Qstay Hospitality Technologies Raises a $6.5 Million SEED Round

Dubai hospitality technology company QSTAY that is redefining the guest experience through technology and design has announced $6.5M SEED round to support its growth plans and expansion to global markets.

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DUBAI, Arab Emirates, July 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Qstay Hospitality Technologies (“Qstay” or the “Company”), a Dubai DIFC based next-generation hospitality company that is redefining the guest experience through technology and design, announced that they have recently closed on a SEED round of $6.5 million. Funding was a mix of debt and equity.

Qstay was officially launched in 2020 and was co-founded by a long-time UAE resident Artur Khayrullin, CO-CEO; Ukrainian born Ekaterina Rogozhina, CCO; Ukrainian American Alec Fesenko, CO-CEO and his wife Natalya Fesenko, the initial investor. Since its founding, Qstay has executed against its mission to transform the hospitality industry through modern, technology-powered service and inspiring, thoughtfully designed accommodations, combined into one seamlessly managed experience. Qstay currently operates close to 200 properties in the UAE and Europe, 200 more are signed and expects to have 450 revenue generating units by the end of 2022.

Qstay operates as a virtual hotel brand which provides luxury hotel-like services and amenities such as bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, bathroom amenities, tea, Starbucks coffee, additionally Qstay provides digital app-based access to nearby pools, beaches, gyms and spas for its guests staying in beachfront properties.

Qstay holds coveted Superhost status and higher ratings on Airbnb than its competitors and that translates into exceptional occupancy rate which is now consistently above 80% and an outstanding REVPAR of $195, which is well above the competition. Qstay has had positive EBITDA for the last two quarters and projects to be Net Income positive in Q4 2022, only in the second year of operation.

Company’s revenue has been growing at rate of over 100% quarter over quarter and Qstay expects its portfolio to grow to over 600 units and to achieve revenue of $50 million in 2023.

Qstay founder and CO-CEO Artur Khayrullin says the capital will be used to “accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen so far,” and the concept plans to expand to at least five cities across Europe and the Middle East the next 12 months.

“Driven by QSTAY’s differentiated digital service model, the Company can reduce operating costs by as much as 50% compared to traditional hotels. Through innovative technology, additional digital services such as mobile-based access to the facilities of top beach resorts and thoughtfully designed accommodations, QSTAY is revolutionizing the hospitality industry,” says Artur Khayrullin. “With one of a kind modernized service, our guests experience an uncompromising quality with inspiring design at a price point that democratizes access to an extraordinary hospitality experience.”

The company leases large groups of units in the top locations, upgrades and furnishes them to the consistent luxury standard and supports them with the extensive luxury hotel-like services and amenities, providing guests with exceptionally designed accommodations at affordable prices on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis.

The company also offers text-enabled around-the-clock concierge service, and confirms that while it doesn’t own any of its units, all of them “are directly leased and managed by Qstay.”

“Our raise underscores the strength of the business and the rapid shift taking place within the hospitality industry due to technological innovations. Our vision for travel is making beautiful, well-designed spaces accessible to everyone with technology, while providing exceptional mobile app-based add-on services,” said Alec Fesenko, co-founder and CO-CEO. “We are far more efficient than traditional hotels while also providing a unique space and add-on services that are flexible enough to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you’re traveling on your own, for business, with your family or with friends, you will always have a space that can accommodate you.”

Currently Qstay is developing a differentiated, tech-driven platform that will provide seamless booking, digital concierge and a unified, on-demand platform for maintenance and service.

This raise will provide Qstay with additional capital to accelerate and supercharge Qstay’s vision.

Qstay plans to further capitalize on opportunities within the growing $800+ billion global lodging market and strengthen its position as a differentiated, rapidly growing innovator in the hospitality industry. Over the next few years, Qstay plans to continue investing in technology and expanding its footprint and product offering to drive an unparalleled guest experience, while also delivering even greater value to its investors, real estate partners and guests.

Press contact: artur@qstay.ae

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2 Children in US Have Monkeypox, Officials Say

Two children have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the U.S., health officials said Friday.
One is a toddler in California and the other an infant who is not a U.S. resident but was tested while in Washington, D.C., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The children were described as being in good health and receiving treatment. How they caught the disease is being investigated, but officials think it was through household transmission.
Other details weren’t immediately disclosed.
Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa, but this year more than 15,000 cases have been reported in countries that historically don’t see the disease. In the U.S. and Europe, most infections have happened in men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.
In addition to the two pediatric cases, health officials said they were aware of at least eight women among the more than 2,800 U.S. cases reported so far.
While the virus has mostly been spreading among men who have sex with men, “I don’t think it’s surprising that we are occasionally going to see cases” outside that social network, the CDC’s Jennifer McQuiston told reporters Friday.
Officials have said the virus can spread through close personal contact, and via towels and bedding. That means it can happen in homes, likely through prolonged or intensive contact, said Dr. James Lawler, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
“People don’t crawl on each other’s beds unless they are living in the same house or family,” he said.
In Europe, there have been at least six monkeypox cases among kids 17 years old and younger.
This week, doctors in the Netherlands published a report of a boy who was seen at an Amsterdam hospital with about 20 red-brown bumps scattered across his body. It was monkeypox, and doctors said they could not determine how he got it.
In Africa, monkeypox infections in children have been more common, and doctors have noted higher proportions of severe cases and deaths in young children.
One reason may be that many older adults were vaccinated against smallpox as kids, likely giving them some protection against the related monkeypox virus, Lawler said.
Smallpox vaccinations were discontinued when the disease was eradicated about 40 years ago.

Source: Voice of America

Monkeypox Declared Global Health Emergency

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus used his authority Saturday to declare Monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. The action comes after an Emergency Committee convened to review the situation was unable to reach consensus.
When the Emergency Committee last met a month ago, more than 3,000 cases of monkeypox in 47 countries had been reported to the WHO. Since then, the outbreak has grown, with more than 16,000 cases reported in 75 countries. Five deaths from the disease also have been reported.

As happened the last time it met, the committee again was unable to reach consensus on whether monkeypox posed a global health threat. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says he has evaluated the information under consideration and has determined there is a clear risk of further international spread of the disease.
“So, in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations,” said Tedros. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”
Tedros says the WHO believes monkeypox poses a moderate risk globally and in all regions, except in the European region, where it assesses the risk as high. Although there is a potential for further international spread, he says the danger of interference with international traffic remains low for now.
The monkeypox virus is spread from person to person through close bodily contact. For now, the outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.
Since the outbreak is largely contained in one group, Tedros says monkeypox can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.
“It is therefore essential that all countries work closely with communities of men who have sex with men, to design and deliver effective information and services, and to adopt measures that protect the health, human rights, and dignity of affected communities,” he said. “Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus.”
Tedros says the necessary tools for tackling the outbreak are available. However, he adds the world must act together. It must act in coordination and solidarity to bring the monkeypox virus under control and prevent it from gaining a foothold in the countries where it is found.

Source: Voice of America

Due to Popular Demand, bitcoinblack Opens Membership Waitlist for No-Limit Crypto Credit Card

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MIAMI, July 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The bitcoinblack community, which is limited to 10,000 members globally, today announces it is taking applications for their waitlist. According to company executives, the move is in response to growing demand from community members eager to become an exclusive bitcoinblack credit card holder.

bitcoinblack members all receive the world’s only no-limit, all-metal, black crypto credit card. Exclusive membership benefits also include access to the bitcoinblack mansion located in Turks & Caicos, private jet bookings, admission to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide, and usage of the bitcoinblack crypto exchange. Members also have the ability to earn bitcoinblack’s official reward token known as SPEND ($SPND), which can be redeemed for admission to some of the world’s most luxurious private events curated by Haute Living Magazine.

Seasoned crypto investor and bitcoinblack CEO, Prakash Chand, said, “The rollout of applications for the waitlist is a really important step in building the bitcoinblack community, which ultimately will have an intimate membership of VIPs globally.”

bitcoinblack also announced a partnership with Haute Living to create the Haute Living Luxury Marketplace, which will launch on Sept. 15, 2022. bitcoinblack members will be able to redeem their SPEND tokens for one-of-a-kind premium rewards and experiences available in the marketplace.

The marketplace will be exclusive to bitcoinblack members and will include limited edition luxury cars, watches and clothing in addition to Haute Living events not available anywhere else.

“Our community is very excited about the marketplace and the exclusive ‘once-in-a-lifetime’-type experiences that they will have the ability to access with their SPEND tokens,” said Kamal Hotchandani, Chief Luxury Officer of bitcoinblack and Founder of Haute Living. “Members know from our reputation that they can expect the best in premium events and other luxe rewards.”

Now that the waitlist is open, anyone interested in joining the bitcoinblack waitlist can do so via bitcoinblackcreditcard.com. Applicants who are referrals from an existing member will receive priority.

About bitcoinblack

bitcoinblack is the world’s most exclusive crypto-powered black credit card. Backed by the cardholder’s bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, bitcoinblack opens up a world of freedom and luxury that includes high-limit purchases and opulent members-only rewards powered by the $SPND token.

Contact:

Mark Cadiz
(647) 982-4175
sales@bitcoinblackcreditcard.com

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Satellite Intelligence Company Astraea Secures $6.5M Series A Funding

Oversubscribed Round Led by Aligned Climate Capital and Carbon Drawdown Collective

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Astraea, Inc. (Astraea), a satellite intelligence company, today closed an oversubscribed $6.5 million Series A round led by Aligned Climate Capital and Carbon Drawdown Collective with participation from CAV Angels, Tydall Investment Partners, and existing investor University of Virginia (UVA) Seed Fund.

Astraea’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, EarthAI, leverages geospatial data from more than 1,000 satellites to address climate change. Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing technologies, Astraea enables customers to rapidly and cost-effectively access and operationalize satellite insights across multiple industries, including clean energy, agriculture, conservation, carbon finance, and real estate.

“We are grateful to have Aligned Climate Capital and Carbon Drawdown Collective as partners in this next phase of scaling our business,” said Brendan Richardson, CEO of Astraea. “They both recognize the incredible potential for satellite data and analytics to vastly accelerate the energy transition and decarbonize at scale. We couldn’t be more excited to continue this work with their support.”

Aligned Climate Capital, an asset manager focused exclusively on companies and real assets that are decarbonizing the economy, invested $3 million in the Series A round.

“We know firsthand that satellite imagery can be a powerful platform for managing renewable energy assets and other decarbonization projects,” said Peter Davidson, CEO of Aligned Climate Capital. “Astraea’s software platform makes it easy to find new project sites, monitor construction projects, and manage existing assets.”

Astraea’s platform has already been put to use by industry-leading agriculture companies and conservation organizations to promote sustainable land use, develop solar power infrastructure, and monitor carbon offset projects among thousands of use cases.

“Congratulations to the entire Astraea team on closing this round,” said Bob Creeden, UVA Seed Fund managing director. “It has been a thrill to witness the growth of the company and its truly unique product. We look forward to continuing our support and watching Astraea grow and be successful in the future.”

Astraea will use the proceeds from this raise to support business development, hire data scientists, and expand commercial partnerships with satellite data providers.

PRESS CONTACT
Shannon Tevendale
Stevendale@astraea.io
About Astraea 
Astraea was founded in 2016 as a for-profit Benefit Corporation located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Astraea’s cloud-native platform EarthAI provides the tools and infrastructure required to build production-level analytics on satellite, aerial, and drone imagery. By eliminating common barriers to processing this valuable resource, Astraea is enabling individuals and organizations to access, analyze, and unlock actionable insights from petabytes of Earth-observing data at a fraction of the cost and complexity previously required.
Astraea: See the Earth as it could be.
https://astraea.earth

About Aligned Climate Capital 
Aligned Climate Capital LLC is an asset manager investing exclusively in the people, companies, and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy. Founded in 2019, Aligned is a dynamic and mission-driven firm managing more than $1.8 billion in assets that believes solving climate change is a unique opportunity to generate strong financial returns while also achieving meaningful environmental and social impact. Aligned’s senior leadership has been at the forefront of mobilizing private capital to solve climate change for more than a decade, having held senior positions in asset management and government service.
https://www.alignedclimatecapital.com

About Carbon Drawdown Collective 
The Carbon Drawdown Collective was formed to scale up the deployment of climate solutions. CDC collaborates with partners in the private and non-profit sectors to fund a diverse portfolio of companies, organizations and initiatives.

About CAV Angels 
CAV Angels strives to catalyze UVA alumni’s engagement in burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystems and mobilize the highest levels of investment in the most promising early-stage companies through tailored educational programming, hands-on student engagement, and curated access to robust and proprietary deal flow.

About University of Virginia Licensing & Ventures Group 
University of Virginia Licensing & Ventures Group (UVA LVG) is the intellectual property management and innovation commercialization organization for the University’s research portfolio. Created in 2016, the UVA LVG Seed Fund invests in companies that have been founded to commercialize UVA intellectual property. The fund aligns with one of the strategic goals of President Jim Ryan in striving to be “both great and good” by maximizing the economic impact of UVA discoveries and improving lives at the University and around the world.
https://lvg.virginia.edu/funding/uva-lvg-seed-fund

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Astraea Series-A Press Release – FINAL.pdf

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