The app that puts a festival in your living room

Special WOLF’s model revolves around gifts and reputation credits. The platform also has a store where users can buy games and charms to take into rooms. (Supplied)
WOLF’s model revolves around gifts and reputation credits. The platform also has a store where users can buy games and charms to take into rooms. (Supplied)
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Updated 23 May 2022

The app that puts a festival in your living room

WOLF’s model revolves around gifts and reputation credits.  (Supplied)
  • WOLF offers women the opportunity to create and explore things that were previously unattainable for them

DUBAI: The World’s Online Festival is a platform that aims to put a party in your living room. Its interactive app allows users to enter its virtual music festivals whenever they choose to take in singers, poets, comedians, musicians and DJs. Users can become more involved by producing an event, or simply hang out as a fan.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, WOLF CEO Gary Knight said that the platform offers women the opportunity to create and explore things that were previously unattainable for them. Its events also offer after-show gatherings where users can send texts, images, and audio messages.




Since it was launched, WOLF platform has reached 2.7 million users. (Supplied)

Knight added that WOLF originally started life as Palringo, a messaging platform in the Gulf Cooperation Council region that was founded more than ten years ago.

FASTFACTS

• The business also runs a WOLFStars program where producers and performers put together their own gigs and can compete against each other to win competitions and cash rewards.

• Users can become a producer or festival owner, which allows them to create their own room, put on their own artists and promote them to fans, says the CEO.

• Gary Knight says this program has 70 percent female performers and 58 percent female audience members.

The WOLF boss said: “The service developed from let’s bring people together, to let’s bring people together through performance and entertainment. We wanted to provide a unique experience between the users performing and the crowd, to make sure everyone is part of this thing.”

WOLFStars program
The business also runs a WOLFStars program where producers and performers put together their own gigs and can compete against each other to win competitions and cash rewards.
He added users can become a producer or festival owner, which allows them to create their own room, put on their own artists and promote them to fans.
Knight said this program has 70 percent female performers and 58 percent female audience members.

He added the app is proud to “provide a safe and secure environment where women can go to perform and be a full part of the whole ecosystem.”

The service developed from let’s bring people together, to let’s bring people together through performance and entertainment. We wanted to provide a unique experience between the users performing and the crowd, to make sure everyone is part of this thing.

Gary Knight, WOLF CEO

Knight said the program allows performers to learn directly from their performances, because they can log into a virtual event every day, rather than attending a live music festival once or twice a year.
Knight pointed out that because it is not easy to go to music festivals in the Middle East, people are more likely to attend online festivals because they are more accessible.
WOLF’s chat rooms feature two-dimensional stages, which bring chat and interaction alongside entertainment.
The app head said ultimately the goal of the firm is to create a metaverse with a more three-dimensional environment.

Way forward
Knight said the business is also working on giving users the option of recording, editing, and sharing clips of performances. He said that toward the end of this year, the company will launch WOLF VR, which will allow users to look around chat rooms using virtual reality headsets.
He added: “By the end of the year, you’ll be able to put your headset on and be on stage and perform.”
Knight pointed out that after launching Palringo on the app store in 2008, he and his team saw a significant growth of the service in the Middle East and North Africa. That gave them the idea to do more in the region.
He launched WOLF two years ago and since then he says the app has reached 2.7 million users.
Knight added that maintaining the firm’s existing community after rebranding was a challenge.
“There was always a threat when you change something quite dramatically and rebrand and relaunch that it might not be something that fits your unique audience,” he added.
WOLF’s business model revolves around rewards, gifts, and reputation credits. The platform also has a store where users can buy games and charms to take into rooms. It also sells premium group accounts, with extra features such as free charms and ways to boost your group’s reputation.
“If you do well, or you do things well in the app, then you can get rewarded and gifted by other users,” he added.
The app boss said the firm has doubled its revenue over the last two years and will continue to do so this year.
Knight added that further investment is likely to come from backers in the region, and the company is currently in discussions about raising further finance.


Oil Updates — Crude edges up; Japan raises gasoline subsidy; Venezuela to aid the reconstruction of damaged Cuban port

Oil Updates — Crude edges up; Japan raises gasoline subsidy; Venezuela to aid the reconstruction of damaged Cuban port
Updated 13 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude edges up; Japan raises gasoline subsidy; Venezuela to aid the reconstruction of damaged Cuban port

Oil Updates — Crude edges up; Japan raises gasoline subsidy; Venezuela to aid the reconstruction of damaged Cuban port

RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, recovering from six-month lows hit the previous day, as a larger-than-expected drop in US oil and gasoline stocks reminded investors that demand remains firm, if overshadowed by the prospect of a global recession.

Brent crude futures rose 56 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $92.90 a barrel by 0415 GMT. 

West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 62 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $87.15 a barrel.

The contracts slumped about 3 percent on Tuesday as weak US housing starts data spurred concerns about a potential global recession.

Japan raises gasoline subsidy for oil distributors

Japan raised its gasoline subsidy for oil distributors to 33.8 yen (25.2 cents) a liter for the seven days from Thursday, compared with 31.4 yen a week earlier, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

The temporary subsidy program was adopted in January to cushion a blow from high crude prices because of tight global supplies, while the Ukraine conflict that began on Feb. 24 added further pressure.

Venezuela to support reconstruction of Cuban port damaged by oil fire

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday that Venezuela would support Cuba in the reconstruction of its only supertanker port in Matanzas, which was partially destroyed by a fire after lightning struck one of its crude tanks.

Cuba has long relied on the 2.4 million-barrel Matanzas terminal, about 130 km from Havana, for most imports and storage of crude and heavy fuel oil.

Maduro directed Venezuela’s oil minister and the president of state-run PDVSA to get in touch with the corresponding Cuban authorities “to begin the design of the reconstruction of the supertanker yard,” he said in a speech honoring the Venezuelan firefighters sent to combat the blaze.

Mexico also sent personnel to put out the fire.

“We are going to design where it will be built, where the loading yard will be and begin the construction,” Maduro said.

Australia’s Santos approves $2.6bn Alaska oil project

Santos Ltd. said on Wednesday it will move ahead in developing a $2.6 billion Alaskan oil project, a surprise decision for the market that drove its shares down despite the Australian energy producer posting a record first-half profit.

The company also said it was in advanced talks with shortlisted parties to sell a 5 percent stake in its prized asset, PNG LNG in Papua New Guinea, and reap an estimated $1.5 billion, which analysts expect will be used to fund the Pikka project in Alaska.

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher said Pikka, co-owned by Spain’s Repsol SA, was “the right project at the right time in the right location,” forecasting a strong 19 percent internal rate of return based on an oil price of $60 a barrel.

“Low-carbon oil projects like Pikka Phase 1 respond to new demand for OECD supply and are critical for global and United States energy security that has been highlighted since the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Gallagher said in a statement.

Analysts had thought Santos would sell its 51 percent stake in Pikka rather than go ahead with the 80,000 barrels per day project as it has its hands full working on a major gas project and potential oil development in Australia.

However, Santos said on Wednesday the oil development in Australia, Dorado, would not go ahead this year due to inflationary pressures and supply chain uncertainty.

Shell to shut Gulf of Mexico crude pipes for 2 weeks

Shell on Tuesday said it plans to shut for two weeks in September a key crude oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico that supplies oil to Louisiana refineries.

The Odyssey and Delta crude pipelines in September will be shut for planned maintenance early-to-mid September, Shell said in a statement.

The pipelines transport Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude from offshore oilfields and switching to other pipelines is not an option, Shell added.

The Odyssey pipeline in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has 220,000 barrels per day capacity and is connected to the Delta pipeline with deliveries into terminals in Louisiana and to Shell’s Norco refinery, according to the company’s website.

(With input from Reuters) 


Saudi insurers report improved first-half profits on lower claims

Saudi insurers report improved first-half profits on lower claims
Updated 7 min 19 sec ago

Saudi insurers report improved first-half profits on lower claims

Saudi insurers report improved first-half profits on lower claims

RIYADH: Major Saudi-listed insurers released first-half earnings results on Wednesday, with three reporting improved profits due to lower claims.

Alinma Tokio Marine Co. turned in a profit of SR2.4 million ($639,339) in the first half of 2022, erasing over SR3.2 million in losses from the first half of 2021, according to a bourse filing.

Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. managed to narrow its losses by 53 percent to SR14 million, while Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. narrowed its losses by 50 percent to SR31 million.

Meanwhile, Wataniya Insurance saw its losses increase by 44 percent to SR37 million in the first half of 2022, bucking the trend, owing to a decrease in net underwriting income.


Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns
Updated 31 min 53 sec ago

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

RIYADH: Al Jouf Cement Co., a Saudi-based cement producer, has appointed Abdul Karim Al-Nuhair as its new CEO effective Aug. 21, according to a bourse filing.

Al-Nuhair will replace previous CEO Jamal bin Salem Al-Amer, who resigned on Aug. 16 to continue serving the company as president ex-executive advisor.  

Prior to joining Al Jouf, Al-Nuhair held several leadership positions in joint-stock companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.


ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal for 1,500MW wind project in Uzbekistan

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal for 1,500MW wind project in Uzbekistan
Updated 15 min 58 sec ago

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal for 1,500MW wind project in Uzbekistan

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal for 1,500MW wind project in Uzbekistan

RIYADH: ACWA Power Co. said it will sign today a $2.4 billion deal with the government of Uzbekistan for a 1,500-megawatt wind project, a bourse filing revealed.

“This project would be the biggest single site onshore wind project in the region and the world and will contribute 19 percent to Uzbekistan’s overall renewable energy goals,” the PIF-owned energy giant said in a bourse filing.

To be located in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, the facility seeks to power 1.65 million households and offset 2.4 million tons of carbon emissions per year.

Expected to achieve a financial close by the end of 2023, the project is likely to be fully commissioned by the first quarter of 2026.

The agreement duration is 25 years and will be signed with the Uzbekistani Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Investment & Foreign Trade.


Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya
Updated 40 min 21 sec ago

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

RIYADH: Wataniya Insurance Co. has won an SR53.6 million ($14 million) deal to provide insurance coverage to NEOM’s tunnel infrastructure, one of the world’s largest transportation and infrastructure projects.

The Saudi-listed firm said in a bourse filing that the Contractors’ All Risk insurance contract was awarded by Samsung C&T Corp. Saudi Arabia.

In a separate filing, the insurer reported that its losses widened by 44 percent to SR37 million in the first half of 2022, as it incurred higher claims of SR199 million.