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Kochi boy sells website address to Facebook’s Zuckerberg for $700

Augustine buys website addresses and waits for someone to approach him to buy it. Then he asks them for unreasonable amounts of money in return for handing over the domain

tech Updated: Apr 18, 2016 10:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP)

The Zuckerbergs may have given away 99% of their money to charity, but Iconiqcapital that manages their assets of the Facebook founder, still had $700 left in change to buy the domain from Amal Augustine, who registered the website address “”.

Augustine, an engineering student from Kochi bought a domain, effectively blocking someone from buying it, and sat on it till he was sent a request for purchase. By the end of the deal, he realised that the deal was being struck by a company handling the Facebook CEO’s representatives according to reports.

Turns out, this isn’t the only domain that Augustine was sitting on. He has bought several domains and waits for someone to approach them to buy it. Then he asks them for unreasonable amounts of money in return for selling the domain. In this case, Augustine didn’t find out, till the deal was in final stages that he was selling it to the Facebook CEO.

This process of making money is called cyber squatting. Like gambling, you invest in domains that you think will be valuable in the future, like the name of a rich Sillicon Valley giant’s kid’s name and hope that they’d want to buy it some day and ask for much higher amounts of money that you bought it for then. You can buy a domain for as low as Rs 100 and so, making a profit is quite easy.

First Published: Apr 16, 2016 10:32 IST