Startup spotlight: DotYellow to enter online listings market

Online brand listing service to go live in 2013, meanwhile director applies for .yellow domain name

Concerned by the waste generated by the Yellow Pages books, product development director, Angelo Perera, decided to do something about it and helped start Melbourne-based online brand listing company, DotYellow.

The startup plans to offer brand oriented listing pages for small to medium businesses (SMBs) who may not have an online presence. It aims to target SMBs who are dissatisfied with traditional directory style listings and provides the transition to an online presence. The service is to go live in 2013.

While DotYellow is quite new — founded at the beginning of 2012 — Perera has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for a top level domain (TLD) called .yellow.

Computerworld Australia spoke with Perera about DotYellow and what he wants to do with the TLD if approved.

What does DotYellow do?

In the same way .com and .net websites are intended for commercial use, and .org is intended for organisations, .yellow websites will deliver brand oriented listing pages known as brand websites. These are intended for small businesses where the majority of the focus is on the customer's brand.

Why are you launching this online brand listing service?

We’ve been doing a lot of research and found that the business listings industry is doing quite poorly in Australia. A lot of businesses that we talk to feel there is a growing disparity between how much they pay for the Yellow Pages listings and how much return on investment they get back. Research from Google indicates that 85 per cent of all business searches are done online so less people are picking up the yellow book and searching for companies.

How did you get started?

We only began working on this idea in January 2012 after we heard the ICANN announcement that applications for top level domain names were open. We put together this concept and talked to people in the industry including consultants. They thought it was a great idea.

What are the origins of DotYellow?

We have three directors: Myself, a former NEC IT manager and an angel investor, Robert Bell. He provided our initial capital and we’re happy to have someone so experienced on board.

With selecting this domain name, were you concerned that people might confuse DotYellow with the Yellow Pages?

We considered that but there are other Australian companies with yellow in the title such as Yellow Taxis. What we are aiming to do is not just offer a business listing but branded websites. Our concept is if a company comes up with a great line of shoes, a great way to launch is by using one of our website packages.

How many customers do you have at present?

We don’t have any customers until we get ICANN approval for the .yellow domain name. When it gets approved we can allow people to register .yellow domain names.

What happens if the .yellow domain name doesn’t get approval?

Because we don’t find out ICANN’s decision for the next seven months we will consider variations on the name and concentrate on growing a regular domain business where we provide a free open listing database for clients.

If we do get approval, we will use this free listing to offer customers an opportunity to purchase a domain package for $99.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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More about: Google, ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, NEC, NN, Yellow Pages
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