ImpactAlpha, March 27 – Bain Capital Double Impact has acquired a majority stake in Atlanta-based Rural Sourcing, an IT services and software development firm with hubs in small U.S. cities. The investment is the impact fund’s first in its community building strategy.
Rural Sourcing’s mission is to create high-quality tech jobs in small cities and rural parts of the U.S. The company chooses non-coastal places like Mobile, Ala. and Fort Wayne, Ind. where it can recruit skilled workers from local community colleges, universities, and coding bootcamps. Companies then hire Rural Sourcing and its remote tech teams to provide IT services and software skills.
“Where I grew up—in Mississippi—there were not a lot of new economy jobs. There were farmers and factory workers, and there were doctors and lawyers. Not everyone is willing or wants to trade costs and quality of life for opportunities in coastal cities,” Rural Sourcing’s CEO Monty Hamilton told ImpactAlpha. “I saw a need to create opportunities for people to be able to live where they want to.”
The company started in 2004 and staffs 500 workers in Mobile, Fort Wayne, Augusta, Ga. Jonesboro, Ark., Albuquerque, N.M., Oklahoma City, Okla. It expects to grow to 700 workers when its Fort Wayne hub, which opened in December, is fully up and running.
Bain Capital’s Iain Ware says Rural Sourcing’s model is able to compete with low-cost offshore IT firms because companies’ tech needs have changed. “They’re much more agile, and there’s more integration between business and product teams and the development teams.” That favors on-shore models, he adds, because of shared time-zones and business cultures.
Locally, Rural Sourcing’s model has a positive impact on local job creation and economic development, Ware adds. Rural Sourcing employs a number of former military veterans in its centers. “In some of the cities they’re in, they’ve become the anchor tech business in building that broader ecosystem. It’s an exciting way to bring the benefits of tech fueled economic growth outside of the tech hubs,” he says.
Through its investment, Bain Capital’s impact team will track the progress of Rural Sourcing’s job creation, employee engagement and growth, and local economic development, though metrics like the company’s job and tax revenue multiplier effect.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.