Ripple acquires Fortress Trust, expands license portfolio in the US

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Financial technology firm Ripple is expanding its portfolio of regulatory licenses in the United States with the acquisition of Fortress Trust, according to an announcement on Sept. 8. 

Fortress Trust provides regulatory and technology infrastructure for blockchain organizations. The company holds a Nevada Trust license that allows it to custody financial assets. The acquisition is in addition to the more than 30 licenses Ripple holds across the country as a money transmitter, along with a BitLicense in New York, required digital currency businesses operating in the state.

“Licenses are a powerful enabler to build and deliver best-in-class customer experiences for enterprises,” said Monica Long, president at Ripple. According to Ripple’s announcement, the technology and licensing held by Fortress Trust complements its business and product roadmap.

Ripple first invested in the company in 2022 via a seed round. The recent transaction amounts and other financial terms were not revealed.

“As an early investor in Fortress Blockchain Technologies, we’ve had a chance to get to know the team, its vision and technology. Since their launch in 2021, they’ve built an impressive business with recurring revenue and a strong roster of both crypto-native and new-to-crypto customers,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. 

Ripple has been accelerating deals amid the bear market. In May, the company announced the acquisition of Metaco, a Swiss digital asset custodian and tokenization provider, for $250 million. A Ripple executive forecast in January that 2023 would see a wave of acquisitions within the crypto space, helping companies fill gaps in capabilities

Ripple plans to invest in Fortress’ parent company, Fortress Blockchain Technologies, and its affiliated firm FortressPay services, the announcement reveals. Ripple claims to be present in over 55 countries, offering payout services through blockchain technology.

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