ASmallWorld

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ASMALLWORLD AG
Type of businessPublic company
OwnerPatrick Liotard-Vogt (69%)
Alexander König (9%)
Founder(s)Erik Wachtmeister
Louise Wachtmeister
ChairmanPatrick Liotard-Vogt
CEOJan Luescher
IndustrySocial networking service
RevenueCHF 8.8 million (2018)
Total equityCHF 11 million
URLwww.asmallworld.com
LaunchedMarch 2004; 17 years ago (2004-03)

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.[1]

Membership[edit]

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.[2][3][4][5][6] 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.[7][8] 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).

Member services[edit]

ASmallWorld includes a communication platform and a service platform, for "a private international community of culturally influential people, connected by three degrees."[9][8] 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.[8] 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.[10]

Events[edit]

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.[11] The company also hosts summer events in Saint-Tropez, costing members €2,000-€4,000/person, and Marbella.[12]

History[edit]

In March 2004, Erik Wachtmeister and his wife, Louise Wachtmeister, founded ASmallWorld.[13]

It was dubbed "MySpace for millionaires" by The Wall Street Journal.[13]

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.[14]

By August 2005, the platform had 68,000 members.[15]

In May 2006, Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Company acquired a majority stake in the platform.[16] Other investors included former AOL COO Robert W. Pittman, film director Renny Harlin, and entrepreneur Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg.[17][18] 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.[18] After launching online advertising in 2006, the website had 100 partners. Advertisers included Jaguar Cars, Diane von Furstenberg, Mercedes-Benz, Cartier, and Moet & Chandon.[17]

In October 2009, Swiss entrepreneur and investor Patrick Liotard-Vogt purchased a controlling stake in ASMALLWORLD and became its chairman.[19] Sabine Heller became chief executive officer. At that time, membership was in excess of 500,000 members.[20][21]

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.[22]

In July 2012, the company launched a mobile app for iOS.[23] A mobile app for Android followed.[24]

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.[25][26] 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.[27][28]

In March 2013, it acquired World's Finest Club, which offers exclusive access to clubs worldwide.[29]

In April 2013, the company purged many members from its rolls, reducing its user base from 850,000 to 250,000 members.[30][10][31][7][32][33]

On March 20, 2018, ASMALLWORLD AG became a public company via an initial public offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange, raising CHF 18 million.[34][35][36]

In September 2018, the company acquired First Class & More International.[37]

In February 2019, the company acquired LuxuryBARED.[38]

In March 2019, ASW Hospitality became the property manager for the North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles, a Marriott International-branded hotel.[39] Dario Bertucci was named managing director of ASW Hospitality.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CHOOSE YOUR ASW MEMBERSHIP". ASmallWorld.
  2. ^ "Party animals". Page Six. New York Post. May 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "A Big Fish in a Small World". Global Citizen. July 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Denman, Selina (June 20, 2013). "The lady making A Small World smaller". The National (Abu Dhabi).
  5. ^ "Apply for Membership". Asmallworld.
  6. ^ "ASMALLWORLD – Travel, Lifestyle & Community". Asmallworld.
  7. ^ a b Crocker, Lizzie (May 15, 2013). "ASMALLWORLD Relaunches as a Travel Club for Premier Globetrotters". The Daily Beast.
  8. ^ a b c Simpson, Anne (2014). The Brand Strategist's Guide to Desire: How to give consumers what they actually want. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137351821. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Crampton, Thomas (August 28, 2005). "Join? Well, if you have to ask ...". The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b Constine, Josh (May 13, 2013). ""Myspace For Millionaires" ASMALLWORLD Pivots Into A $105 VIP Travel Club". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ "Perks of Living in 'ASmallWorld'". CNBC. June 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "ASMALLWORLD successfully hosted the sold-out ASW Summer Weekend in Saint-Tropez; announces Marbella as new flagship event" (Press release). Business Insider. May 28, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Ruiz, Nicola (May 2, 2008). "Five Social Networking Sites Of The Wealthy". Forbes.
  14. ^ Crittle, Simon (October 17, 2004). "Clubs for People Who Point and Clique". Time.
  15. ^ "Bin Laden in 'Hell'". Wired. August 1, 2005.
  16. ^ Cieply, Michael (April 12, 2007). "Films From the Weinsteins Falter, but the Brothers Stay Focused". The New York Times. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ a b La Ferla, Ruth (September 6, 2007). "A Facebook for the Few". The New York Times.
  18. ^ a b Aspan, Maria (May 22, 2006). "A Weinstein Will Invest In Exclusivity". The New York Times. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Swiss entrepreneur Patrick Liotard-Vogt buys shares of Bob and Harvey Weinstein in ASMALLWORLD and becomes the largest shareholder in the private online community" (Press release). Business Wire. October 14, 2009.
  20. ^ Bryant, Adam (January 16, 2014). "Sabine Heller of A Small World, on Teaching Yourself". The New York Times.
  21. ^ "The Social Networker". The Wall Street Journal. April 26, 2013.
  22. ^ Hilton, Perez (December 20, 2010). "Carey Mulligan Raises $95,000 To Fight Dementia!". Perez Hilton.
  23. ^ KERN, ELIZA (July 31, 2012). "ASmallWorld launches mobile app for invite-only social network". GigaOm.
  24. ^ "ASMALLWORLD - Apps on Google Play". Google Play.
  25. ^ Baigger, Katja (May 13, 2013). ""A Small World" wird noch kleiner" ["A Small World" is getting even smaller]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German).
  26. ^ "Tiger Woods ist schon weg: "Facebook für Reiche" mistet aus – Wirtschaft" [Tiger Woods is already gone "Facebook for the rich" mucked out]. Blick (in German). May 13, 2013.
  27. ^ Lipke, David (May 10, 2013). "A Small World Maps New Strategy". Women's Wear Daily.
  28. ^ ASMALLWORLD CEO Sabine Heller on CNBC. 4 June 2013 – via YouTube.
  29. ^ "ASMALLWORLD Announces Acquisition of the World's Finest Club" (Press release). Business Wire. March 8, 2013.
  30. ^ ""I have tits – give me free stuff": the WTF world of elite social networking". New Statesman. July 3, 2013.
  31. ^ Zeveloff, Julie (May 13, 2013). "Social Network For The Elite Is Getting Even More Exclusive". Business Insider.
  32. ^ "Asmallworld, a MySpace for millionaires, pivots to become social travel site". Skift. May 13, 2013.
  33. ^ Long, Natalie (May 11, 2013). "Sabine Heller: The world in her hands". Gulf News.
  34. ^ Miller, John (March 15, 2018). "ASMALLWORLD networking site to list 8.1 mln shares on Swiss bourse". Reuters.
  35. ^ "IPO season gets off to a successful start". SIX Swiss Exchange. March 20, 2018.
  36. ^ Mateu, Karin (March 27, 2017). "Strong Q1 on IPO market - including Switzerland" (PDF). Ernst & Young.
  37. ^ "BRIEF-Asmallworld Buys First Class & More International". Reuters. September 25, 2018.
  38. ^ "EQS-Adhoc: ASMALLWORLD AG: acquires LuxuryBARED, a travel booking platform specialised in luxury travel" (Press release). Business Insider. February 1, 2019.
  39. ^ "North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles". Hospitality Net. 5 March 2019.
  40. ^ "BRIEF-Asmallworld Names Dario Bertucci Managing Director Of ASW Hospitality". Reuters. March 8, 2019.

External links[edit]