Ethos Capital

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Ethos Capital is a private equity investment firm founded in 2019 and best known for its attempt to acquire the Public Interest Registry, the organization in charge of managing the .org top-level domain, from the Internet Society for $1.135 billion.[1] On 30 April 2020, the ICANN Board decided to withhold its consent to transfer control of the Public Internet Registry to Ethos Capital, effectively killing the proposed deal.[2]

According to Ethos Capital's website, other investments are Whistle (sports network for kids), Adhark (AI trend analytics),[3] LiquidX (asset trading network),[4] and VidMob (video marketing).[5] Besides Ethos, potential investors in the .ORG deal reportedly included FMR, Perot Holdings and Solamere Capital, among others. [6] Because the .ORG deal did not close, it is unclear whether any of these companies are currently investors in Ethos Capital.

Personnel and relationship to ICANN and domain industry[edit]

Former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé registered the domain name in May 2019, one day after price caps were lifted from the .org domain.[7] Chehadé's company, Chehadé & Co., served as an adviser to Ethos Capital on the .ORG deal.[8] As of July, 2020, Chehadé was listed on the Ethos website as its Co-CEO.[9][10] However his name did not appear on the initial Ethos Capital web site.

As of 2019, the Ethos web site said it was founded by its present CEO, Erik Brooks. Brooks is a former Managing Partner of another private equity firm Abry Partners.[11] During his tenure at Abry, in September 2018, the company acquired Donuts, a domain name registrar with a wide portfolio of new gTLDs.[12] In October 2018 former ICANN President of Global Domains Akram Atallah joined Donuts as CEO,[13] and in December 2018 Donuts co-founder Jon Nevett joined Public Interest Registry as CEO.[14]

Other former ICANN staff members are involved: Former ICANN Senior Vice President, Development and Public Responsibility Programs Nora Abusitta-Ouri serves as Chief Purpose Officer.[15] Former ICANN Chief Compliance Officer Allen Grogan serves as an advisor to Ethos Capital.[16]


  1. ^ "Advancing the Internet Society's Mission Into the Future". 30 November 2019.
  2. ^ "ICANN Board Withholds Consent for a Change of Control of the Public Interest Registry (PIR)".
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  6. ^ "Nonprofits Fight Sale Of .ORG Registry". The NonProfit Times. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Ex-boss of ICANN shifts from 'advisor' to co-CEO of private equity biz that tried to buy .org for $1bn+". Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  8. ^ Goldstein, David (25 November 2019). "PIR Addresses Concerns Over Conflicts And Registry Fee Rises Following Takeover". Goldstein Report. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Fadi Chehadé is now co-CEO of Ethos Capital". Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News. 17 July 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed". 20 November 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Erik Brooks". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Abry Partners Enters Into Agreement to Invest Majority Stake in Donuts Inc" (Press Release). Donuts. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Donuts Appoints Akram J. Atallah as CEO" (Press Release). Donuts. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Jonathon Nevett Named CEO of Public Interest Registry" (Press Release). Public Interest Registry. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  15. ^ Saarinen, Juha. "Internet Society sells .org to private equity firm". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  16. ^ "ICANN finally reveals who's behind purchase of .org". 14 January 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.

External links[edit]