UK web domain firm CentralNic eyes London IPO

UK web domain firm CentralNic eyes London IPO

“We looked around a lot, we went over to the States but we decided that London made more sense, the world’s changing and London’s becoming a technology centre. We have been serving the world from here and we have a highly responsive investment community,” Mr Crawford, who has led the company since 2009, said.

As well as the 25 new domain endings it has already secured, CentralNic is competing for another 35, which include .hotel, .news and .africa. It plans to use the funds it raises from its listing to apply for more as ICANN, the regulatory body for internet addresses, puts them up for sale.

“It’s really all about a massive change to the internet, allowing a British company like us to compete with the traditional companies that have dominated the market,” Mr Crawford said. “The demand [for these new domain endings] is there, the growth that is underlining it is internet penetration which is going up massively.”

CentralNic currently partners with third-party sellers to sell addresses on a portfolio of 24 website endings including .uk.com and .us.com.

The company, which is debt-free, made profits of just £1.7m last year although it insists this paints an historical picture, with rapid expansion set to come from the new range of domain endings.

The company runs operations from its head office in London’s Moorgate, as well as bases in New York and Dubai. It plans to start selling the domain names with third party providers towards the end of the year.

CentralNic’s listing, which has been pencilled in for the beginning of September, will come as a boost to the Government and London Stock Exchange’s efforts to encourage technology companies to go public in the UK.

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