In the web’s early days, it was practically free to grab domain names, but now they command millions. Here are the 12 most expensive websites in history.
Internet entrepreneur Michael Castello bought whisky.com in the earlier 1990s, when it cost next to nothing to buy a website, inspired by the Whisky a Go Go night club in Hollywood. It was sold to German retailer The Whisky Store in 2014.
Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, bought MI.com in 2014 in a bid to expand their reach in Western markets. The Mi brand covers everything from phones to wearables and headphones.
British spread-betting company IG Group put millions into the two-letter domain in 2012, purchasing the address from Brazilian search engine iG.
Zappos, an online clothing retailer, was bought by Amazon for $928m in 2009. Documents related to the deal revealed that Zappos had paid $4.9m for clothes.com a year earlier. The address now takes you to the Zappos homepage.
Toy retailer ToysRUs paid $5.1m for the Toys.com domain name in 2009, and the domain now takes visitors to the ToysRUs website. It was sold by UK domain seller Sedo.
In 2010, slots.com was auctioned without reaching its reserve price, but was eventually sold to a mystery buyer. This turned out to be Canadian gambling entrepreneur Calvin Ayre.
One of the shortest domain names on the web, this was bought by GMO internet, one of Japan’s biggest internet companies, in 2007. It is now operated as an online trading platform.
“Domain king” Rick Schwartz, who has made millions from flipping web addresses, bought porno.com for $42,000 in 1997 and hung onto it until February 2015, when it was sold to a Prague-based adult internet company. We don’t show you things like porno.com here, so have a picture of 50 Shades of Grey.
Another site for one of the internet’s most popular pastimes, media group MXN bought porn.com for $9.5m in 2007, at which time it said: “The possibilities with porn.com are limitless.” Unsurprisingly, it’s now a porn video site.
Fund.com was founded in 2007 to act as a portal for various financial products and purchased the domain in 2008 from media consultants Clek Media. Business went downhill, however, and the website now displays a “come back later” message.
Internet company Escom bought the domain in in 2006 but went bankrupt, and in 2010 sold it on to Sedo, a domain name specialist for $13m (£8.6m). It was the most expensive website for five years.
Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security firm, reportedly paid $17m (£11.2m) for 360.com in May 2015, buying it from Vodafone, who had previously turned down $14m. This sum was never made public, however.
via – telegraph.co.uk