Network Solutions

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Network Solutions started as a technology consulting company incorporated by Gary Desler, Ty Grigsby, Emmit J. McHenry, and Ed Peters in Washington D.C. in January 1979. In its first few years, the company focused on systems programming services, primarily in the IBM environment. Annual revenues passed $1 million in 1982, growing to $18.5 million in 1986.

Network Solutions was acquired by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in March 1995, and listed on NASDAQ in 1997. 

John Dillon reports in, "Initially, the service was subsidized by the government. But, in May 1993, the National Science Foundation privatized the name registry (InterNIC - Internet Network Information Center) and paid NSI $5.9 million to administer it. In September 1995, NSI instituted the fee system. A few months earlier, it had been bought out by Science Applications International Corp (SAIC)."

In 2000, Network Solutions was acquired by VeriSign, Inc. for $21 billion.

In 2003, VeriSign sold the registrar business, which continued to operate under the branding Network Solutions, to Pivotal Equity Group. (VeriSign still retains the registry business which had been originally created within Network Solutions prior to VeriSign's acquisition of the company.)

During January, 2006, Network Solutions acquired e-commerce solutions company MonsterCommerce co-founded by Stephanie Leffler and Ryan Noble in Belleville, Illinois. Network Solutions grew the 130 person ecommerce company to 250 team members within 6 months of the acquisition. The Belleville office continues to build and support the MonsterCommerce e-commerce platform offered by Network Solutions. The purchase price was undisclosed.

In 2008, Roy Dunbar was appointed CEO.
On November 2, 2009, Tim Kelly, President of Network Solutions replaced Roy Dunbar as CEO. Roy continues to act as Chairman and advisor to Network Solutions.

On February 6, 2007, Network Solutions announced that General Atlantic, a private equity firm, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Network Solutions from Najafi Companies (formerly Pivotal Private Equity). Although terms of the deal were not released, the Wall Street Journal reported in a story on May 30, 2007 that the price tag was "around $800 million."

In 2003 nearly 90% of the company's revenue was from domain-name registrations, said Network Solutions then-Chief Executive W.G. Champ Mitchell. Since 2005, the company has added 69 services and products and today these new offerings are fueling Network Solutions' growth. Now only 45% of the company's revenue comes from domain-name registrations.

At the end of July, 2007, Network Solutions had 6,659,150 domains under management and was in the top five wholesale domain registrars following Go Daddy with 19,709,215 domains and eNom with 7,646,676 domains. Tucows, the largest publicly traded registrar, has 6,622,982 domains under management with its recent acquisition of Melbourne IT, a publicly traded company located in Australia, trailed with 4,664,019 domains under management.

In addition to being a domain name registrar, Network Solutions provides web services such as web hosting, website design and online marketing - including Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Management.

As the Internet has evolved, it has leveled the playing field for small businesses. No matter their size, a small business can now use the Web to gain advantages that at one time only big business enjoyed – such as the ability to reach customers around the globe. The Internet has created a world of opportunities . . .

At Network Solutions®, we focus on helping small businesses start and market their businesses on the Web, enabling them to realize their dreams of self-reliance, entrepreneurship, creativity, and financial independence. We pioneered the service for creating and acquiring specific “web addresses” (known as domain name registration), and today offer a full range of Web-related services. In addition to domain name registration, we offer Web site design and hosting, e-commerce solutions, online security products, and search engine marketing and optimization.