An Indian-origin entrepreneur purchases ‘chat.com’ for more than $10 million, subsequently sells it, and donates $250,000 to Khan Academy.
Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot and of Indian descent, recently acquired the domain name ‘chat.com’ for a substantial sum exceeding $10 million. Shah later sold the domain at an undisclosed price and generously contributed $250,000 of the proceeds to Sal Khan and the Khan Academy.
Shah, an American entrepreneur, co-founded HubSpot, a prominent company specialising in inbound marketing and sales software, in 2006. HubSpot is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with a market capitalization exceeding $24 billion.
Initially, Shah obtained the domain name ‘chat.com’ and directed users to a LinkedIn post without introducing any new product under that domain.
The LinkedIn post, to which chat.com redirected, conveyed Shah’s rationale behind the acquisition: “I firmly believe that chat-based UX (#ChatUX) signifies the next significant leap in software. Interacting with computers or software through a natural language interface is much more intuitive, made possible by generative A.I.”
The post further elaborated, stating, “Chat.com possesses exceptional qualities in terms of simplicity, conciseness, and remarkable relevance to the present landscape. It immediately inspires user trust.”
In the same post, Shah also expressed his intention to make a substantial donation to Sal Khan and the Khan Academy if he were to sell the domain.
“Through my years of experience, I have come to recognise the importance and value of domain names. WordPlay.com (my word game) has amassed over 150 million games played and attracted 16 million users. I fully acknowledge that a significant portion of this success is attributable to the domain’s ease, memorability, and entertainment value,” he emphasised further.
Shortly after acquiring the domain, Shah appeared on a podcast, candidly revealing his motivation, stating, “I acquired chat.com because I aim to immerse myself in the AI community. In that realm, nobody knows who I am!”
Unfazed by the potential financial loss, he continued, “I have accomplished certain things in specific domains, but that particular group of individuals (the AI industry) remains unaware of my presence.” Shah added that any monetary loss would be an acceptable admission fee to gain entry into that community.
Contrary to expectations, Shah did not suffer a financial loss. In a subsequent LinkedIn post, he clarified, “I am not pursuing a major venture with the domain. I am not launching any projects through it. I have sold the domain name for a sum exceeding its original purchase price.”
Additionally, Shah disclosed, “As promised, I have allocated $250,000 from the profits to donate to Sal Khan and Khan Academy, supporting their mission to leverage AI for globally accessible personalised education. I wholeheartedly believe in Sal, Khan Academy, and their noble cause.”
However, Shah did not disclose the exact sale amount or the buyer’s identity. Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization founded in 2008 by educator Salman Khan, is dedicated to providing free online resources and courses to facilitate learning across various subjects. Its ultimate aim is to deliver accessible and high-quality education to individuals worldwide.