You might not be too concerned about who bought banki.ng. But if you were wondering about the smarty pants who bought dati.ng, then I can tell you that it was Skannet. Or a subsidiary of it, called Gerund Limited. And they weren’t being smarty pants. They were being early pants. The whois records show that they apparently bought not two, but 22 dot NG domains on the same day in 2011.

On the same day, people.

GERUND LIMITED

Twenty-two domains might not sound like a lot. But these here are dot NGs we’re talking about. And they were bought in 2011, right around the time when Google, Microsoft, ThisDay, Leadership and others bought their dot NGs. Assuming these are non-trademark domains, each would cost them in the region of N6.3 – 7.5 Million

The math is simple. If they bought 22 domains at the going rates back then, then Skannet/Gerund must have written NIRA a check for anything from 139 to 165 million Naira.

That’s a lot of cash. I personally find it incredible that someone would fork over that much money for some non-dotcom urls. But uninformed speculation as to whether the deal could have been “negotiated down” doesn’t really do any good here, does it?

And what do they plan to do with all these domains? I have no freakin’ idea. The probable significance of the name, “Gerund Limited” isn’t lost on me, however. Gerunds are words that end with -ing — which is the biggest value proposition for the dot ng domain extension. When you form a company that goes around buying up domains like that, it’s hard to imagine that you’re aiming to build actual things or businesses on said domains.

While it’s pretty obvious that Gerund owns the banki.ng and dati.ng domains, I can’t figure out what the remaining twenty are, because I discovered them via reverse whois. If you have time, you could try your hand at guessing some of them. It would be like verbal aptitude in primary school, only much harder, and no answers at the back. Reverse whois on Skannet itself reveals that they are also really into .com.ng — the’re packing more than 200 of those.

Being a webhost might explain the latter…but it doesn’t quite explain buying 22 incredibly expensive domains on the same day.

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