STRAAT Investments, the parent company of .CO Internet, is on the move.
Juan Diego Calle co-founded STRAAT as a holding company after selling TeRespondo.com in 2005. He and his partner in STRAAT, Jose I. Rasco, had invested in a portfolio of Web addresses for the travel industry, as well as real estate. “We got hit by the bubble hard, there’s no other way to put it,” Calle said, before scoring big with .CO.
Calle, chairman of STRAAT, and Rasco, managing director, are betting big on the next round of domain names being released by ICANN, the organization that manages the Internet registry system. The company has bid on 14 of them — including .app, .inc., .llc, .web and .health.
“We aren’t going to win every one of them, but we needed to leverage the success we had here with .CO,” said Rasco. “It’s an expansion of the company.”
This time their big competitors are Google and Amazon. “We aren’t as little as we were when we went for .co, but we are still the little guy,” Rasco said.
This summer, STRAAT will be opening a new corporate headquarters with a co-working twist in the West Brickell area. The 16,000-square-foot space topped by a roof garden, called “Building,” will accommodate the growing .CO team and the other STRAAT businesses and will also offer shared work spaces for entrepreneurs in the community as well as events and programs geared to the tech startup.
Building is part of a wave of co-working centers opening in or near downtown Miami, but Rasco thinks there’s more than enough demand for quality space. “We can be a startup-tech community center, a rallying point for the community.”