For more than 30 years, from its founding in 1998, on through its IPO in 2007, until the present, Fortress Investment Group has been setting the pace and the standard for private equity firms.
With principals on both coasts of the US — Peter Briger in San Francisco, and Randall Nardone and Wes Edens in New York, Fortress Investment Group has its finger on the pulse of US business. Fortress’ primary areas of focus and expertise are asset based investments, M&A, capital markets, operations, and targeted sector-specific knowledge of companies.
Fortress recently added a new opportunity for its customers — a fully-secured investment in iPass, an SaaS application providing global mobile connectivity. iPass runs the world’s largest Wi-Fi network. At present, iPass’ customers can access 64 million Wi-Fi hotspots, and the number is expected to grow to an astounding 340 million by the end of 2018. These Wi-Fi services are provided across the globe at a wide variety of locations and businesses, including restaurants, convention centers, airports, train stations and more.
The funding provided by Fortress Investment Group amounted to $20 million total, with $10 million made available to iPass immediately.
Another fascinating investment entirely owned by Fortress Investment Group is the Brightline train. Brightline is a piece of the only privately-owned and operated passenger train company in the US. Brightline’s trains run between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Much of the time Brightline’s trains run at more than twice the speed of autos on nearby Interstate 95.
The Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group, Wes Edens, aspires to extend Brightline’s route to Orlando, Fl., some 235 miles away. Though this extension is a couple of years in the future, it is expected to be a high speed route operating at speeds up to 125-mph. A one-way trip will take less than two hours. Edens is considering the possibility of connecting the Texas cities of Dallas and Houston. It seems likely that Brightline is only the first of the Fortress Investment Group’s bets on the passenger rail industry.
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