Back in bubble days (1999), Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton paid $7.5 million for http://www.business.com/. It was considered a very foolish move. Afterall, only two years prior, it had sold for a whopping $150,000.
Like most dotbomb companies that spent too much money, business.com almost shut down. But instead, it regrouped, focused on a business directory model, and turned things around.
The company is a basic search engine used by businesses to find products and services. So far this year, the company’s EBITDA is $15 million according to the Wall Street Journal. The company raised a $10 million round in 2004.
Business.com is going on the auction block, and it’s estimated to fetch as much as $400 million. Credit Suisse is running the auction.
Who would pay $400 million? Rumors are widely circulating that Dow Jones and the NY Times are drooling over the domain name because it represents an opportunity for their readers to spend money with service providers that will pay a premium for the visibility and the traffic.
Either way, a new record price will be set for a URL, and that’s why business.com is truly bub.blicio.us.