Ambit Partners and CrossBoundary Group form strategic partnership

12 Oct 2021

Ambit Partners is a dedicated global Search Fund investor, whose mission is to enable entrepreneurship via acquisition in markets around the world by investing in exceptional entrepreneurs to find, buy and build enduring businesses. CrossBoundary Group is a mission-driven advisory and investment firm that unlocks capital for sustainable growth and strong returns in underserved markets.

The partnership comprises an investment by CrossBoundary in Ambit Partners’ inaugural platform vehicle, Ambit Partners Fund I LP, as well as CrossBoundary co-founder and Managing Partner Jake Cusack joining the Ambit Partners advisory board. Both firms will collaborate to support Ambit Partners-backed Search Fund entrepreneurs globally.

The partnership reflects a shared belief in the catalytic role that Search Funds — purpose-built investment vehicles that enable talented young entrepreneurs to identify, acquire, and scale enduringly profitable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — can play in fostering sustainable growth and shared value creation. 

According to Pooja Yadav, CrossBoundary’s co-head of corporate development, “SMEs are the backbone of any economy, producing more than 50% of the world’s GDP, and 60% of its jobs. And yet, while millions of SME owners are approaching retirement, more than 80% have no succession plan in place. Unplanned closure of SMEs may have devastating consequences in many markets. Getting SMEs into the hands of a new generation of capable, driven entrepreneurs - which the Search Fund model enables - can not only solve for SME succession, but can also unleash exciting growth and returns.”

Rob LeBlanc, co-founder and managing partner of Ambit Partners, said “We are fortunate to have found such an ally in CrossBoundary, a firm that is uniquely positioned to help us in our mission to enable Search Funds in new markets. While still niche today, and primarily concentrated in North America where they started in the mid-1980s, Search Funds have historically outperformed traditional venture capital and private equity by almost 2x, and so should be a meaningful return- and impact-generating alternative asset class in future. We’re excited to play a part in driving this capital markets evolution alongside CrossBoundary.

Andrew Locke, co-founder and partner at Ambit Partners, commented on the firms’ shared culture and opportunities for learning, noting “this collaboration came about through an aligned mission, a common set of values, and the mutual acknowledgement of what our two firms can learn from each other.  We can introduce CrossBoundary to the world of Search Funds. And, as a truly global advisory and investment firm, CrossBoundary can offer us, and our Search Fund entrepreneurs, specialized support in markets around the world.”

Niel Wyma, co-founder and partner at Ambit Partners, elaborated on this point, explaining “few firms are as global or as experienced as CrossBoundary in pioneering new asset classes, executing emerging market private equity transactions, or managing impact-oriented investments for high return. We’re excited to learn from CrossBoundary through this partnership, especially in markets where our investments already overlap with their operating footprint, like in Eastern Europe, Latin America, North and West Africa.”

Jake Cusack, co-founder and managing partner, concluded, “at CrossBoundary, we are focused on being a conduit to the most interesting and impactful transactions in underserved markets. Our desire to collaborate with Ambit Partners was driven by our strong belief in the team and the commonality of our values - but also by our shared conviction in the potential of Search Funds to attract more capital and talent into these places. We’re excited to see what Ambit Partners will unlock with their first fund and poised to support them in several ways.”

- Ends- 

About CrossBoundary

CrossBoundary Group’s mission is to unlock capital to make a strong return and a lasting difference in underserved markets globally. The firm has over 100 professional staff, and offices in Accra, Bamako, Bangkok, Beirut, Bogotá, Chișinău, Dakar, Dubai, Ebene, Erbil, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, London, Nairobi, Tunis, New York City and Washington D.C.. CrossBoundary Advisory was founded in 2011 and provides a broad spectrum of investment and transaction advisory services across a range of sectors in underserved markets globally. CrossBoundary Energy was launched in 2015 and is sub-Saharan Africa's leading provider of renewable energy services to commercial and industrial businesses. CrossBoundary Energy Access was launched in 2019 as Africa’s first project finance facility for mini-grids, delivering first time power to rural households and businesses. CrossBoundary Educational Infrastructure, the firm’s most recent investment platform, seeks to provide affordable student housing and related infrastructure in East Africa.


About Ambit Partners

Ambit Partners’ mission is to enable Search Funds globally, investing in exceptional entrepreneurs to find, buy and build enduring businesses, especially in emerging markets. Founded in 2020, with offices in Canada and South Africa, the firm has invested private capital in dozens of Search Funds, with investments across North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Ambit Partners is in the process of raising its first fund, having concluded a first close earlier in September 2021.


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