Tucows: The Third Biggest Registrar from Canada
Tucows, the world’s third-largest registrar company, headquartered in Canada and manages more than 11 million domain names. It was founded in 1993 and now has more than 500 employees.
Read our analysis about Tucows and the domain names registered with Tucows.
Story of Tucows
Tucows, pronounced “two cows” as they note, began as a startup software distribution company in 1993. Tucows is an acronym for The Ultimate Collection of Winsock Software.
In 1995, Tucows was acquired by Toronto-based internet company ISP Internet Direct. This is why it’s now headquartered in Canada.
Tucows was accredited by ICANN as a domain name registrar in April 1999. So the journey has begun.
In 2000, Tucows became a wholesale registrar by launching OpenSRS. Many hosting companies still use this service to register domain names for their customers.
Tucows provided back-end registry services for the .INFO registry Afilias under the name of LibertyRMS. Tucows later sold the service to Afilias.
In March 2004, Tucows reached 4 million domain names under management. As of April 2020, the company has more than 11 million domains under management.
Lots of Brands from Tucows
Tucows has 6 brands for different services and countries.
Hover is a domain name and mailbox retailer. It obviously aims end-users, since its prices are higher than average.
OpenSRS offers wholesale domain names for domain name resellers.
Enom sells domain names to both customers and resellers. Tucows acquired Enom in 2011 from Rightside Group for $83.5 million. Enom had 14.5 million domains under management and 28,000 active resellers at the time of the acquisition.
Enom’s prices are higher than the average.
EPAG is Tucows’ Germany based European reseller of domain names which was acquired by the company in 2011 for $2.5 million. At the time of the acquisition, EPAG had more than 400 thousand domain names under management and was offering 200 extensions.
Tucows used EPAG’s ability to register such a broad range of TLDs to make OpenSRS more powerful.
The reseller-friendly domain services platform Ascio claims it offers all TLDs to its customers. Tucows acquired Ascio in 2019 from another registrar company CSC for $29.44 million. At the time of the acquisition, Ascio had 500 active resellers and more than 1.8 million domain names under management.
Ting is Tucows’ only subsidiary that outside of the domain name business. Ting is a mobile virtual network operator and internet service provider launched in February 2012.
Tucows has more than 11 million domain names under control, making it the third-biggest registrar in the world. It comes after GoDaddy (70 M) and Namecheap (11.4 M), and followed by Alibaba (9.9 M) and Network Solutions (7.1 M).
Tucows has almost 8 million .com domain names, more than any other extensions. The other popular gTLDS, .net and .org are following it with 710 and 590 thousand domain names, respectively. We see Canada’s country-code extension .ca at the fourth place with 225 thousand domains. Another country-code extension .co.uk is following it with 200 thousand registered domain names.
According to Whois records, 1.8 million domain names at Tucows are registered from Canada. The US and UK are following it with 420 and 180 thousand registered domain names, respectively.
1.3 million domain names’ Whois records are redacted for privacy at Tucows.
More than 400 thousand of the Tucows domain names are for sale on various marketplaces such as Sedo, Godaddy Auctions, and Afternic.
On Alexa Global Top 1 Million Websites List, we see that 25.5 thousand of the domain names (~3%) are registered with Tucows. The most popular domain name registered with Tucows is British news site bbc.com.
Top 5 most popular domains registered with Tucows:
- bbc.com – 74
- kompas.com – 89
- indiatimes.com – 100
- fandom.com – 103
- gamepedia.com – 236
The oldest domain name registered with Tucows is Think.com which is created on 24 May 1985. It’s one of the oldest 100 domain names, and 3 more domain names in the oldest 100 domains list are registered with Tucows: portal.com, mn.org, and slb.com.
Here are the five oldest domain name registered with Tucows:
- think.com – 24 May 1985
- portal.com – 17 November 1986
- mn.org – 4 April 1987
- slb.com – 20 May 1987
- twg.com – 22 January 1988
Please note that we didn’t include the domains registered with Tucows’ subsidiaries such as Enom and OpenSRS.
Tucows is the third-largest domain name registrar and has 5 subsidiaries in the domain business. The company has acquired 3 of its subsidiaries and its last acquisition was Ascio in 2019. We’ll see if Tucows grow with more acquisitions or increasing the registered domain names.
What do you think about Tucows? Share your comments below.
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