LeapFrog Breaks Impact Investing Record, with A$1 Billion Emerging Markets Fund
SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2019--LeapFrog Investments has announced the largest-ever private equity fund by a dedicated impact fund manager, surging past its A$860m target (US$600m) target to reach around A$1 billion (US $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.
LeapFrog was founded by Australian entrepreneur and investor Dr Andrew Kuper, who is based in Sydney.
“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 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.”
The new fund received significant support from Australian investors, including QBE, Christian Super and HESTA. Debby Blakey, CEO of HESTA, said: “HESTA is very proud of our long-term partnership with LeapFrog, whose profit with purpose ethos closely aligns with our vision to achieve strong long-term investment returns for members while also having a positive impact on the world they live in today and will eventually retire into. We share with LeapFrog a belief that large global investors like HESTA can help drive meaningful change for generations to come through supporting innovative, sustainable development solutions to key challenges facing our world today.”
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 US$10 a day. Most are accessing quality insurance, savings, pensions, credit, remittances, medicines or healthcare services for the first time.
Gary Brader, Group Chief Investment Officer of QBE said, “QBE shares LeapFrog’s passion for mobilising capital in order to both unlock value and drive better social outcomes through impact investing, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with Andy and his team through this fund.”
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 Meditech manufactures 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.
This is LeapFrog’s third fund and it will once again be oversubscribed. Most backers are repeat investors with LeapFrog. They include:
- Global insurers Admiral, AIG, AXA XL, Everest Re, Hannover Re, Prudential Financial, QBE and Zurich
- Leading pensions and asset managers such as Ascension Capital, Pinebridge and TIAA-Nuveen (USA), Kempen, Partners Group Impact, Stiftung Abendrot and SBZ (Europe) as well as Christian Super and HESTA (Australia)
- Leading development financiers such as Germany’s DEG, IFC and France’s Proparco; also a board-approved commitment from the U.S.’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation
- Major foundations and corporates such as PactWorld, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The new fundraise will take LeapFrog to A$2.3 billion (US$1.6 billion) of total commitments, sustaining its position globally as the largest private equity manager entirely dedicated to impact investing.
“As pioneers of commercial impact investing, our goal over the last decade has been to build truly differentiated investment vehicles, that present a compelling opportunity for top-tier investors to access emerging markets – and fulfill their financial and purpose objectives,” said Nick Moon, LeapFrog Partner and Head of Investor Relations. “We have been delighted with the enthusiasm for this latest fund from longstanding as well as first-time investors.”
Global asset managers and insurers once again invested. “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, the global 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’s fund also attracted a slew of ethical and responsible investors. “Christian Super has a long track record of investing for financial return and social impact, and we’re proud to continue that tradition with our investment in LeapFrog’s third fund,” said Ross Piper, CEO of Christian Super. Access to health and financial services are a crucial part of human flourishing, and the market-driven solutions in those sectors that LeapFrog has successfully invested in are impactful, profitable and, most importantly, scalable. LeapFrog, and others like them, demonstrate on a daily basis that genuine impact and strong financial returns can go hand in hand.”
About LeapFrog Investments
LeapFrog invests in exceptional businesses in Africa and Asia, partnering with their leaders to achieve leaps of growth, profitability and impact. LeapFrog companies now reach 168 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services. Over 136 million of those individuals are emerging consumers, often accessing quality insurance, savings, pensions, credit, medications or healthcare for the first time. LeapFrog companies have grown on average by nearly 40 per cent a year since investment. These companies now provide jobs and livelihoods to over 124 thousand people. LeapFrog was recently ranked by Fortune as one of the top five companies to change the world, alongside Apple and Novartis. www.leapfroginvest.com
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KEYWORD: AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE INSURANCE
SOURCE: LeapFrog Investments
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PUB: 05/10/2019 12:00 AM/DISC: 05/10/2019 12:00 AM