Ray King (entrepreneur)

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Ray King
Raymond King.jpg
Born Raymond King
1964
Nationality American
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982–1984)
Spouse(s) Deneen King
Children Dakota King

Raymond "Ray" King (born 1964) is an American entrepreneur and co-founder of multiple companies including AboutUs.org and Top Level Design. He began his career by creating The Computer Workshop with a group of friends which offered computing classes at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. This venture earned him $60,000, enough to cover tuition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for one year. King studied computer science there until he left in 1984 to start Semaphore Inc. which sold accounting and project management software, that he had begun developing in college, to architecture and engineering firms. He founded SnapNames, which specialized in "snapping up" expired domain names, in 2000 after relocating to Portland, Oregon. King left the company in 2005 and founded the wiki Internet domain directory AboutUs.org in 2006. He served as chief executive officer until stepping down in 2013. In 2012, he and his brother-in-law founded the registry Top Level Design, which manages the new top-level domains .design, .ink, and .wiki. King and his wife have one daughter and reside in the Portland metropolitan area.

Early life, education and career[edit]

King was born in 1964 to Kenneth, an architect, and Yien-Koo.[1] He graduated from The Bronx High School of Science in June 1982.[1] He began his career in technology as a teenager establishing The Computer Workshop, with 17 of his friends, which offered computing classes at his apartment and Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.[1][2][3] In an interview with The New York Times, King said:

We began thinking about what we wanted to do when we left school. We had taken computer courses, and we knew enough about them to know that we could develop something... We designed a sign offering classes in basic computer language, how computers could be used for small business and the basic software, and we began putting them up on lampposts and in grocery stores near our homes.[1]

The venture, which taught people how to use Apple II and IBM PCs, earned King $60,000.[4] He later recalled: "We approached people at Grand Central Station and convinced them to come take our courses. We were written up in The New York Times. I made enough money to pay for one year of college at MIT."[2] King remained enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for eighteen months studying computer science before leaving in 1984 to start Semaphore Inc.,[5] a company that sold accounting, billing, and project management software to architecture and engineering firms.[4] The company received $4 million in invested capital and grew to 100 employees in four offices by the time it was sold to Virginia-based DelTek Inc. in 2000 for nearly $12 million.[2][4][6]

After relocating to Portland, Oregon to live in a city where he could bike to work, and enjoy a higher quality of living,[2] he founded the secondary market domain name company SnapNames in 2000. The company specialized in "snapping up" expired domain names, which occurred "all the time", according to King.[7] It took in $7.8 million in invested capital and partnered with several of the largest domain name registrars.[6][8] King was appointed chief operating officer in 2001.[9] He left SnapNames in 2005 to start his next business venture, AboutUs. By 2006, SnapNames was generating gross sales of $49 million.[2] The company sold to California-based Oversee.net in 2007 for $30 million.[3][6]

King founded AboutUs.org, a wiki Internet domain directory, in 2006.[3] In November 2006, the company closed its initial financing round for one million dollars.[10][11] In January 2009, AboutUs secured a $5 million Series A funding round from Voyager Capital, Capybara Ventures, Northwest Technology Ventures and private individuals, including angel investors Tom Holce and Irving Levin.[6][12] Within three years, AboutUs employed 34 people in Portland and Lahore, Pakistan.[4] King served as chief executive officer until he stepped down in 2013.[3]

In 2012, King co-founded Top Level Design, a domain name registry for multiple generic top-level domains, with his brother-in-law and investor Peter Brual.[3][13][14] The registry currently manages the .design, .ink, and .wiki top-level domains.[15]

Personal life and recognition[edit]

King and his wife Deneen have one daughter named Dakota and collect minimalist art.[2][16] In 2000, the New York Post profiled their five-level townhouse in the West Village valued at $7.75 million.[17] In 2009, he received the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network's annual award for individual achievement.[3][4][18]

Works[edit]

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ferretti, Fred (September 2, 1982). "An Enterprising Computer Vacation". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Meisner, Jeff (September 21, 2008). "After co-founding SnapNames, Ray King launches AboutUs". Portland Business Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rogoway, Mike (April 23, 2013). "Ray King steps down as AboutUs CEO, starts new Portland venture". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Advance Publications. ISSN 8750-1317. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Finnemore, Melody (November 1, 2009). "Ray King puts wiki format to effective use". Portland Business Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ "SnapNames CEO: 'Getting from startup to long-term viability'". Portland Business Journal. February 7, 2003. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d "AboutUs closes $5 million round". Portland Business Journal. July 20, 2009. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ Kornblum, Janet (June 4, 2001). "Failure to act fast takes people out of their domain". USA Today. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ Goldfield, Robert (December 17, 2000). "SnapNames looks to be internet name monitor". Portland Business Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ "SnapNames appoints Ray King as COO". Portland Business Journal. May 10, 2001. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (November 12, 2006). "Startup hits the money with biz wiki". Portland Business Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick, Marshall. "AboutUs: A Wiki About Every Website". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  12. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (January 11, 2009). "AboutUs nabs $5M infusion". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  13. ^ Allemann, Andrew (June 11, 2012). "SnapNames co-founder Ray King behind registry applying for 10 top level domains". Domain Name Wire. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ King, Ray (October 18, 2013). "Guest Opinion: .Gay and the LGBTQ Community". PQ Monthly. Portland, Oregon: Brilliant Media. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2014.  Note: Posted by Nick Mattos.
  15. ^ http://toplevel.design/our-tlds/ Top Level Design, Our TLDs
  16. ^ Crow, Kelly (September 14, 2007). "Small Collectors". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ Keil, Braden (July 2, 2000). "Pads with Pools, and other Sultry Summer Stories". New York Post. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  18. ^ "OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Award Winners & Finalists". Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.