CHENNAI, India, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LeapFrog Investments today announced a $15 million investment into Shriram CCL in a ground-breaking deal that will extend high quality insurance, savings, and investment products to the underserved Indian market. With LeapFrog's injection of significant new capital and expertise, Shriram CCL is expected to reach, protect and enable 10 million people in India. The Shriram Group, which has served low-income customers since 1974, is the first provider of financial services to over 98% of its customers. The investment thus marks an important step forward in the march towards financial inclusion in India, and an exemplary leap for the country's agenda of inclusive growth.
Announcing the investment from Chennai, India, Dr. Jim Roth, Co-Founder of LeapFrog Investments, said, "Our partnership with Shriram Group will have enormous social impact by financing and improving cover for millions of financially excluded clients and their families in India while also generating healthy financial returns. By focusing on high-growth emerging markets such as India, and targeting stellar companies who are serving the next billion consumers emerging into the formal economy, LeapFrog's approach delivers on the double bottom line."
Launched with US President Bill Clinton in 2008, LeapFrog is the largest investment fund worldwide focused on inclusive insurance and other essential financials services. Through its portfolio companies, the fund aims to generate robust investment returns while covering 25 million vulnerable people in Asia and Africa.
The Shriram Group, from humble beginnings, has grown into a $12 billion diversified financial services company. The investment thus brings together the leading industry-specialist impact investor with the leading pan-Indian distributor of financial services to low-income people.
Mr. G.S. Sundararajan, Managing Director of Shriram Capital, said, "This is much more than just another investment in the Group. It is a strategic partnership that will augment Shriram's ability to further its financial inclusion goals. LeapFrog's expertise in providing innovative insurance products to the underserved segments along with Shriram's consistent track record in making a positive difference in the lives of its customers together present a potent combination. We, in Shriram, believe that this partnership will redefine financial inclusion in India."
The investment appears to be unprecedented in the scale of protection it will deliver, empowering people to build assets and make choices as they climb out of poverty and into the middle class.
Unitus Capital was the sole investment advisor assisting LeapFrog in this transaction, while Amarchand Mangaldas provided legal representation.
About LeapFrog Investments
Launched with former US President Bill Clinton in 2008, LeapFrog's $135m fund is the world's largest investor in inclusive insurance and related financial services. The fund invests in companies serving 'the next billion,' the vast untapped market of emerging consumers, in Africa and Asia. As a specialist fund, LeapFrog is able to bring unique value-adding support and global best practice in microinsurance to its partner companies, in addition to significant capital. The fund aims to generate robust investment returns while covering 25 million vulnerable people. Investors in LeapFrog's high impact investment fund include global banks such as JP Morgan, Triodos, IFC, KfW, and EIB; leading funds such as Soros EDF, TIAA-CREF, Omidyar Network, FMO, and Calvert; global reinsurers SCOR, Haverford, and Flagstone Re; and development financiers including Proparco and Accion Frontier Investments Group. www.leapfroginvest.com
The $12bn Shriram Group had its humble beginnings in the Chit Fund business over three decades ago, and has been serving low-income clients in India since 1974. It has grown to be a large and diversified pan-India financial services group with principal interests in transport finance, consumer lending and insurance. www.shriram.com
SOURCE LeapFrog Investments