Private Equity Firm Builds a Global Expertise Network on OnFrontiers

Written by
Tom Schmedding
Published on
22 January 2021

New York, NY – The CrossBoundary Group is a fast-growing investment firm focused on unlocking capital to make a positive difference in developing economies.  Founded in 2011, The CrossBoundary Group now has over 45 professional staff and offices in Bamako, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, New York City and Washington, DC. In 2015, The CrossBoundary Group launched CrossBoundary Energy Fund I, Sub-Saharan Africa’s first investment fund for commercial and industrial solar.

When the firm’s founders set out to unlock finance for frontier markets, one thing they agreed on was the importance of a deep understanding of the real context of every transaction.  “We value expertise and the only way to obtain that is to speak with the experts. Accordingly, we have made sure to be deeply embedded within the markets we work in. Our team in Africa is over 80% African and we now have offices in Nairobi, Lagos, Bamako, and Johannesburg” said Matt Tilleard, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner at CrossBoundary Group. He continued by saying “this means we are often able to access expertise through our extended networks. But this process is not always the best fit, it can take a large amount of time and the results are not always predictable. We also need to be respectful of our network and the demands we place on it.”

“We found OnFrontiers to be a perfect fit to supplement and expand our access to expertise”  Tilleard continues.  “Through OnFrontiers, we have access to a highly curated selection of experts qualified on virtually any topic within 24-48 hours.  We’ve tested OnFrontiers on broad questions but also highly niche areas, such as solar systems in Bamako and warehouse solutions in Nairobi, and the results have been consistently strong.  Having this resource allows our teams to access insights in a highly efficient and frictionless way.  Ultimately, our clients benefit through better-informed analysis and recommendations provided more cost-effectively.”

Through more than a year of using OnFrontiers, CrossBoundary has embedded OnFrontiers into its workflow and has over 20 investment professionals utilizing the platform. “We are now collaborating with OnFrontiers to use the platform in more strategic ways” says Tilleard. “OnFrontiers’ enterprise solution makes it easy to build out our own expertise networks and re-engage experts who become integrated into our service – this is a quality I haven’t seen in other providers.”

The partnership with CrossBoundary has been a strong fit for OnFrontiers as well.  “CrossBoundary aligns with our core competencies of locating Experts fast across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in frontier markets globally,” said Anne Kroijer, Co-founder, and CSO at OnFrontiers. “From a cultural standpoint, our teams share an appreciation of the importance of leveraging and managing expertise in smarter ways.  It is also great to support the team’s growth and mission of enhancing capital flows to under-developed regions in the world.”

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