Domain registrants started leaving Epik in droves when CEO Rob Monster quit last year and serious allegations of financial mismanagement emerged, an analysis of the numbers shows.
Epik’s total gTLD domains under management began to free-fall in September 2022, dropping by more than 70,000 by the end of the year, almost all as a result of customers transferring their domains to other registrars.
Data from registry transaction reports I compiled shows Epik peaking at around 808,000 domains across all gTLDs at the end of August, having gone up every month that year.
But DUM started tumbling when Monster quit and customers started reporting problems extracting funds from their accounts in mid-September. Epik dropped to 792,000 domains that month, with 780,000 in October, 767,000 in November and 733,000 at the end of the year.
Transfers from Epik to other registrars also went up in September, almost doubling from the 9,500 domains reported in August to 16,000, a level of customer bleed it maintained until December, when it rocketed up to almost 23,000.
Most of the losses were of course in .com, but .net, .org and .xyz also saw big downsides.
The drop in revenue won’t help the company extract itself from its current dire straits. It’s publicly admitted it’s having difficulty paying its customers, some of whom complain they’re owed tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Epik is facing a customer lawsuit, the prospect of a probe by its local state attorney general over its unlicensed escrow service, and recently had to shut down its unlicensed “insurance” service after a settlement with the Washington state insurance regulator.
Whoever runs its Twitter account has been pointing the finger of blame at Monster, saying the company, which it refers to as “Epik 2.0” is trying to move “out of a monster’s shadow”.
In recent days it’s tweeted reassurances that customers will eventually be made whole, legal threats against Monster (believed to still be non-executive chair) and, yesterday, expressions of a desire to “connect” with Monster and explore “alternative paths”.