You see Gandi was founded out of the desire to create free and fair access to homes on the internet; your address, your domain name. Back in the murky days of 1999 the AFNIC (controllers of the .fr domain) had restrictions on selling .fr's, so that only companies and trademark holders could own them. This meant the average French individual could not buy one, so instead they bought the GTLDs, e.g. .com or .net.
But in those days the GTLDs were sold by an exclusive group of mainly US registrars, at reasonably punchy prices (some still sell for $35+ per year) and with some unsavoury terms (more about that later). The original founders of Gandi set about creating a registrar that was for everyone, that encouraged domain ownership, made it affordable and accessible.
Gandi became one of the first ICANN accredited domain registrar when it was opened up to new companies in 1999, and helped pioneer the domain market we have today.
Gandi slashed the price of domain names, selling at a fixed €12 price (only a small mark-up on the registry cost, and not a lot in 1999 when the Euro was worth less than a Dollar), so that it was more accessible to a wider audience.
And more importantly Gandi setup its terms and conditions so that the domain buyer was made the 'owner' of the domain, and not the registrar. This may sound very obvious (why wouldn't the person paying be the owner?) but was actually unusual back then. Instead domain registrars would often take your money, put the domain name in their own name, and then lease it to you. So you might find out a few years later when you wanted to leave that you didn't actually own the domain name at all, despite paying for it. Very dodgy.
But not Gandi. With Gandi you were always the owner of your domain, and this was a very important reason why Gandi developed a strong following in Europe and the US. For those that read the legal agreements and were passionate about how it 'should be', they found Gandi and stayed with us.
Nearly 10 years later, this hasn't changed. Gandi was bought in 2005, by an experienced team of internet entrepreneurs, Stephan Ramoin, CEO, Joe White, CFO/COO and Eirik Pettersen, CTO who had always believed in fairness, transparency and innovative, products and services on the internet. Gandi continues to push for a fairer approach to domain buying and selling, and customer led products and services. We take a stand against spammers, domain squatters, and dodgy practices in the industry. We build great products for you to buy or not as you choose. We don't spend money on advertising, instead we prefer that our customers are our advocates. If you don't believe in our services, we shouldn't be selling them!
We believe your domain is more than just a name but your online presence on the internet whether it’s a home for your business, project or profile. And as such should be supported and protected. We intend to provide an alternative set of products which support you to do this. As many of you know we released our revolutionary virtualised hosting product recently for our tech savvy customers and we will be launching tools for customers who want build well designed, hosted websites easily and quickly very soon.
So there you have it. Gandi was founded on the principle of providing services 'as they should be', honest, fair, reasonably priced and with your interests at heart. We welcome you to join us and make your home with us online. Viva l'internet!
(For those of you interested in a bit of net history, click here, an article written in 2000 looking at domain providers legal contracts. Network solutions was given a 1 out of 5 rating for the fairness of its contract, while Gandi was given 5 stars - "Three registrars currently enjoy a perfect five-star legal rating. Contracts with these companies tend to favor consumers. For example, a Paris-based registrar named Gandi.net states clearly in its agreement: "The client owns the registered domain name." Also, the firm can't change its contracts at will, except for fee changes.")
Gandi UK Team