Tucows Sells Afilias Stake for $7.4 Million

Toronto’s Tucows has announced that it has sold its stake in domain name registry Afilias for $7.4 million. Tucows owned 7.38% of Afilias, which pegs a valuation on the registry of about $100 million. The payments to Tucows will be spread across the next 13 months with $3.2 million now; $2.1 million in June 2009; and $2.1 million in December 2009.

Tucows seems to be refocusing in 2008. In May they sold off their web hosting business to Hostopia and last month announced the launch of YummyNames – a site to sell some of its company-owned domain names. Its portfolio of domain names, many of them acquired after customers failed to renew them, likely represents its biggest opportunity for revenue growth.

Afilias is the registry for .info, but also provides registry “backbone” services for other top level domain names, such as .org. Afilias is in a good position to grow with ICANN’s new top level domain name release as TLD applicants will need a technology provider such as Afilias.