Ethos Capital

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Ethos Capital
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded2019; 4 years ago (2019)
FounderErik Brooks
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people

Ethos Capital is an American private equity investment firm founded in 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts, in order to make majority and control minority investments in middle-market companies, primarily across North America and Europe. It is best known for attempting and failing to gain control of the .org internet domain.


In 2020, Ethos made news for trying to register the .org domain and capitalize upon it using a portfolio of data-monetization startups.[1][2] Although that effort failed,[3] company founders Erik Brooks and Fadi Chehadé[4] went on to use the vehicle to buy domain name registrar Donuts and registry services provider Afilias from Abry Partners, where Brooks had been managing partner.[5][6][7] In 2022, Afilias and Donuts were merged into a single company, Identity Digital.[8]


Most of the press coverage of Ethos has focused on allegations of insider dealing between former ICANN CEO Chehadé (who registered the domain name in May 2019, one day after price caps were lifted from the .org domain[9][10]) and current employer Ethos Capital, and the unraveling of a complex web of interlocking control and ownership between domain name registries, registrars, and ICANN, which nominally regulates the domain name industry.[4][5][7][9]


  1. ^ Orenstein, Natalie (January 16, 2020). "A private equity firm wants to buy '.org' for $1 billion. A Berkeley-based cooperative says, 'not so fast'". Berkeleyside. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Ethos Capital: Engineering Growth". January 2, 2020. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Investments: Whistle, Adhark, Liquidx, Vidmob
  3. ^ Finley, Klint (May 1, 2020). "The Web's .Org Domain Is Still Run by a Nonprofit". WIRED.
  4. ^ a b Alleman, Andrew (July 17, 2020). "Fadi Chehadé is now co-CEO of Ethos Capital". Domain Name Wire. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Murphy, Kevin (January 22, 2021). "Failed .org buyer Ethos Capital buys Donuts". Domain Incite.
  6. ^ Hackney, Raymond (January 22, 2021). "Ethos Capital to Acquire Controlling Interest of Donuts". TheDomains. Worldwide Media. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Ethos Capital Acquires Majority Control of Donuts". FinSMEs. April 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  8. ^ Allemann, Andrew (June 22, 2022). "Donuts rebrands to Identity Digital". Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  9. ^ a b McCarthy, Kieren. "Ex-boss of ICANN shifts from 'advisor' to co-CEO of private equity biz that tried to buy .org for $1bn+". The Register. Situation Publishing. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  10. ^ Goldstein, David (November 25, 2019). "PIR Addresses Concerns Over Conflicts and Registry Fee Rises Following Takeover". Goldstein Report. Retrieved October 22, 2020.

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