Top 10 Stories of 2011: #5 Salesforce revealed as $2.6MM buyer

Marc Benioff

The biggest domain sale of 2011, with a price tag of $2.6 million, was 

The domain sold in June and was co-brokered by Marksmen’s Cyntia King and’s John Mauriello.

As to who purchased the domain name remained a mystery, that is until I broke the story that the buyer was none other than, the enterprise software company that has paid millions of dollars for domains such as and

Number five in the Top 10 stories of 2011 here on Fusible, with nearly two hundred tweets, was revealing as the buyer of in September.  

The story also exposed a flaw within Network Solutions’ password retrieval system, which has yet to be fixed.

Though some doubted whether was the buyer after my story ran, Marc Benioff confirmed publicly at’s Cloudforce New York in late November that he did buy, saying “We don’t have a product for it yet – it’s just a placeholder.”

News is the mystery buyer of $2.6 million [UPDATED] Social Enterprise appears to be the buyer who paid $2.6 million in late June 2011 for, this year’s top selling domain to date, that has been publicly reported.

The buyer in the sale, which was co-brokered by Marksmen’s Cyntia King and’s John Mauriello, was never revealed.  The purchase set off speculation about the new owner ranging from Twitter to Living Social and even

However, up until now there hasn’t been any clear idea as to the buyer.

The primary contact for the domain is Alica Del Valle who is the Trademark Counsel at  It didn’t take very much research at all to figure it out.  It started with a few Google searches and I was able to connect the dots after using Network Solutions’ “User ID recovery tool” even though the domain was behind its not-so-private registration services.

I went to the Network Solutions “Forgot Your Login?” page and entered the domain, then clicked the button: Retrieve Your User ID.   The resulting page showed Alica Del Valle as the primary contact, as shown here.

No big news, as others had already done this before but just never connected the name “Alica Del Valle” to

Alica Del Valle according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is not only the attorney of record for (scroll to bottom of filing), but has been the Trademark Counsel at since July 2011 according to Alica’s own LinkedIn page.

Earlier in the week I had guessed was the buyer of after discovering Salesforce was the buyer of, a “Coming Soon” site for a yet-to-be launched business productivity app.  The company had brokered the domain through Marksmen. was also hidden behind Whois privacy at Network Solutions using the very same moniker “ADV”.  The privacy was finally removed two days after my story ran, officially revealing as the owner.

Last week at Dreamforce, Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff welcomed more than 30,000 attendees to the Social Enterprise.

At the time of this story being published, the Whois information for remains regsistered to “ADV” behind Network Solutions’ private registration services.

The web address still does not resolve to a web page, however the buyer no longer appears to be a mystery.

Updated Nov. 30:  Marc Benioff confirmed publicly at’s Cloudforce New York that he did buy


Talking about this story: TechCrunch, Louis Gray, Domain Name Wire, and Elliot’s Blog (blog)