After raising $100 million+ last June, Donuts — a registry for the new top-level domain names that ICANN is ushering in this year (such as .yay or .jobs) — has announced it has raised a new funding round. The exact figure for its Series B, which is led by existing investor Generation Partners, has not been disclosed but the company said the round doubles its available capital. The new round also includes “additional financing” from Columbia Partners Private Capital which it said complements its “existing senior line” from Comerica Bank.
Update: A Donuts spokeswoman confirmed the round is in the “tens of millions” of dollars range but said the exact figure is not being disclosed since it’s competitive information. “The money is earmarked for participating in auctions for strings and otherwise acquiring the gTLDs we applied for,” she added.
According to Donuts CEO and co-founder Paul Stahura the new round was oversubscribed. ”This was an oversubscribed round that nearly doubles our capacity to compete,” he said in a statement. “Our investors believe as strongly as we do that new gTLDs will bring relevance and specificity to registrants who have few usable choices today for Internet identities. This additional capital supports that belief, and we intend to deploy it to bring new gTLDs to market.”
Donuts was the largest applicant for the new gTLDs last June, applying for 307 in all. Today it said it wants to use the new funding to secure even more gTLDs “in the coming months” — specifically going after gTLDs that have more than one applicant and (presumably) using its cash mountain to out-bid rivals.
“Capital is a critical element of the approaching phase of the new gTLD program,” said Generation Partners Managing Partner John Hawkins in a supporting statement. ”Donuts applied for more than three times the number of gTLDs as the next largest applicant, and the company’s investors intend for Donuts to have what it needs, or even more than it needs, to continue its leadership position.”
Donuts will not be selling domains to consumers or end users. Rather its business model is to sell to popular, widely-used registries such as GoDaddy. It also plans to partner with Demand Media which will become its registry services provider.