• Software, Facilitation, and Consulting Services for High-Stakes Online Auctions

  • About Innovative Auctions

    A leading provider of auction software and consulting services for high-stakes online auctions

    telecom spectrum - natural resources - energy - top-level domains

    Innovative Auctions is a software and consulting company that specializes in high-stakes online auctions. At the core of our services is our state-of-the-art auction system for conducting custom-designed auctions securely over the Internet. Through related services like auction facilitation and management, we have extensive experience handling all facets of the auction process from beginning to end. This deep firsthand knowledge paired with technical expertise allows us to continually improve our software and processes and distinguishes us from others in the industry.

     

    Our team includes more than 20 economists, software engineers, quality assurance experts, and auction managers. Our exceptionally deep understanding of high-stakes auctions results from a wide range of projects and clients, including government regulators, bidders in spectrum auctions, non-governmental organizations, consulting firms, and economists in academia.

     

    Our founders, Ulrich Gall and Adeh DeSandies, are the world’s leading experts in high-stakes auction software, having managed the customization process for over 200 high-stakes auctions.

     

    Innovative Auctions combines this expertise and experience into a service offering that ensures a smooth and efficient operation of the auctions we support, and minimizes risk for our clients.

  • What we offer

    High-Stakes Auction Software, Facilitation, Consulting Services, Operations, Support, and Training

    Auction Software

    Robust, Secure, Reliable, Proven

    Our software team has specialized in developing auction software for over 15 years and applied this experience to develop and maintain the most sophisticated high-stakes auction system available today. We then customize the system based on the specific needs of a project.

    Auction Facilitation Services

    Trusted independent auction facilitator for valuable assets and commodities

    For clients who require a turnkey auction solution, our expertise extends to all aspects of the auction process: from bidder registration, training, and support, to auction execution, escrow, and settlement. We have held over 30 auctions on behalf of clients with over $1 billion in escrow transactions. Bidders include some of the world's largest technology and telecom companies.

    Consulting and Auction Management

    Good advice and dependable execution

    Our economic consulting team offers auction design advice, drafting of auction rules, auction software testing, auction simulation, contract drafting, escrow, training, settlement, and post-auction analysis.

    Auction Simulation Software

    A valuable tool for bidders in high-stakes auctions

    Bidders in more than 10 countries have used our simulation software to practice and evaluate bidding strategies in spectrum auctions. 

  • Recent Projects

    Recent projects from around the world

    4G Auction in Afganistan, 2021

    Spectrum Auction, Full Service

    In early 2021, Innovative Auctions worked with the telecommunications regulator in Afganistan, ATRA, on the country's first ever spectrum auction. Working closely with ATRA and other government agencies, we developed a novel approach to electronic in-person bidding that facilitated the regulator's need for maximum transparency but at the same time protected bidders' confidential business information. The auction was held June 30, 2021 and came to a successful conclusion.

    Top Level Domain Auction, 2021

    Market Making, Escrow and Fulfillment, Software and Support

    After participating in several of IAL's successful auctions, UNI Naming & Registry (UNR) selected IAL to facilitate an auction to sell 23 top level domain (TLDs) names, including .GAME, .CLICK, and .AUDIO among others. IAL handled all aspects of the auction as an independent facilitator. This meant taking on all facets of auction design, stakeholder communication, software development, a secure data room, handling bidder deposits and acting as the escrow agent. To engage bidders from the cryptocurrency community, IAL facilitated the minting of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a custom smart contract, and cross listing them on OpenSea, the largest platform for trading NFTs. The auction resulted in gross proceeds of about 40 million USD.

    Multiband Spectrum Auction in Slovenia, 2021

    Spectrum Auction - Full Service

    The telecommunications regulator of Slovenia, AKOS, selected Innovative Auctions to support their 7-band spectrum auction held in April 2021, one of the most complex spectrum auctions ever held in Europe. Together with our subcontractor Copenhagen Economics, we provided auction design, stakeholder communications support, auction software, bidder training, and auction management services. The auction concluded after 7 days of bidding on April 14, 2021, with total revenues in excess of 160 million EUR.

    26 GHz Spectrum Auction in Australia, 2021

    Spectrum Auction Software and Support

    In partnership with Power Auctions LLC, we provided software, testing, training, and auction support for the 26 GHz spectrum auction in Australia. The millimeter wave auction ran from 12 April 2021 to 21 April 2021, with revenues to the government totaling over 600 million AUD. We continue to support the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with their future auction needs under a long-term contract.

    Intellectual Property Auction, 2020

    End-to-end auction facilitation, including design, escrow and settlement

    T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, hired us to design, implement, and facilitate an auction for a portfolio of over 160 patents related to online navigation. The planned auction is part of DT’s effort to find new approaches for monetizing their underutilized IP more effectively. We continue to work with DT to refine approaches and strategies for IP monetizations in ways that are consistent with fostering innovation in the telecommunications sector.

    Generic Top-Level Domain Auction, 2020

    End-to-end auction facilitation, including escrow and settlement

    We facilitated an auction to sell the top level domains .CAR, .CARS, and .AUTO, along with the $2 million a year revenue stream these assets have been producing. The auction resulted in the sale of what was the most valuable package of generic top level domain assets ever auctioned at the time by a private party. The auction finished in one day and the assets were paid for and transferred within 3 days.

    Premium Second-Level Domain Name Auction, 2020

    End-to-end facilitation of the world's first Self Selecting Auction (SSA)

    For the owner of the .INSURANCE top level domain, fTLD, we facilitated an auction for premium second level domains. The novel "self-selecting" auction format we designed and implemented produced a competitive selection process so that only the assets with the most competition were offered for sale. This mechanism allowed the seller to set lower reserve prices without the associated risk.

    Broadcast License Auction in Norway, 2020

    Full Service Spectrum Auction Support

    For the Norwegian Telecommunications regulator, NKOM, we provided auction consulting, software, and auction management service for selling the "Riksblokk II" broadcast license. This relatively small dynamic auction concluded in 1 day, even though the winning price exceeded the start price by a factor of more than 20.

    Applicant Auction, 2013-2020

    End-to-end auction facilitation, including design, escrow and settlement

    We designed, implemented, and then operated Applicant Auction, a series of private auctions for top-level domains. Our team handled the entire process from bidder training to conducting the auctions, including contracting, escrow, training, auction management, and settlement. Deloitte LLP (London) audited our processes and the auction results. Revenues were in the hundreds of millions of USD.

    5G Spectrum Auction in Thailand, 2020

    Software, Training, Auction Management

    Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission latest multi-band auction utilized a radically modern and efficient auction design. IAL developed a bespoke auction software system to match the new design, and provided on-site staff and bidder training as well as software manuals. A team of auction experts from Innovative Auctions was present on NBTC premises as fully responsible Auction Manager. The auction was run in February, 2020 and concluded successfully, allocating spectrum in the 700MHz, 2600MHz, and 26GHz bands with total revenues of about 3.2 billion USD.

    Spectrum Auctions in Australia, 2017-2018

    Design Advice, Software, Training, Auction Management Support

    In partnership with Power Auctions LLC, we provided auction design advice, software, testing, training, and auction support for two auctions in 2017 and 2018 to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

    In 2017, the multiband residual lots auction concluded successfully on

    December 12.

    In 2018, the ACMA conducted the 3.6 GHz band spectrum auction in a novel enhanced SMRA format. The auction consisted of three stages and ended on December 6, yielding revenues of 850m AUD.

    We continue to support the ACMA with their future auction needs under a long term contract.

    Spectrum Auctions in Thailand, 2018

    Software, Training, Auction Management

    Innovative Auctions developed a bespoke SMRA auction software system for the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's 2018 spectrum auctions for the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands in Thailand. The software system also included an interface for media covering the auction. In addition to this, we provided user manuals and on-site bidder training. A team of auction experts from Innovative Auctions was present at the NBTC's premises during the two auctions as fully responsible Auction Manager. The two auctions concluded successfully in August and October.

      Auction of Aquaculture Licenses in Norway, 2018

      Software, Training, Auction Management Support

      The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries hired IAL to provide software for the sale of licenses to run sustainable aquaculture farms for salmon along the coast of Norway. We worked together with our partner Copenhagen Economics to develop a suitable auction design and then provided a customized auction system. Prior to the auction, we held a software training session for the Ministry, and followed with on-site support for the management of mock and live auctions. We also prepared Auction Manager and Bidder manuals and provided blockchain-based non-repudiation assurance.

      The auction yielded total revenues of 2.9 billion NOK (about USD $350 million).

      Auction for Fuel Distribution Rights in Germany, 2017

      Software, Training, Auction Management

      Autobahn Tank & Rast, the operator of the largest network of service stations along german motorways, engaged us in connection with the sale of 5-year licenses to distribute fuel to a majority of their service stations. We provided a customized auction system, held bidder training sessions and test auctions, and managed the auctions themselves. We also provided the help-desk throughout the process. We supported Tank & Rast in complying with regulatory obligations by providing a transparent auction system and blockchain-based non-repudiation assurance.

      Spectrum Auction in Costa Rica, 2017

      Auction Design Advice, Software, Training, Auction Management

      We were selected by SUTEL to provide comprehensive service to operate Costa Rica's first spectrum auction, for licenses in the 1800/1900/2100 MHz bands. The scope of work included a review of the auction design and auction rules, software, testing, training, auction management, and support. The auction was held on-site, and we provided dedicated private network infrastructure, biometric authentication, and physical security.

      Spectrum Auction in Australia, 2016

      Software, Training, Auction Management Support

      In partnership with Power Auctions LLC, we provided software, testing, training, and auction support for the recent 1800 MHz auction to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The auction was held in SMRA format, and concluded successfully on February 4, 2016. We continue to support the ACMA with their future auction needs under a long term contract.

      Spectrum Auction in Finland, 2016

      Software, Training, Auction Management Support

      Innovative Auctions was engaged by the spectrum regulator of Finland to develop the auction software system for its 700 MHz spectrum auction in 2016. We customized software to meet the requirements of the auction design, performed quality assurance testing, security hardening, and managed all hosting and delivery of the software over the internet. We trained government staff on the operation of the auction and supported the auction management team on-site during the live auction.

      Spectrum Auction (4G) in Thailand, 2015-2016

      Software, Training, Auction Management

      We developed a customized auction system, provided bidder training and support, managed and supported the live auctions, and provided related services. We produced materials for bidder training, led the bidder training sessions on-site, and produced the user manuals. A team of consultants from IAL was on-site for all three auctions as the fully responsible Auction Manager. Auction Revenues in the first auction alone exceeded USD $2,000,000,000. 

      Government of Singapore, 2016

      Research project, policy advice

      For a government agency in Singapore, we custom-developed an experimental auction system to inform policy decisions. Details are currently confidential.

    • Leadership

      Experience and Competence in Auction Design, Software, and Operations

      Ulrich Gall

      Director

      Ulrich Gall has 20 years of experience with all major aspects of high-stakes auctions, with a particular focus on auction software. Since developing the first clock auction software for high-stakes online auctions in 2001, he has built a team that has since supported over 200 high-stakes auctions in a variety of industries. In 2013, he assembled an interdisciplinary team to facilitate the Applicant Auction for generic Top Level Domains and directed marketing, contracting, software, escrow, auction management, and settlement. He continues to apply learnings from all aspects of high-stakes auctions to improve IAL's software and processes.

       

      M.S. in Computer Science, University of Erlangen

      M.S. in Management Science, Stanford University

      Peter Cramton

      Chief Economist

      Since 1983, Peter Cramton has conducted research on auction theory and practice, with a focus on the design of auctions for many related items. He has advised 12 governments and 36 bidders in spectrum auctions, co-invented the spectrum auction design used for auctions in Canada, Australia, and many European countries to auction 4G spectrum. He has led the development of innovative auctions in a wide range of applications, including electricity, gas, airport slots, wind rights, diamonds, medical equipment, and Internet top-level domains.

       

       

       

      B.S. in Engineering, Cornell University (1980)

      Ph.D. in Business, Stanford University (1984)

      Adeh DeSandies

      Software

      Adeh DeSandies is a software veteran with over 20 years of experience in the field. Since 2006, Adeh has led the development and customization of software for over 200 high-stakes auction projects around the world. He has designed user interfaces and refined interaction models for a wide range of auction designs including CCAs, SMRAs, Clock Auctions, and the new eSMRA format, as well as many custom designs. He has worked onsite with federal telecom regulators in countries as diverse as Finland, Australia, and Thailand, providing expert auction advice and realtime support during live auctions totaling billions in revenue.

       

      B.S. in Computer Science, Stanford University.

    • Team

      Our team includes more than 20 specialists familiar with a wide range of tasks related to high-stakes auctions, including auction software development and customization, quality assurance and testing, IT and security, auction management and support, onboarding, training, escrow, and settlement.

    • Contact Us

      Please get in touch.

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