Last week, 19 year old Erwan Kina (@ErwanKina) made an announcement that his investment group will be acquiring over $20 million worth of domain names in 2016, with their focus being on buying short .COM domains. Why are they putting so much money into domain names this year? Who are these investors? What plans does the group have for their acquisitions? We find out the answers to these questions and much more in this exclusive first interview with Erwan in which he reveals that his group has already bought over $2.5 million worth of domain names in 2016. NP: Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to be involved in domain names? Erwan: I’m French, and I’ll be 20 years old next month. In January 2015, I was really not happy in my law school in Lyon, France. I was motivated not to spend the next 7-8 years of my life working on something I didn’t like to have a degree I didn’t want. I’ve decided to stop my studies in order to start a new entrepreneurial project. I was able to do so because I made some money a year before by hosting parties in the best night clubs of my city while I was still in high school. I knew I had about 6 months before I had to start making a living with my new project. I’ve had the great idea to Google "how to make money online" and on the bottom of a list I read was "Sell websites and domain names." That’s how I discovered the top 100 reported sales of all time, and I was fascinated. My dream was always to negotiate these kinds of deals. So I told myself, "this business is for me; don’t quit until you are number 1." At that time, I had the choice between becoming a football (soccer) player agent, like Jorge Mendes, or a domain expert. I chose domaining because we don’t need any licenses to start. I have to thank Ali Zandi (@Zandibot) too. I saw this guy made himself six figures in six months after discovering the domain name industry. From that point, I knew I had no excuses. Hard work, hard work, hard work, and a lot of perseverance. Today I’m blessed to work full-time with my great partners. I’m learning so much with them. We have already made great deals. We will keep winning every day! NP: We noticed that you now have a $20 million fund to buy domain names. Is this from one investor or several? Erwan: Honestly we believe we will acquire more than $20M of domains in 2016; this is just the start. It’s the amount we are sure at 100% we will at least invest. One of my partners, Sharjil Saleem built a worldwide network of really big players over the years with G. Chang. He’s from Dubai, and other partners are from China, UAE, and Germany. We will meet to discuss our next goals several times during the year. Our next meeting is scheduled in February in Dubai. All the investors are domain experts. I’m in charge of finding the best opportunities and closing deals. I will also broker our best domains very soon. Sharjil was my best client a few months ago. We made awesome deals. He then offered me the opportunity to cooperate more seriously with the network he had built. In any business, you have to find a guy who can help you improve yourself every day. The right mentor shows you how to perform and you can win big from it. In return, you have to invest yourself at 100% for the success of your group. (Editor's note: The credibility of Sharjil Saleem has been called into question and caution may be warranted.) NP: What type of domain names are you currently acquiring? Erwan: Only .com and a few types of .net (very short .net). In .com, we invest in short domains, LL to LLL, and some 4-Letter Chips too. The new goal is to acquire about 20 3-Letter .com domains at fair prices. We are also still buying some 4-Letter .com Chips. We will acquire some 4-Letter .net Chips, too. This year we’d also like to have more LL.com domains in our portfolio. Very soon, we will put one of ours for sale. NP: Can you reveal any of your recent acquisitions and their prices? Erwan: We never report our acquisitions, but I will keep NamePros informed when we put our best domains up for sale. So you will have an idea of our portfolio. For January, we're focused on acquiring huge names. In February, we will start making money. In 2016, we have already invested more than $2.5M. NP: Do you plan on holding these domain names, or will they be resold quickly? Erwan: Some are meant to be kept a while, while others we are motivated to close deals in the short term. We have no problem waiting for the right offer for our domains. We will never sell in a rush. We prioritize end-users, but we have no problem selling to a domain investor if we think we can make a good deal. We see and appraise a lot of domains every day and if the price is more than fair, we will buy. We don’t necessarily have a time schedule for each domain, but we are confident they will sell sooner or later for a profit. NP: What percentage of the domains that you'll buy with the $20 million do you expect to sell to end-users vs other investors? Erwan: We first and foremost focus on potential end-users. If we have no active leads, then we are happy to deal with an investor as long as we make some money. NP: Do you expect to make a profit on every domain you purchase or do you expect a few big sales to make up for the majority that may not sell for a profit? Erwan: I always invest to win. "A penny saved is a penny saved." I take our investments very seriously. I want to be one of the leaders of this business for the next 5 years. To do so, I have to take calculated risks and make great investments for the guys who trust me. To sell, you need to believe in what you offer, so you need to believe in what you acquire in the first place. Our strategy is to win on every decision we make. Erwan: Thanks for the interview. For anyone interested, I can be reached on NamePros and LinkedIn. -- Thanks to Erwan for taking the time to speak to us. It sounds like it's going to be a very big year for him and his group of investors in terms of both their acquisitions and sales, so expect to see domain sales from this investment group being revealed in the near future. Update on Jan 22, 2016: We thought we had a credible source when this article was first published, but we've been unable to verify it with 100% certainty. We will do more research and provide updates. Update on Aug 21, 2016: The credibility of Sharjil Saleem has been called into question and caution may be warranted.