 2 Top Level Domain Holdings
run 2 Famous Four Media
city 3 Radix, TLD REGISTRY LIMITED
studio 2 Namesphere Limited
hotel 7 Despegar Online SRL, Famous Four Media, Fegistry, LLC, HOTEL Top-Level-Domain S.a.r.l., Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings
broker 2 IG Group Holdings PLC
property 3 Uniregistry, Top Level Domain Holdings
red 2 Afilias
delivery 2 Famous Four Media
photography 2 Top Level Design
shop 9 Amazon, BEIJING JINGDONG 360 DU E-COMMERCE LTD, Commercial Connect, Famous Four Media, GMO Registry, GMO Registry (‘’Community App’’), Google, Radix,
plus 2 Google
radio 4 Afilias, BRS Media, Inc., European Broadcasting Union
hosting 3 Radix, Uniregistry
cpa 6 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (‘’Community App’’) , CPA Australia LTD, Google, Top Level Domain Holdings
life 3 CompassRose.Life Inc., Xiamen 35.com Technology Co., Ltd
music 8 Amazon, DotMusic (CGR E-Commerce Ltd), Famous Four Media, Far Further, Google, Radix, Top Level Domain Holdings
mail 5 Amazon, GMO Registry, Google, WhitePages TLD LLC
yoga 3 Top Level Domain Holdings, Uniregistry
jewelry 2 Richemont DNS Inc.
phone 2 Dish DBS Corporation
ski 2 Starting Dot
wedding 3 Top Level Domain Holdings, WhatBox?
food 3 Dot Food, LLC, Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc.
娱乐 2 Zodiac

Donuts Team

The management team of the company include:[24]

  • Elaine Pruis, Director of Operations
  • Michele Jourdan, Director of Sales and Marketing USA, Affinity Partnerships
  • Alina Syunkova, Director Sales & Marketing USA, Affinity Partnerships
  • Matt Bamonte, Director Sales & Marketing USA, Registrar Channel
  • Amy Repp, Director Sales & Marketing Europe, Affinity Partnerships (London)
  • Jenny White, Director Sales & Marketing Europe, Registrar Channel (London)

Board of Directors

Investors

The company's investors include:[10]

Videos

Mason Cole, Donuts' VP of Communications and Industry Relations, was interviewed at ICANN 44 in Prague:

References

  1. Former Demand Media exec Paul Stahura emerges at stealthy Donuts Inc., Geekwire.com. Published 30 April 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  2. Donuts Gets Another 100million Funding, DomainIncite.com Published & Retrieved April 9 2013
  3. Looking for the 'Next Big Thing'? Ranking the Top 50 Start-Ups, Online.WSJ.com. Published September 2012.
  4. Donuts raises $100 million, applies for 307 new TLDs, DomainNameWire.com. Published 5 June 2012.
  5. 'Donuts' startup lands $100 million for dot-brand domains, CNN.com. Published 5 June 2012.
  6. Go Daddy Bets on Windfall From Web-Address Expansion Beyond .Com, Bloomberg. Published 10 January 2012.
  7. A tasty conversation with Donuts, which just applied for 307 TLDs, DomainNameWire.com. Published 5 June 2012.
  8. Donuts applies for 307 (yes, 307) gTLDs, DomainIncite.com. Published 5 June 2012.
  9. Demand Media to Participate in Historic Expansion of Generic Top Level Web Domain Name Extensions
  10. 10.0 10.1 Donuts Launches Domain Namespace with 307 gTLD Applications, More than 100 Million in Funding, Donuts.co. Published 5 June 2012.
  11. Donuts To Use Architelos NameSentry, DomainNameNews.com. Published 10 October 2012.
  12. Donuts Not Pursuing New gTLD Joint Ventures, Domain InciteRetrieved 10 Sept 2013
  13. Here's how Donuts wants to resolve its 158 new gTLD contention fights. Domain Incite. Published 2012 October 23. Retrieved 2012 November 13.
  14. Donuts Spends 50 Million on New gTLD Auctions (16 June 2014) Kevin Murphy, DomainIncite; Retrieved 16 June 2014
  15. Donuts by The Numbers (11 June 2014) Paul Stahura, Donuts.co; Retrieved 16 June 2014
  16. ICANN Priorization Draw, TLDH.org Retrieved 1 Dec 2012
  17. GAC Early Warnings, GACweb.ICANN.orgRetrieved 1 Dec 2012
  18. [PIC Download, gTLDresult.ICANN.org Retrieved 12 Mar 2013
  19. Announcement 15 July 2013, ICANN.org Retrieved 11 Oct 2013
  20. Donuts first gTLD Sunrise Slated for Oct 29, Domain Incite Retrieved 11 Oct 2013
  21. First Seven New gTLDs go On Sale, Domain Incite Retrieved 29 Jan 2014
  22. PIC Download
  23. Defensive Registrations with Donuts Could be 95 cheaper than normal domains, DomainIncite.comPublished 12 March, Retrieved March 29 2013
  24. The Donuts Team, Donuts.co.