.Co co-founder predicts healthy results for .Health domain name

Jose Rasco is applying his experience with .co to .health.

Jose Rasco, who helped drive .Co’s success, is leading .Health

There was a lot of euphoria a few years ago when the rights to new top level domains were being auctioned. Companies paid millions of dollars (and in many cases tens of millions) to acquire individual strings. One thing that I noticed during the auctions was one of the companies that consistently lost the auctions.

Between Nu Dot Co, LLC and STRAAT Health, LLC, Jose Rasco and Juan Diego Calle applied for 14 top level domain names. Yet they consistently lost bidding wars for the domains. They won only two, and one of them is for a domain it plans to sign over to Verisign. That means that, out of 14 domains, they will only run one: .Health.

Rasco and Calle have a lot of experience running a top level domain name. They were co-founders of the .co domain name relaunch in 2010 and successfully grew the domain before selling it to Neustar for over $100 million. This experience helped guide them through the auction process.

“Having run .co, we have a good idea what top level domains are worth,” Rasco explained to Domain Name Wire. “We weren’t going to pay more than a domain was worth.”

In other words, Rasco believes many of the domains they were competing for sold for more than their value. .Health was an exception.

“I’m very confident we’ll get a return on our investment,” he said.

Rasco and Calle own the company that will operate .health and Rasco is running it as CEO.

Rasco is excited about the challenge of growing .health. He believes the experience running .co will help.

“There are some great similarities in that Health as an industry is growing in the same way that Startups were in 2010 when we started .co,” he explained. “Just like with .co, there are many startups and SMBs that are innovating in the industry who make great early adopters and great partners – and with a category like health, they are easier to identify.”

Still, there are some obvious differences between running a generic extension like .co and a specific one like .health.

“The biggest difference is that Health is also engrained in many long-standing, established brands in healthcare delivery, hospital systems, payers and big pharmaceutical companies,” he said. “These are big organizations that take a very long time to navigate and the sales cycles are just so much longer. But the positive is that if you do break through, their reach is very expansive.”

.Health also faces competition from other new top level domain names including .fit, .healthcare, and .hospital. Rasco believes that health is a broader term and more aspirational. He believes that fitness, wellness, nutrition and healthcare are subcategories of health.

The .health domain name is currently in an Industry Access period. Companies with an affiliation to health can get a token and register domain names until November 30. The domain will open for general availability on December 5. Expect to pay roughly $75 retail at that point. Anyone can register .health domains starting December 5 as long as they don’t use the domains in an abusive manner (such as running a fake pharmacy).

Early results are positive. While sunrise was lackluster, the Industry Access period is going strong. There are about 2,250 .health domain names registered so far.

Many groups are already using .health:

  • Rx.health is a company born out of Mount Sinai’s innovation center that is creating a platform for the future of digital medicine.
  • Flo.health is a women’s health consumer app for tracking ovulation. 100,000 women get pregnant each month utilizing Flo.
  • Immersive.health is a blog that teaches you about uses of VR technology in improving patient care and health interventions.
  • ACPM.health is used by the American College of Perioperative Medicine, which is a community of healthcare providers, patients, industry and insurers that aims to break the current barriers in the provision of surgical care.

Many new top level domain owners were overly optimistic about how well their domains would do. And the domain environment in 2017 is very different than when .co launched in 2010. But given his track record, I’d bet on Rasco and .health.

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