Grab.co.id (almost) sold for $250,000 – now two companies are going to court over it

indonesia

If there was ever a domain soap opera, this might just be the first episode. What makes it particularly interesting is that the subject of what has now turned into a serious lawsuit is a .CO.ID domain name. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of .CO.ID but there are plenty of ccTLDs out there that many of us haven’t heard of so nothing too crazy there.

Apparently two guys met in July of 2017 and inked a deal for the acquisition of Grab.co.id for $250,000, yes – that’s a quarter of a million dollars. The buyer had a pretty strong need for the domain given that their company is called Grab and operates in Indonesia.

So what exactly happened? Well like I said, it really is a domain soap opera and reading through the details of how the lawsuit started is a bit like trying to follow the move “Usual Suspects” for the first time. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:

In July 2017, GrabTaxi Holdings’ head of partnerships Shawn Heng expressed interest in buying the domain name grab.co.id during a phone call with Mr Mark Ho, a director and sole shareholder of 3 Corporate Services.

Mr Ho allegedly told Mr Heng that the firm did not register grab.co.id, but it could help transfer the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings.

Mr Ho is also a director of Top 3 Media, which registered the grab.co.id domain name through a representative.

Later, the two men discussed the proposed sale of the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings over WhatsApp through a series of text messages.

3 Corporate Services, represented by Selvam LLC, is alleging that both firms entered into a written agreement on July 22, 2017, and that 3 Corporate Services was to procure the transfer of the domain name from Top 3 Media to GrabTaxi for US$250,000.

However, in September that year, GrabTaxi Holdings purportedly informed 3 Corporate Services that it would not honour the agreement. (Source – TodayOnline.com)

I would recommend reading the full article if you really want to dive into the details because this certainly doesn’t seem like a straight-forward predicament to me. At the end of the day, what this does highlight IMO is how powerful ccTLDs still are and that one-word domains, even in a domain extension you’ve never heard of can be worth six-figures.

For anyone that took the time to read through the article, who do you think is going to win the battle for Grab.co.id?

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Rob January 10, 2019, 10:29 pm

    These days people don’t fight over money because they now want the medium to earn money. Now they fight over domain names because its all about business that matter in long run and can earn lot of money with just one single domain names.

    Reply
  • vicky January 11, 2019, 12:16 am

    I dont belive ,there are lots of fake news every where these days

    Reply
  • Snoopy January 11, 2019, 12:18 am

    Sounds like the seller was trying to flip a domain they didn’t own, obviously a very risky move and may not be wise to start a lawsuit when it all goes sour.

    Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan January 11, 2019, 3:56 am

    Thanks Morgan for covering a cctld story. For the number of cctlds (representing real countries), we have a very few blogs or stories

    I am surprised at the price though. But nonetheless, it shows how cctlds (premium ones) are heating up in developing countries. Indonesia is a large population and economy is growing quite well too

    Reply

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