The Ambassador Platform (TAP), co-founded in 2016 by George Olesen and Nik Higgins, is a UK-based technology company that provides a SaaS platform for higher education institutions to connect their existing students to prospective students.
In May 2023, IDP Education, a listed Australian business and leading worldwide provider of education services, acquired 100% of The Ambassador Platform. UNW provided corporate finance advice to the shareholders of The Ambassador Platform.
BACKGROUND TO THE DEAL
Originally known as The Access Platform, The Ambassador Platform was co-founded in 2016 by George Olesen and Nik Higgins with the aim to help higher education providers unlock the power of their students’ voices in marketing and recruitment campaigns. The platform, which facilitates both one-to-one and group chats between current and prospective students, is now used by more than 150 educational institutions across five continents, helping current students, staff, alumni and parents share their experiences with prospective students. It also enables institutions to recruit more best-fit students.
IDP Education is a leader in global education services, helping people achieve their international education goals. An Australian-listed company, it operates in more than 50 countries around the world with 800+ customers.
The Ambassador Platform is now part of this global IDP network but will continue to operate as an independent company with Higgins and Olesen staying on to lead the team from their London offices. The acquisition brings additional investment that Higgins and Olesen are planning to use to improve customer service and increase the size of the team. There will also be a collaborative approach to joint product offerings that should see customers benefit from the combined power of The Ambassador Platform and IDP.
UNW ADDING VALUE
UNW worked on the transaction from inception through to execution and, while providing advice on this multi-jurisdictional, cross-border transaction was challenging, UNW’s Corporate Finance team demonstrated exemplary flexibility, working around the clock to accommodate international time zones. Completing at a time when market multiples in the Education Technology sector were cooling, the team were able to deliver an above-market value for the shareholders, exceeding expectations, and demonstrating that some of the most exciting transactions in the UK, the reach of which can be seen in global markets, are delivered by domestic advisors.
George Olesen, CEO and Co-Founder of The Ambassador Platform, said: “UNW’s Corporate Finance team were indispensable in selling The Ambassador Platform to IDP Education. They were calm and easy to work with, from putting together the Investment Memorandum to leading the Transaction Services to get the sale across the line. As CEO of the selling company, I think UNW’s ability to think ahead about the buyer’s needs and do the relevant analysis to present the company in the right way was key to getting the deal completed.”
I think UNW's ability to think ahead about the buyer's needs and do the relevant analysis to present the company in the right way was key to getting the deal completed.