MediaWorldLive Nabs Interview With FreedomPop President

In early March, Media World Live landed an exclusive interview with FreedomPop International president Nicholas Constantinopoulos. The head of the mobile and wireless provider spoke, primarily, about future plans for the company after success in the UK market.

In 2016, FreedomPop saw its Series B funding come out to $36 million, followed by a comparatively whopping $50 million in Series C funding. All of this, according to Constantinopoulos, is going toward global expansion. The company’s Wikipedia page puts its total funding up until this point at roughly $109 million, making this year’s total of $86 million far and away its most successful.

Constantinopoulos went on to talk about the UK’s role as a sort of “test country” for operations outside of the US. The test, from everything the FreedomPop president said, went quite well, bolstering the company’s efforts for expansion. Constantinopoulos specifically mentioned Axiata, one of East Asia’s primary mobile providers as one of its major foreign backers.

Further, he spoke about FreedomPop offering free data, and some of the skepticism that they faced when they first approached investors with such an unconventional idea. Constantinopoulos made clear, however, that the goal is to convert as many customers as possible to paying subscribers. This seems to be going quite well, as the US is seeing a 40% conversion rate after 3 years, and the UK is seeing a 45% rate after only four months.

In fact, Constantinopoulos believes that a 50% conversion rate across the board is possible if FreedomPop continues using their current strategy.

Finally, Constantinopoulos answered what he thought the difference is between FreedomPop and MNA. He goes on at length, but sums up the difference by saying that FreedomPop has found the “secret source” that allows them to successfully expand into new markets.

Read this review of FreedomPop

Stephen Murray, Former CEO of CCMP Capital, Passes Away

Investment pioneer on rcactrack.com Stephen Murray passed away of an undisclosed illness on March 12, 2016. At the time of his death, he was a resident of Stamford, Connecticut. Stephen was married to Tammi Murray and enjoyed being the father to four wonderful sons.

Most recently, Stephen Murray CCMP Capital was the president and CEO of CCMP, a position that he took over in 2006. The graduate of Boston College and Columbia Business School will be long remembered for his impact on the industry providing the leading vision as CCMP broke away from JP Morgan Chase. He was extremely proficient at developing business deals starting out as a minority shareholder in initial transactions. These middle-market deals frustrated Henry Kravis who co-founded KKR & Co. so much that JPMorgan decided to create CCMP selling it to Stephen Murray CCMP Capital.

From that point on, Stephen went on to build the company on blogs.wsj.com that has provided $100 million to $500 million of equity per transaction in companies in North America and Europe. The company maintains offices in New York, Houston and London with an emphasis on consumer/retail, industrial, chemicals/energy and healthcare. Some companies in their active portfolio include Jetro Cash & Carry, Noble Environmental Power and Chaparral Energy. The company maintains a long list of realized portfolios including Aramark, Pinnacle Foods Group and Quiznos Sub.

Stephen Murray CCMP Capital first went to work for New York-based Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1984 as a credit trainee. He quickly rose through the ranks and through mergers became part of JP Morgan in 2000 becoming the head of their buyout business in 2005.

He served on the board of trustees of Boston College and as a member on the chairman’s club of the Make a Wish Foundation of Metro New York. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital was also involved with helping to preserve the heritage of Stamford through the Stamford Museum and feeding the poor through the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Health Crisis in Venezuela Urgent Needs Go Unfulfilled

People in Venezuela are poorer than ever. They face medicine and food shortages. People are waiting months for care that sometimes doesn’t come soon enough.

Under-funding and fiscal misuse has led to the system being out of money for even the bare essentials, claims Danilo Diaz Granados. Compared to surrounding countries they spend the least amount on health care. In 2012, the most recent data available, they spent 1.6% of Gross Domestic Profit.

By comparison,Diaz Granados was quoted on facebook saying that Latin American Countries spend twice to eight times more than Venezuela. Cuba, Panama and Mexico are three of those countries.

•             Cuba: 8.1%

•             Panama; 5.2%

•             Mexico: 3.2%

For the full chart click here.

Venezuela is close to declaring a national health crisis. This would allow them to request help from other countries. They would also be able to request help from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The sooner they declare this crisis the fewer people who will continue the suffer. Hundreds of people are dying, waiting for care. People are suffering because they don’t have food and maternal mortality rates are soaring. Some Venezuelans have turned to social media to help them get their medications and money for hospital care.