LeapFrog Investments has announced the largest-ever private equity fund by a dedicated impact fund manager, surging past its $600m target to reach $700m. The new fund invests in healthcare and financial services companies – tapping into the demand from billions of emerging consumers in Asia and Africa. This fund alone targets reaching 70 million emerging consumers. Investors include many of the world’s leading insurers, pensions and asset managers, development finance institutions, foundations and family offices. The success of the fund reflects LeapFrog’s outstanding track record of delivering both strong financial results and large-scale social impact.
“It is time for a better kind of capitalism. LeapFrog was founded on a philosophy of Profit with Purpose, rejecting conventional trade-off thinking in financial markets. That has proved a winning strategy, driving strong growth and returns while changing tens of millions of lives,” said Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments. “Today’s announcement marks an unprecedented level of commitment to independent impact investment managers, with a new fund backed by diverse best-in-class institutional investors. It also marks an important moment for responsible private equity. As our third fund and largest fund, it is a decisive demonstration that meeting the real needs of under-served people is great business.”
“Prudential’s lead investment in LeapFrog’s latest fund underscores our conviction in the power of capital-based solutions to solve the financial, social, environmental, and economic challenges of our changing world,” said Charles Lowrey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Financial, Inc. “We are pleased to partner with LeapFrog to realize the enormous potential for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in emerging Asia and Africa.”
LeapFrog has invested in 26 businesses to date. They have grown at an exceptional rate of nearly 40 per cent a year on average from the time of investment. LeapFrog companies now reach 168 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services. Over 136 million of those individuals are emerging consumers – defined by The World Bank as living on under $10 a day. Most are accessing quality insurance, savings, pensions, credit, remittances, medicines or healthcare services for the first time.
LeapFrog’s new fund has already made five investments: WorldRemit is the leading digital remittances provider globally. NeoGrowth provides innovative unsecured-credit products to micro, small and medium enterprises across India. Goodlife Pharmacy chain is now the largest provider of healthcare services in East Africa. Pyramid Pharma is a distributor of medicines and diagnostic and surgical equipment across Africa. And Ascent Meditechmanufactures and delivers orthopaedic products across India that help avoid crippling pain. These businesses use innovative marketing or distribution via mobile phones to reach millions of customers not well-served by conventional companies.