SanFrancisco.com and other major Bay Area city names are being wrapped into one heck of a domain portfolio sale

It’s not something you hear of happening often, and in this case, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this — a portfolio containing major Bay Area cities including both SanFrancisco.com and Oakland.com. I did a double-take when I first heard about this because domains like these are rarely available together, and in many cases are “not for sale” if you ping the owners and want to buy one.

While there are plenty of amazing domain sales reported every week, and domains like Voice.com sold for $30M last year, I think this is the first time a portfolio with so many high-caliber domains has hit the market. The sale could mint a new online leader in the Bay Area, a region already famous for tech.

So who put the portfolio together, and why now? The mastermind behind the deal is Fred Mercaldo, a partial owner and the exclusive broker who’s been waiting for the world to continue to change and evolve in ways that he thought would make these domains more useful than ever before, and he sees now as that time.

SanFrancisco.com is part of two major portfolios being offered for sale; one focused on the Bay Area, with domains like Oakland.com, Sausalito.com, SantaClara.com, SanMateo.com and others, and it’s also part of a major 23 US City portfolio Mercaldo is brokering; the full list of domains is on SanFrancisco.com.

While it’s hard to know exactly which industries will struggle and which will thrive post-pandemic, it seems clear that domain names and geo-domains like these have nowhere to go but up as we transition from print to digital. We’ve all watched as traditional print media has struggled to stay afloat amidst a world that is more and more moving to digital, and this year we’re seeing that accelerate faster than ever before. In the “new normal” we’re all preparing for, the concept of a physical newspaper seems to be going the way of the dodo.

At the same time, it’s also no secret that the Bay Area has one of the hottest real estate markets in the world. While there might be some short-term softening of the market, economists agree that the Bay Area real estate market still has nowhere to go but up long-term. I’ve heard some people say that homeowners would be rushing to sell their houses in San Francisco but that has yet to happen, and prices, already the highest in the country, haven’t backed down. Current predictions do show the potential for a 10% decrease in demand in 2020, which is nothing to ignore, but over the next 5–10 years the growth expectations both in demand and price will continue to make the Bay Area a hot global real estate market, one that domains like SanFrancisco.com and Oakland.com could be a part of.

That being said, I personally think that the buyer for this portfolio will be from the media world, the opportunity is just too big to ignore and I wouldn’t be surprised if a bidding war started soon. Portfolios like this aren’t something you see every day or even every decade so this is going to be something special, and the Bay Area is a special place at a time where the entire world is seeing a shift towards working from home:

As for the price of a portfolio like this, that’s a hard one to guess. One of the data points you could look at is California.com which sold for $3M, but that’s one name, this is 23 names in total including the two biggest cities in the Bay Area. I’ve never seen a portfolio with this many premium city domain names in one package, whoever ends up with this is going to be making news, possibly even history.

co-founder at Bold Metrics| previously at Sonos | I write a lot and take way too many photos