Successfully Launching a Domain Name Registry: The .CO Story interview with Juan Calle, CEO of .CO Internet S.A.S

For anyone thinking about launching a new top level domain (TLD) under ICANN’s new rules, there are many lessons to be learned from the successful launch of the .CO TLD.

While Juan Calle, CEO of .CO Internet S.A.S., will be the first to admit that there is a bit of luck in the success of .CO, luck favors the prepared. In this interview, Calle reveals his company’s strategy and provides many tips and best practices for you to consider.

About Juan Calle:

Juan Diego Calle has more than 10 years of experience managing successful Internet companies. In 2000, he co-founded, the largest online search advertising network in Latin America. The company operated in USA, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and was acquired by Yahoo, Inc. in 2005. Subsequently, as manager of STRAAT Investments, he has been at the forefront of important Internet ventures such as, owner of a large network of travel websites such as,,, among others. Mr. Calle studied Industrial Engineering and Finance at the University of Miami and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner President Management Program.

Juan Calle Interview Key Take-Aways:

  • The success of .CO is a result of:
    1. A great product: .CO is recognized around the world to me “company”
    2. Great technology
    3. Demand in the market: people wanted an alternative to .com since most domains were reserved already
  • .CO’s strategy is focusing entirely on entrepreneurs as a target market – the people that are building the next web
  • From a policy standpoint, .CO functions like a generic TLD like .biz, .com, and .info, even though it is technically a ccTLD; .CO Internet S.A.S. operates, and as well
  • 3 pillar strategy for .CO:
    1. Awareness of the .CO top level domain (TLD)
    2. Growth of sales through registrars
    3. Use of the TLD by influencers
  • Awareness success – reaching 100 million viewers by television: 2011 Super Bowl advertisementin conjunction with Go Daddy where Joan Rivers was announced as the .CO Go Daddy Girl
  • .CO charges $30 retail for a domain name; Calle recommends new TLDs consider charging the same or more, although global demographics should be considered
  • .CO is ending the first year of operations with $25 million in revenue
  • First year marketing spend was approximately $10 million, or 40% of revenue
  • Go Daddy partnership was critical to success, but Go Daddy would not have partnered with .CO if the TLD was not credible; Go Daddy processes about 50% of all new TLD registrations
  • .CO has held back approximately 4,500 premium domain names that they intend to sell over time to increase and level revenue, as they did with the sales of to Amazon, to Twitter and to Overstock
  • Domain names held back include: all single letters, including numbers; two character names; premium generics, like
  • .CO is partnered with Neustar, who runs the actual database that stores all domain name information (the SRS), as well as the DNS service
  • Metrics that .CO tracks: television commercial inquiries, hourly registrations, the influence of websites like on driving new registrations, blogger and journalist discussions
  • Even with the pending new gTLD growth opportunities, .CO is keeping their eye on the ball and focused on continued growth (Michael Cyger)



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