Fortress Investment Group partnered up in July 2018 with iPass, a provider of connectivity options throughout the world. The total amount of funding offered is at $20 million, of which half was immediately available to iPass. The deal was brokered by Riley Financial (an investment bank which specializes in putting together high-profile deals) , with the loan being secured by all iPass assets, including their patent portfolio and their Smart Connect technology.
The Chief Executive Officer and President of iPass, Gary Griffiths, stated that having the balance sheet strengthen as a result of Fortress Investment Group’s financing, they can focus on growing revenue and being profitable. He also noted that by using iPass’ patents as security for the loan helps in bringing credibility to the prowess of their patents that are used to provide the basis for SmartConnect, Veri-Fi and iPass products.
Fortress Investment Group was founded in 1998 and is the first private equity investment group that went public, and the first one to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, as a result of being purchased by Soft Bank and becoming once again a private entity. The company is known for investing in areas where the clients could receive risk adjusted returns. Thus, investing in iPass comes as no surprise, due to the fact that iPass offers convenience in Wi-Fi access, which is going to become more popular over time, being adopted by individuals and companies who are working on-the-go, or outside their offices.
iPass Unlimited is currently transforming into a cloud-based company, and analysis shows that there will be over 340 million hotspots around the world by the end of the year. The company hopes to leverage this in its business model and provide unlimited Wi-Fi access to companies and individual. As a result of being funded by Fortress Investment Group, iPass can have a competitive advantage and become profitable sooner than planned. The deal promises to increase the profile of both parties involved.
In May of 2017, Fortress Investment Group raised $2.9 billion during their sixth round of funding. They earned over 39.7% return from their private investors between the years 1999 and 2006. Between 2007 and 2016, they managed over $70 billion in alternative assets. The company is headquartered in New York, has 900 employees, and currently manages assets for over 1,750 investors. In 2014, the Institutional Investor Magazine named them “Institutional Hedge Fund Manager of the Year”.