COVID-19 is forcing a paradigm shift in the way we do business and pleasure. Industries and individual businesses that cannot shift gears on the fly are certain to drop into the dead pool now. One example of this amplified business dynamism is XpresSpa Group, headed by former Joe Coffee CEO Doug Satzman.
XpresSpa Group, was about to go into the tank on account of COVID-19 its core business being deemed non-essential. The company had been the leading airport spa entity headed for huge success, when BOOM! A pandemic cut off spa bookings completely. Undaunted, Satzman, his team, and the investors backing the company pressed forward with true innovation. Now get this.
Satzman moved to transform the world’s biggest airport spa company into the world’s biggest airport coronavirus testing company. The former Starbucks VP guru scraped up $48 million bucks from equity and receipts to invest in transforming the company’s XpresCheck brand into COVID-19 testing sites.
The first airport to adopt Satzman’s testing centers was JFK International Airport on June 22nd. Last month Satzman conveyed the good news via the company’s press release:
“We are thrilled that our pilot COVID-19 testing has launched at JFK International Airport in our new modular constructed testing facility in the Arrivals Hall at Terminal 4. We also remain in active discussions with other U.S. airports regarding the potential roll out of this concept.”
Back in June, XpresSpa Group inked a partnership with HyperPointe™ to design a workflow capability to potentially test thousands of people each week as well as collect and organize confidential patient data to be used to study and help better understand the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Then on June 22, 2020, the Satzman’S company launched the XpresCheck pilot program at JFK.
Today, the company is in talks with a number of U.S. airports to open new testing centers or convert existing spas. Next, I expect Satzman to get another series of funding to expand XpresCheck to the rest of the world.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, XpresSpa served almost one million air travelers each year at its locations in the United States, Holland, and the United Arab Emirates. Unless XpresSpa competitors step up with a few hundred million, Satzman and his partners could become the world’s first COVID-19 billionaires when Eurupe, Asia, and Latin American airports jump aboard. If you think I am crazy, consider this.
Yesterday I wrote a report about the WTTC suggesting for all countries to install COVID-19 test facilities in airports. Within a few hours, this story received thousands of visits from Reddit and other sources tied to people with interests in the XSPA stock. Most of the watercooler investment talk was positive, or a “buy order” for a great many market investors who read the back channels. Based on the NASDAQ for XSPA, it looks like some investors are paying attention.
Fast thinking and acting, extraordinary flexibility, and backers who understand the new normal of business, this is what it’s going to take to get ahead in the future. The digital age promised us that “business as usual” would not do. Now, a worldwide crisis reminds us in more certain terms, we have to innovate or perish. I’ll be watching closely now, XpresSpa Group AND XpresCheck.