GoDaddy buys domain marketplace Afternic

Domain name provider GoDaddy acquired domain marketplace Afternic from NameMedia in a move to make it easier for small business owners to buy domain names.

The acquisition is GoDaddy's fourth in the last 14 months. GoDaddy also will acquire domain parking service SmartName and business name generator NameFind from NameMedia, it said Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Afternic, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, provides a marketplace for domain owners to sell their domains. It lists more than 5 million domain names and more than 75 million domain searches are made on the site each month, according to Afternic.

GoDaddy's acquisitions are part of a broader strategy to better service small businesses, said Elizabeth Driscoll, vice president of public relations at GoDaddy. The majority of the domain name provider's 12 million customers are small businesses, she said, adding that the company mainly targets businesses with about four or five employees.

In the past, GoDaddy used to build all services itself, she said. But when Blake Irving, a former Microsoft executive and chief product officer of Yahoo, became GoDaddy's CEO in January the road was cleared for more acquisitions, she said.

In the last 14 months, GoDaddy also acquired Locu, a company that helps local merchants get found online; M.dot, a service that offers mobile website creation based on preloaded templates, and Outright, a cloud-based financial management application company.

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