Acquisitions / Partnerships

Reston-based Public Interest Registry will be acquired by Ethos Capital

The nonprofit reports that there will be no leadership or operational changes through the acquisition, set to close in the first quarter of 2020.

The Public Interest Registry team. (Courtesy photo)

Internet Society announced that investment firm Ethos Capital is set to acquire its portfolio company Public Interest Registry (PIR) and all of its assets for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2020.

Established by the Internet Society in 2002, Reston, Virginia-based PIR is the nonprofit that manages the .org domain used by more than 10 million organizations. Andrew Sullivan, president and CEO of the Internet Society, shared in a press release that this deal provides the Internet Society with “an endowment of sustainable funding and the resources” to advance its broader mission of making the internet more accessible.

The nonprofit reports that there will be no leadership changes at PIR and that it will continue to operate its 28-person team in Reston with no operational disruptions through the acquisition deal. PIR is also considering seeking B Corporation certification.

“Since the inception of Public Interest Registry, our mission has been to enable the .ORG Community to use the Internet more effectively and change the world for the better,” PIR CEO Jon Nevett shared in a statement. “That will not change. We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the Internet Society, and are thrilled that we will be able to continue — and expand — our important work with Ethos Capital while sustaining our commitment to the .ORG Community going forward.”

Though PIR has no immediate plans to hire new staff, PIR media rep Andy Shea said that this acquisition does give the organization room to expand its team if need be.

Following the close of the transaction, and in addition to maintaining PIR’s board of directors, Ethos Capital will also be establishing a Stewardship Council that will serve to uphold PIR’s core founding values and provide support through a variety of community programs, Shea said.


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