|Type of business||Public company|
|Owner||Patrick Liotard-Vogt (69%)|
Alexander König (9%)
|Industry||Social networking service|
|Revenue||CHF 8.8 million (2018)|
|Total equity||CHF 11 million|
ASMALLWORLD (ASW) is a social networking service targeting jet set North Americans and Europeans who want to meet other travelers. The company operates a paid-subscription model, with 4 tiers of membership: €80/year, €390/lifetime, €5,200/year, and €21,950/year. Membership at the higher tiers includes miles from the frequent-flyer program of Etihad Airways and elite status at hotels.
The platform has an invitation system; membership requires an invitation from an existing member or approval by a membership committee. The company provides access to over 1,000 events per year in 150 cities worldwide, including wine tastings, art gallery openings, and weekend trips. Members also receive discounts and perks from Uber, designer brands, and luxury hotels, including some of those in The Leading Hotels of the World group. The company offers its members access to: First Class & More (luxury flight discounts), LuxuryBARED (luxury hotel bookings), The World’s Finest Clubs (nightclub access), and ASW Hospitality (luxury hotel management).
ASmallWorld includes a communication platform and a service platform, for "a private international community of culturally influential people, connected by three degrees." Members create user profiles and can use the online calendar and private messaging. The site also offers over 100 "city guides" written by its members detailing and rating restaurants, bars and nightclubs. To facilitate meetups, ASW’s site has a “Geolocator” tool, which allows users to post travel plans as well as browse and comment on the travel plans of other members. Members can also view upcoming ASW-hosted events in different cities. The website also offers members an online marketplace, employment website, networking and investment opportunities, rental property, and roommate search. Using the website’s Internet forums, members can exchange advice on travel and business, or converse.
Annually, in mid-December, over 200 members attend the Winter Weekend at the Gstaad Palace in Gstaad, Switzerland, where members can join in skiing, wine tastings, dinners, and black tie receptions. The company also hosts summer events in Saint-Tropez, costing members €2,000-€4,000/person, and Marbella.
To maintain its desired exclusivity, ASmallWorld, while initially free, was invitation-only, open only to those invited by an existing member. In October 2004, the platform had 30,000 users, mostly celebrities, models and bankers between 25 and 35 years old, living in Europe or North America.
By August 2005, the platform had 68,000 members.
In May 2006, Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Company acquired a majority stake in the platform. Other investors included former AOL COO Robert W. Pittman, film director Renny Harlin, and entrepreneur Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg. At the time, A Small World had approximately 130,000 members. Harvey Weinstein said his company planned to expand the site's membership and bring in additional advertisers. It was the Weinstein Company's first investment in an Internet company. After launching online advertising in 2006, the website had 100 partners. Advertisers included Jaguar Cars, Diane von Furstenberg, Mercedes-Benz, Cartier, and Moet & Chandon.
In October 2009, Swiss entrepreneur and investor Patrick Liotard-Vogt purchased a controlling stake in ASMALLWORLD and became its chairman. Sabine Heller became chief executive officer. At that time, membership was in excess of 500,000 members.
In December 2010, members donated €40,000 to a sex trafficking prevention charity run by Somaly Mam. At the 2012 Winter Weekend in Gstaad, members raised $95,000 for the Alzheimer's Society. Carey Mulligan, an Ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society, was present at the meeting.
In February 2013, ASmallWorld announced that as of March 1, 2013, it would not be accepting new members, citing an initiative to ensure the integrity of the community. The company changed its strategy to focus on a smaller network and more perks for its members. After temporarily shutting down, ASW relaunched in May 2013 with a membership model and an advertising-free experience for its members.
In March 2013, it acquired World's Finest Club, which offers exclusive access to clubs worldwide.
In September 2018, the company acquired First Class & More International.
In February 2019, the company acquired LuxuryBARED.
In March 2019, ASW Hospitality became the property manager for the North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles, a Marriott International-branded hotel. Dario Bertucci was named managing director of ASW Hospitality.
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