The story behind

Why the category killer domain was worth 1.6 Million USD

Entrepreneur and internet veteran Rolf Larsen, whom we already know from the acquisition of, has yet again opted for a category killer domain with the purchase of In an exclusive Sedo interview, he reveals his plans for the 1.6 million USD deal and why he still relies on generic, short domains. The domain was brokered by Senior Broker Frank Tillmanns, who has a variety of other high value domains under exclusive (see the portfolio here).

1) Why did you decide to purchase What are you planning to do with it?


"I have been the chairman of a virtual telecom company called Vyke for about 8 years. For a while, we have been developing the next generation apps for Vyke, a business primarily focusing on selling virtual mobile number subscriptions. These numbers can be used much like a regular SIM card number. A user can have multiple numbers inside the app at a fraction of the cost of a SIM number, and with easy access to numbers in other countries where it makes sense for the user (expats, work number, classifieds etc).


The new apps will have a broader set of features, support more countries and can be used on virtually all devices. There will be a continued focus on consumers, but with better support for micro businesses.


We have been thinking about the naming and branding of the new apps, but without being able to figure out a good solution within the umbrella brand Vyke. As the new apps need to be offered without sunsetting the old apps, the new apps needed a new name.


When seeing offered for sale by Sedo on Linkedin, I was immediately attracted to the idea of both rebranding the company and branding the new apps as Simply because our apps are apps you use to make and receive calls, and this domain is truly a category killer domain name. There could be other options such as Calls or Calling, but is by far the best for branding in my opinion."


2) Why was it so important for you to acquire this domain name? What kind of benefit and impact do you expect by getting this short keyword domain name?


"Vyke was the first ever mobile voice over internet app, and was installed on Nokia handsets about 20 years ago. The initial strategy didn't work out, and the company has been through rough times more than once since the beginning. After my involvement, we switched the strategy towards virtual number subscriptions, and have an ambition to be a large player when GSM(SIM cards) calling is replaced by internet calling.


Becoming a large player will be easier with a much better brand that even communicates the service we deliver. Attracting users will be cheaper, since the brand is of an ultra premium category that gets immediate trust and interest. The name is easy to remember and to spread to others, without spelling issues. I believe we will save the cost of the domain in less marketing costs over the next 5-8 years. Perhaps even faster.


If the company would take investments, do an IPO or sell the business in the future, it would also be easier to attract investors or buyers to such a brand.



3) Do you have a strategy in place for building a portfolio around  


The company and its products will be branded as Not just Call. This is the main reason we do not have to have Call.any_extension. It wouldn't hurt to own the name under other extensions with traffic forwarding to We won't actively chase those domains though. There are not many miss-spelling versions to chase either. It could be that we consider expanding with more related premium domains later to add relevant traffic.


4) It worked out with and also with, but if the acquisition of wouldn't have been successful - what would have been the alternative?


Well, we were not able to figure out an alternative in the first place. The most likely scenario would be to continue to use the brand and a new product name under that brand. Perhaps I got less creative in  finding new options after seeing

5) How was the decision to buy made?


The main shareholder in Vyke is the well known Norwegian investor, Endre Røsjø. Even if Vyke does well financially, we couldn't have acquired this domain without his help. We could have done it alone with a payment plan though. Endre Røsjø has been investing in and supported Vyke over many years since he got involved.


I first discussed my interest with Sedo Broker Frank Tillmanns, and asked if he thought the domain owner would be open to a payment plan. The asking price was $2.5 million, and I was open to a payment plan if the domain was well below the $2 million mark. There seemed to be less interest in a payment plan, so I engaged with the main shareholder to see what he thought.

The initial response was not yes. I made my arguments and asked him to consider, while I tried to find the lowest price point that would trigger the sale with good help from Frank Tillmanns. It took about a week to get the main shareholder convinced and to get the price to a level that worked for all involved. That price was $1.6 million.


I believe that buying an ultra premium domain name is much like buying a company. Good and direct transparent communication, being respectful and no low balls are often needed for a deal to happen.   


6) You are already familiar with the process of domain brokerage and know the benefits and procedures. Was there anything special with this acquisition that went differently than expected and hoped for?

I believe this acquisition went like a clockwork, and much like I hoped for when first contacting Sedo for the acquisition of


7) After in 2019 comes in 2022. What will you surprise us by next?


I am a serial entrepreneur and I'm involved with several businesses within topics I like. These and future businesses will need great domains, so I don’t believe this was my last participation in buying an ultra premium domain name.


About Rolf Larsen


Rolf is a veteran of the Internet domain space and is currently the CEO of and the Chairman of iQ Global, NameBlock and Vyke. His many startups are always timed to take advantage of a major technological and industrial shift. In 1998, he founded Active ISP, a pan European registrar and the first of its kind to fully automate domain name registration and web hosting. RiksNett, the second ISP he built in 1995, became the largest competitive ISP to the Norwegian Telco incumbent. The Registry behind the new domain extension .global was also founded by Rolf and a small experienced team. This new domain extension became one of the most successful new branding options online for businesses.