Fortress Investment Group recently doled out $20 million to a company called iPass. This technology company is a worldwide leader in connectivity options. Only half of the money, $10 million, was immediately available to iPass, but CEO Gary Griffiths is incredibly optimistic about the company’s future. He says that the balance sheet of the company is strengthened by the financing and that iPass can now focus on profitability. He’s also proud of the fact that the company used its patents as security for the loan which brings credibility to the company’s innovations.
The loan is secured with its Smart Connect technology and the company’s entire patent portfolio. This high-profile financial move should bolster iPass and its worldwide operations. The company runs the globe’s biggest Wi-Fi network. iPass offers up unlimited Wi-Fi access on an unlimited number of devices and customers can tap into these Wi-Fi networks through 64 million different hotspots around the world. These hotspots can be found in restaurants, bars, train stations, stadiums, convention centers, hotels and airports.
iPass is growing rapidly and that’s why they needed this $20 million investment from Fortress Investment Group. The company plans to expand to 340 million different Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe by the end of 2018.
Fortress Investment Group has always been a trendsetter. The company was founded back in the late 90s and started out with investments in real estate in the New York City area as well as the Toronto area. The company quickly grew and is now in charge of more than $40 billion worth of assets.
Fortress Investment Group became the first private equity investment group to go public with an IPO. The group has garnered worldwide acclaim for offering up long-term investment strategies that produce good risk-adjusted returns.
Analysts at Fortress Investment Group are obviously betting on iPass’s ability to continue to grow. They are banking on the fact that more and more business people are working on the go and that demand for convenient Internet access will continue to grow. The $20 million investment should facilitate this growth and it marks another solid investment by Fortress.
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End Citizens United, the grassroots organization that seeks to limit the influence of big money in politics, has been following the campaign of Beto O’Rourke. According to a July 10, 2018 article on the Premiere Gazette website, End Citizens United has conducted surveys showing Beto has been gaining ground on Ted Cruz, incumbent Senator from Texas. According to the Premiere Gazette article, Cruz’s lead has slid from 14 to 18% down to 5 to 8%. Although Beto’s campaign is still considered a long shot, End Citizens United is encouraged by the trend. Visit End Citizen United on Twitter for more updates.
As might be expected, grassroots funding cannot usually raise as much money as the dark money campaigns that draw from rich anonymous donors. That means that surveys become particularly important. They tell the PACs where to direct their scarce resources. Other groups have stepped forward in support of Beto, such as the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). However, LCV’s backing of Beto is as much due to their opposition of Cruz as to their support for Beto.
What is End Citizens United’s stake in all of this? According to the Premiere Gazette article, they have four goals: electing pro-reform candidates, keeping the national discussion focused on the negative effects of big money, passing pro-reform legislation at the state level, and using grassroots tactics to counter big money politics. The combination of these four goals has led to support of candidates on both the local and national political stage. The article notes that grassroots tactics include not only how candidates fund campaigns but also how they run their campaigns. The use of call-in campaigns and Beto’s well-publicized travels to every county in Texas are part of this grassroots strategy.
While Democrat Beto O’Rourke is a long-shot to unseat an incumbent Republican Senator in a strongly conservative state, the fact that he has been closing the gap on his opponent through the use of grassroots tactics are an encouraging sign for End Citizens United and similar groups that these tactics could work in the long run.