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Author Topic: Nocturus - hotel booking on the blockchain  (Read 152 times)
Nocturus
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March 01, 2018, 10:13:35 AM
 #1

Hi guys,

Just wanted to drop by an let you know about our ICO. Our company name is Nocturus, and we're block chain based middleware for hotel booking. We know there are  a couple of other companies in this space, but we think we're a lot different from them.

When we look at the competition, they're all young tech guys with a few marketing people thrown in for good measure. That's great I guess, and God knows we love tech guys, but the hotel industry is just not a tech industry.  At Nocturus we know you can't just build cool software and expect a stodgy old industry like hospitality to hop on board. You have to understand the industry, and you have to build software that fits in with how they do business and integrates with systems they understand. And you have to have enough industry cred to talk to hotel managers and corporate guys and convince them that what you're doing is going to increase their profits and not disrupt their business.

That's why our CEO is a hotel guy with 25 years in the industry who worked his way up from on-the-ground hotel management to managing revenue growth for the Latin America region of IHG (the largest hotel chain in the world). He has the business knowledge to help us design systems hotels want to use, and the industry connections to get those systems into hotels.  Thanks to him we already have agreements with Marriott and Hilton to run our pilot in their hotels, and more partnerships on the way.

Of course, our tech team isn't shabby either. Our CTO has 20 years experience working with startups in the US and China, and a CS PhD from UCLA.  In fact, we like to think of ourselves as a "mini-Google" because at least 1/3 of our engineers have PhD degrees. (We even used to have the free massages until the #metoo movement came around and we made our CEO stop giving them... Grin

And as sort of a cherry on top, our CFO is a CPA who left a job in strategic planning at a multi-billion dollar company to work with us, because we think if you plan to make money, you should have someone who knows what to do with it. (Other than keeping it in a box under the breakroom sink, which was our previous financial strategy.)

Our tech is pretty different as well.  We understand things like you can't build a booking middleware that handles millions of transactions a day on a blockchain network that gets bogged down by virtual cat games, and that when $100 goes into escrow and $50 comes out, companies get a bit unhappy, so our system design is not like our competitors.

Anyway, we have a website (https://www.nocturus.com) and a white paper (on the aformentioned website).  Come take a look. We've been self-funded and running under the radar until now, but we're at the point where we need to do some marketing, scale our team up a bit, and pay for some deployments, so we decided to ICO.  The details are on the website, but we're at the Pre-ICO stage now, with a 50% token bonus.

Sincerely,
Your Friends at Nocturus

p.s. Oh, one last thing.  We're incorporated in the US, with our main office in Miami and our development office in Suzhou, China (25 minutes from Shanghai). Because of this, we're crazy careful about the legal stuff (little known fact: CPAs love lawyers).  We're fully KYC/AML compliant and selling our token as a joint SEC Reg S/Rule 506(c) exempt unregistered offering. This doesn't affect foreign buyers much (see our site for details) but it limits US buyers to accredited investors. We know this is inconvenient, and we apologize. But with the current regulatory winds blowing the way they are, and the fact that the SEC can claim jurisdition over a sale for a very wide range of reasons, everyone should ask themselves do they really feel safe buying a token from a company that could be shutdown by the long, long arm of the SEC?

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March 01, 2018, 10:41:48 AM
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The project is impressive and the team seems to have a lot of talent and experience in that field. I will follow you closely to see how it evolves.
Nocturus
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March 02, 2018, 11:30:59 AM
 #3

Thanks!  I appreciate your vote of confidence. We have good people and we're going to work hard to make this happen.

If anyone has any questions, thoughts, or advice, we're happy to listen. We're new to this ICO marketing thing.

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March 02, 2018, 11:36:38 AM
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i think that this is not the first ico based on blockchain for hotels but i saw you are going to bring a lot off experience in so i absolutely will chech from time to time
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March 03, 2018, 01:28:06 PM
 #5

Yes, there are a couple of companies in the space, but (not to be too harsh) from a technical perspective, I don't believe they're viable.  They're all based on Ethereum, which is a great technology, but not something you can use for a project of this scale or with these technical requirements.  I've got a nice video about this on Youtube, if anyone likes these kinds of things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNqqp_mSW_A&t=25s  .  Sorry it's a bit long, but I like to listen to myself talk. It's a terrible habit from being an academic ;->

And you're right, our industry experience is the biggest difference. I didn't know much about the hospitality industry before we started this, but I've learned from Eric that it's kind of an old fashioned industry.  Most of the corporate guys start as assistant managers or something similar and work their way up.  They build a lot of close ties with people they started out with.  Eric (our CEO) is just a super friendly guy.  Every time we need something, he's got a friend somewhere who can help. He literally went out for beers with some guys one Friday and got us partnerships to run our pilot in Doubletree's and Ritz-Carlton's in the US.   I've been worried about partnerships since we started this, but we're having to turn people away, because we don't want to over-commit. (Our dev team is in China and we don't have a deployment team in the US yet, which is the biggest thing ICO money would help with. Our engineers here are great, but they're way cheaper than US people.  Hiring a US team would kill our current dev budget.)   The only one I really want at this point is these Hyatt China guys I'm talking with tomorrow.  Having a hotel partner here in China for testing before we move to the US would make the logistics much simpler.

Anyway, thanks for being so positive about our project.  You know it's hard running a startup.  Very stressful and I've been working 12 hour days with no breaks for a couple of months now.  Having people appreciate our work makes it a lot easier to keep pushing forward.
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March 04, 2018, 09:26:30 AM
 #6

Any thoughts on whether or not any of these ICO lists are useful?  If so, which ones?  It's hard to dig through and see which people actually follow.
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March 05, 2018, 11:41:05 AM
 #7

Hi guys,

Well, it's been a hectic couple of days for me, full up ups and downs. I met yesterday with a couple of the owners of the Suzhou Hyatt Regency to talk business over lunch (Chinese style).  To our surprise, they brought along an attorney from the Suzhou government and a very nice woman (Sophie) from a financial services company that handles a lot of Chinese IPOs.

The food was great, and everyone was very enthusiastic about Nocturus.  We walked away with a 3 year no tax deal for our Suzhou development arm, a promise of a substantial investment from the Suzhou government through their tech startup grant program,  and a follow-up meeting with Sophie and some local investors who are interested in our space.  Unfortunately we didn't get what we really wanted, which was a firm commitment from the Regency to partner with us for our pilot program.  They liked the numbers, but they had too many concerns about giving us access to their customer data.  I guess you win some and you lose some.

Fast forward (a wee bit) to today. Out of the blue one of our early investors messages me on Wechat (Chinese messaging software) and sends me the contact card for the sales manager at the Suzhou Renaissance Hotel (5 star Marriott property. 20 floors 350 rooms). I chat with him a bit, tell him what we do and what we're looking for.  "No problem," he says, and invites me up to talk with his GM.  A few beers later and we have our first hotel partner in China.

I really can't say how happy this makes me.  As most of you know, we're a US company, but our development team is in Suzhou, China.  Having a local hotel partner is huge for us. It gets us into the Chinese market, and it gives us a local venue to run our pilot before we deploy in the US.  This is just so important because we can deploy here early and have a quick turn around time on any issues we find. Plus, while we have solid partnerships with Doubletree and Ritz Carlton in the US, this carries less weight in China.  Having such a high profile partner here makes finding other partnerships in China so much easier.

I have to say, it's been a good week and it's only Monday.  And it's only starting.  Eric and I both have a full schedule of meetings this week with potential partners and investors.  We've got some really great things lined up, which I can't talk about until we "seal the deal", but I'm pretty excited. 

Oh, before I forget, I posted video tutorials for how to install Metamask and how to purchase tokens using our sale contract. You can see the videos on our ICO info page.  Just scroll down to the bottom for the links.  

Also, we had a conference all this morning, and we've decide that since this is Pre-ICO, we'd be willing to special treatment to coin purchasers who are interested in investing substantial amounts.  So if this is you, just e-mail me and let's talk. We have a great team, great software, and and we're closing deals right and left, but honestly, we need a cash infusion for advertising to get our ICO rolling and we're willing to make a deal to make that happen.  It's not cheap and we don't want to spend our development budget on it.

Anyway, that's all for now.  I don't want to spam you guys, so I'll try to save up a bit before the next message. 

Chuck

CTO

Nocturus Corporation 
Nocturus
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March 08, 2018, 01:28:40 PM
 #8

Hi guys,

We're looking for a good ICO marketing person.  We've got a great team, and a great space and we're looking for someone who can help us get the word out. 

Chuck
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March 13, 2018, 03:32:02 AM
 #9

Hi guys,

Just wanted to make a couple of announcements. We just received significant private funding from a Chinese block chain investment company, and we're going to be cutting our Pre-ICO short. Technically we've exceeded our Pre-ICO goals, but because the investment is in RMB, which is non-convertible, we can only use it in our Suzhou office for development costs.  Accordingly, we're still going to raise a bit of ETH/convertible currency to fund our marketing campaign and legal costs, but not as much as we originally planned. 

Second, we've made great progress on the development side and have our Hyperledger Fabric blockchain up and running in the cloud right now.  We're going to be putting up a live demo that lets you interact with the network exactly like a hotel or travel agency would.  We're also happy to announce a new product, our direct hotel-to-customer Android and iOS apps.  With these apps, customers can buy directly from hotel, bypassing all commissions and fees, via the Nocturus blockchain network.  This is something we don't discuss in our white paper, and we weren't even sure it would work, but we wrote it, and it works great.  We'll have links to all these things up on our website in a week or so.

Thanks for reading!
Chuck
CTO
Nocturus Corporation
https://www.nocturus.com
stu greenwood
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March 19, 2018, 05:35:55 PM
 #10

any news on the live demo?
Nocturus
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March 27, 2018, 02:52:44 AM
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Sorry for the slow reply guys.  I've been on travel for last week or so.  The jetlag from China is killer.

Our demo is a bit off schedule, but should be out this week.  We joined the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, which gives us free access to the IBM cloud platform.  The down side is we had to rewrite our code from Go to Javascript, because that's the only language the IBM Composer tool chain supports.  This took a bit of time.  I'll post an update when it goes live.

Some other updates:

- We just moved our dev offices here in Suzhou.  Our old offices were free, as part of a Suzhou government tech startup program, and they were decent but way outside the city and a difficult commute.  The new office is much closer to the subway line.  This will make it much easier to recruit and meet with partners.   (Putting some of our RMB investment to use!)

- We've been featured in a recent story on HowToToken about the future of block chain in hotels: https://howtotoken.com/explained/blockchain-transforms-hotel-booking-into-a-walk-in-experience/

- We've updated our Team list with LinkedIn profiles for everyone.  There are still a few stragglers who need to update their employer to Nocturus, but for the most part it's complete.

- We're going to co-sponsor a Blockchain conference here in Suzhou (about 25 minutes from Shanghai).  We'll be hosting it at XJTLU, and it will be a hybrid conference with company exhibitions and an academic research track as well.  Shanghai/Suzhou, and China in general, has a HUGE [Suspicious link removed]munity, so we expect a big turnout.  I'll post links to the conference site as soon as it's up.  (Note: this conference will be about blockchain technology in general, but will not be a venue for ICO marketing due to Chinese regulations.  ICO companies are welcome to come talk about their technology, but shouldn't offer sales materials. Of course, what you talk about over dinner after the conference is up to you.)

Chuck
CTO
Nocturus Corporation
https://www.nocturus.com
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