Xavier Buck (Namespace): The Unsung Hero
22 years after the creation of Namespace, Xavier Buck continues to develop his group at a rapid pace. Growth has been highlighted by several acquisitions and by the relocation of his team to spacious new offices. Interview.
How is Namespace developing?
We are further expanding across Europe, mainly through acquisitions. These include Entorno which we bought in Barcelona, two neighbors, and a competitor. In Germany, we have just acquired a company that gives us a strategic advantage: In the field of hosting, two technologies are used and they belong to the same firm, which drives up prices. This acquisition frees us from this constraint because they have their own code. The acquisition of Dotroll in 2016 in Hungary also helps us to identify small competitors that we could buy. This strategy via satellites allows us to know the local market well. In general, the domain name and hosting market is growing at 9% per year. Namespace, by comparison, is growing at 12%, which validates our approach. Today, 300 people work for the group, with a turnover of around €50 million for Namespace and its holdings.
“This strategy via satellites allows us to know the local market well”
A word about Ebrand?
We are developing increasingly sophisticated services for the major brands with whom we have established excellent relations since the creation of EuroDNS, the solution enabling them to register domain names worldwide. Initially, we added monitoring services, for example by monitoring the creation of sub-domains or similar domain names such as Linked1n, with a "1" instead of the "I", which could be used for phishing attacks. This involves technology to understand the context and whether there is malicious intent. We are now able to inform sites such as Spamhaus to actively combat attacks. More recently, we have expanded our services to include the fight against counterfeiting. A team of 20 people and software with artificial intelligence monitors 600 marketplaces for counterfeit products. Of course, it is a cat-and-mouse game, but things are progressing: For example, we can carry out takedowns at Alibaba.
“300 people work for the group, with a turnover of around €50 million”
Where do you see your group in five years?
The advantage of our industry is that it assimilates technology very quickly. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming our products at a rapid pace. It's all happening very quickly. So, five years from now, I imagine Namespace, through internal and external growth, will still be a market leader. We need to continue to develop new solutions - like our “Xray” solution for cybersecurity and attract the best talent, which is not easy in our field. A competitor in Paris can have its employees telework in Marseille or Metz, whereas we are limited to 50 kilometers! That said, our new offices with large terraces make it easier to work on-site and we have just hired a colleague who worked at MarkMonitor. I am confident about the future. With a few friends, we have created www.startups.lu to connect and promote the Luxembourg start-up ecosystem, notably by facilitating their financing, entrepreneurial education, and the emergence of women at their head.