Minds and Machines, LLC

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Type: Private,
Publicly Traded Parent Company
Industry: Registry Service Provider
New gTLD Consultancy
Founded: USA, 2008
Founder(s): Antony Van Couvering
Ownership: Minds + Machines Group Limited
Headquarters: 3100 Donald Douglas Loop North
Hangar 7,
Santa Monica,
CA 90405
Country: USA
Website: mindsandmachines.com
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@newgtlds
Key People
Toby Hall, CEO
Michael Salazar, CFO & COO
Caspar von Veltheim, Director of European Operations
TLDs: 6
Registrations: 967,435

More Info: nTLDStats

Minds and Machines, LLC (Minds + Machines or M+M) is a TLD registry service provider to corporations, cities, not-for-profit organizations, and entrepreneurs. They are known for offering the "Espresso" registry services technology platform for new TLD applicants,[1] which is based on CoCCA software. More than 30 TLDs and over 150 registrars, including many major ICANN registrars, use this platform.[2]

Founded in 2008, this Santa Monica, CA based company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minds + Machines Group Limited, (MMX).[3]


  • On February 28, 2009,[7] Minds + Machines was launched during the ICANN meeting in Mexico, with an aim to assist companies and organizations navigate the new gTLD application process.[8]
  • In March, 2009, Minds + Machines signed an exclusive agreement with CoCCA, a widely deployed open-source registry platform for country-code extension, thereby granting the rights to the CoCCA registry software and the CoCCA brand for gTLDs to Minds + Machines.[9]
  • In June, 2009, Minds + Machines signed a long-term agreement with Packet Clearing House (PCH), a DNS service provider company, to provide DNS services for Minds + Machines. [10]
  • In June, 2009, Wolfgang Puck, the internationally renowned chef, author, and entrepreneur, announced partnership with Minds + Machines to create the .food web address[11]. Minds + Machines subsequently sued Wolfgang Puck and his wife, in September, for $5 million over "Failed .food Deal".[12] In October, Minds + Machines was reported to have settled the "food fight" with Wolfgang Puck, though the nature of the settlement was not disclosed.[13]
  • In August, 2009, TLDH Ltd., a publicly traded holding company from London, announced that it had completed a merger with Minds + Machines. Minds + Machines has since been acting as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TLDH.[14]
  • In September, 2010, Minds + Machines migrated all domain names ending in .FM to its newly opened network operations center at One Wilshire in Los Angeles, California.[15]
  • On November 5th, 2010 ICANN passed the resolution that enabled registries to buy registrars and allow registrars to apply for and run new TLDs.[17] To help finance the new TLDs for Minds + Machines, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. was reported to be planning to raise $4.7m (£3 million).[18] Antony Van Couvering is quoted as saying, "Having reviewed ICANN’s Final Proposed Applicant Guidebook, and in view of the ICANN Board’s historic decision to do away with cross-ownership restrictions between registries and registrars, we believe that the timing is right for additional investment by TLDH." [19]
  • In June 2011, Peter Dengate Thrush joined Minds + Machines as Chairman of their Board. Prior to thus, Thrush was serving as Chairman of the ICANN Board, and was very involved in managing the process of approving the new gTLD program.[20] The move has been controversial,[21] and has resulted in government bodies, such as the US Department of Commerce, NTIA, and the European Commission calling for firm ethics rules and enforcement policies to be written into the next IANA contract.
  • In January, 2012, just a week after ICANN opened its new gTLD program, Minds + Machines announced that it had already filed 20 applications on behalf of its clients. Minds + Machines was one of 25 companies that had created an account on the online TAS registration system.[22] Just weeks later, in February 2012, M + M announced that they had since applied for an additional 20 extensions, bringing their company total to 40 applications.[23]
  • In February, 2012, Minds + Machines' parent company, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., raised $14 million USD through selling its stock. The funds will provide further capital for its new gTLD applications.[24]
  • In June 2014, Minds + Machines announced that they had earned a £729,000 net profit in 2013 after taxes after years of running at a loss. The income was due to the payouts from private auctions for New gTLDs that were lost by the company. The company stated that in October 2013 they generated £2.97 million from losing auctions for .lawyer and .website.[25]
  • In December 2014, Minds + Machines put out a press release stating that it had raised $4.4 million by losing three recent gTLD auctions for .latino, .school and a third string it could not disclose due to the rules of the private auction; the press release states that after the auctions, M and M had $45 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand.[26]

New gTLDs

A commentator on ICANN's New gTLD Program, Alexander Drummond-Willoughby, has filed negative comments regarding all of Minds + Machines contracted new gTLD applications, and all of its in-house applications filed via its parent company, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.. The comments focus on what the individual identifies as poor financial decisions by the company.[27]

Uncontested TLDs

In Partnership

TLDs on behalf of clients

Contested TLDs

Contested TLDs in partnership


Products and Services

Minds + Machines mainly provides TLD registry service. According to the official website, the company also helps with the business plan, funding, application writing, business networking, staffing, sales and marketing, etc.[29]

Minds + Machines has an extensive list of partners who provide options for registration services, DNS services, auction services, escrow services, network security, trademark and validation, public relations, web design, business and finance, dispute arbitration providers, etc.

In September, 2011, Minds + Machines unveiled its pricing scheme related to new .brand gTLDs. Its services start at $25,000 per year, which include preparing and filing the ICANN application and then running the technical back-end. Its price ceiling tops off at $100,000 per year. Their business strategy is marketed towards corporations that want to quickly and affordably secure their .brand gTLD, but don't exactly have intentions to develop it as a public space immediately.[30]

GAC Early Warnings

Minds + Machines received a total fo 6 GAC Early Warnings, 5 of which were for its own TLDs. This accounts for about 7% of their 72 applications, which they noted in a press release, further stating that many of their competitors and other large portfolio applicants had received much greater percentages of warned applications to total portfolio size. The in-house warned applications are: .zulu, .hotel, .green, .roma, .website. Their client, The American Bible Society, was warned for .bible.[31]


External links