Epik move : DigitalTown dips into dot .Boston inventory with strategic domain acquisitions

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ICANN-accredited domain registrar, Epik, operates DigitalTown, a corporate entity that leverages geo-domains and the construction of city-centric portals.

Rob Monster, founder of both Epik and DigitalTown, is a busy entrepreneur, for sure.

The recent launch of dot .Boston is the latest geographical gTLD, for the city of Boston. Its launch has been satisfactory, according to the .Boston registry.

Currently, dot .Boston has approximately 5300 domain names, according to ntldstats.

We noticed a recent spike in registrations, and contacted the dot .Boston registry for additional information. Between October 28th and 29th, the dot .Boston gTLD grew by approximately 1800 domains.

We were told that there has been no promotional discounts whatsoever, and that the registrations are the results of “awareness activities” for the Boston-centric gTLD.

It seems, however, that DigitalTown, Epik’s outfit for city-centric content acquired the bulk of these gains: 1,769 domains are now under the control of Epik, according to the ntldstats chart below.

Coincidentally, DigitalTown announced new expansion activities at the beginning of November, per this press release:

DIGITALTOWN ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF CITY INFORMATION B.V.
Breakthrough deal provides unrivaled mobile app network for cities

Seattle, WA and Amsterdam, the Netherlands DigitalTown, Inc. (OTC PINK: DGTW) and CityInformation B.V., have entered into an agreement for DigitalTown to acquire the assets of CityInformation. The combination positions DigitalTown as technology partner of choice for equipping cities to win in the Digital Age through Smart City solutions powered by affordable technology such as Mobile Apps, Single-Login and Blockchain.

CityInformation develops and operates mobile apps for cities and towns worldwide. Mobile apps are now live in more than 800 cities with more than 3 million downloads completed to date. The acquisition of City Information by DigitalTown will allow these mobile applications to be connected through the DigitalTown SmartWallet as well as enable app users to make direct purchases from local merchants across retail, services, dining and lodging using their saved preferences from their SmartWallets. Users can also own manage ownership stakes, or coins, in their city platform through a city-specific Blockchain. These stakes can be held in SmartWallets or traded through Blockchain exchanges.

For consumers, the addition of a city-branded global mobile app network means that a consumer will now be able to use the same city-branded app to access municipal services as well book a local hotel, reserve a table at a restaurant or make a local retail purchase. That same “local first” experience follows from city to city, providing citizens of the world with the ability to “see the world through local eyes”, while enabling any city to become a Smart City using turnkey cloud-based software from DigitalTown that can be locally owned and managed while branded in the name of the city.

Rob Monster, CEO of DigitalTown commented on the announcement, explaining “This is an enormously significant milestone in DigitalTown’s quest to restore economic power to cities by not only making it easy for residents and visitors to buy and engage locally 24/7, but also for local stakeholders to own the city platform itself through Blockchain Distributed Ledger for managing decentralized ownership. For our institutional partners, such as municipalities, chambers of commerce, destination marketing organizations and visitor bureaus, we are now able to offer them a truly integrated digital platform for their city brand.”

The acquisition comes at an important time for the Smart City movement. Mobile usage and mobile app adoption has continued to grow. For people on the go, mobile apps are now a primary mode of access to the web. According to Comscore’s August 2017 Mobile App Report, 50% of all digital media is now being consumed via mobile apps and an astounding 87% of mobile time is spent on mobile apps. The average user spends 16 times more time on top mobile apps than on the top mobile web sites.

The acquisition includes management tools for deployment of new mobile apps as well as centrally updating existing mobile apps. By leveraging the global data of DigitalTown, the Company expects to rapidly increase the number of high quality local apps, combining high quality local content with local commerce. For cities where the municipality has partnered with DigitalTown, or which provide open data, the mobile apps will also feature local civic engagement tools to support local government with improving quality of life for local residents.

Bjorn Poels, Co-Founder and CEO of City Information, speaking about becoming part of Digitalown, commented “We are proud that CityInformation technology will enable DigitalTown to deliver the ultimate cross-platform online Smart City solution by integrating City Information’s fast-growing network of city-branded mobile Apps. For our existing mobile platform customers this means, we can now deliver them a complete solution.”.

DigitalTown will feature the new mobile app suite at the Smart Cities Expo in Barcelona November 14-16, the main event of the year for Smart City Innovation with an expected attendance of more than 16,000 delegates from around the world. The Smart City Expo is the exact venue where the 2 companies began strategic discussions approximately 1 year ago. DigitalTown will be exhibiting in the Leading Cities Pavilion.

You can also view a presentation from DigitalTown regarding their new venture below.

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