$1 million: UK's Top 10 buys .com domain for global expansion

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[UK] A million dollars, baby. That’s the amount paid by UK price comparison site ‘Top 10 Broadband and Top 10 Mobile Phones‘ to purchase the domain name from US-based investor Idealab in a cash plus equity deal. Apparently, this also makes it one of the most expensive domain names ever purchased by a British company.

Under the terms of the deal, Top 10 Broadband and Top 10 Mobile Phones will pay Idealab $200,000 and hand over a 7% share in the newly branded company Media Ltd. Bill Gross, Idealab’s founder, will join Top 10’s advisory board.

To us, however, it feels just a little frothy.

As the dot com implies, the new domain name will be used as a springboard for Top 10, which in the UK operates the two most popular comparison sites in the telecoms sector, to launch new products globally. The company generates revenue from affiliate sales chalked up through its price comparison offerings, claiming a combined 1.5 million UK users a month. And while it’s already profitable locally with a turn over of more than £9m in 2009, a shiny new domain name is no guarantee that it can scale oversees where presumably it will face plenty of incumbents.

That said, despite shelling out a million dollars, Tom Leathes, co-founder and director at, is in buoyant mood: “Idealab’s involvement in our business is a great endorsement of our company’s success to date, and will provide a real boost to our plans ahead for While we have doubled in size every year since we started in 2006, Idealab’s involvement will help us move to the next level as a business.”

While Gross himself chimes in: “The Top 10 team has already been highly successful and consistently profitable and there is amazing potential for future growth. We think that the price comparison sector is ripe for change, and in need of innovation.”

Top 10 was founded in 2006 and currently employs 20 staff in its Central London offices. The company is privately owned by its four co-founders, Tom Leathes, Harry Jones, Alex Buttle, and Andrew Cartland, and with today’s news, Idealab.

  • Andy Ashburner

    Great job guys. I know that the domain name will obviously help a bit but the product, design and focus that you all have will blow the competition out of the water.

    As a bystander I can’t wait to see where things go. Either way, Tom, Harry and the crew, great job.

  • Adam Kirby

    Yep, congratulations to Top10 – great team – very much looking forward to the next 12 months development

  • Ross Williams

    Huge congratulations to Top 10 and particularly to Tom and Andy who are enjoying some very well deserved success and no doubt much more to come!

  • Matt Bailey

    Whilst this is a lot of money to shell out for a domain, the guys at Top 10 have an established heritage of making things work.

    I agree that the comparison space, particularly outside of the core finance markets, is ripe for a shake up and I look forward to seeing what comes out of the new

  • Wee Toot

    Wow, thats most impressive dude you must admit!


  • $1 million: UKu2019s Top 10 buys .com domain for expansion

    […] A million dollars, baby. That2019s the amount paid by UK price comparison site 2018Top 10 Broadband and Top 10 Mobile Phones2018 to purchase the domain name from US-based investor Idealab in a cash plus equity deal. Read ahead […]

  • Carl

    Wow! A common person would have to get a mortgage to buy!

  • Buzz

    Great deal. Nice to see a Top10 name going at that high price. Deal shows domain market is recovering, fast.

  • Pattaya Girls

    Top10 rather than topten ? neither name is that great.

    • BUZZ

      They have bought both and together from IdeaLab.

  • Markk

    I’m sure if you don’t have a relevant reason for having the domain name it can be legally taken from you

  • Mia

    I can honestly say I’ve never heard of them before, I must be affected by some sort of reality distortion field because I’m sure I’ve been to every other comparison site looking for a new ISP.

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