NAIROBI, Kenya, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- LeapFrog Investments has announced a landmark investment of $14 million into East African insurance group Apollo Investment Ltd, the largest deal in the history of microinsurance in Africa. Launched with President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2008, LeapFrog's $135 million fund invests in companies providing insurance to under-served people in emerging markets. In Africa, LeapFrog now gains exposure to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in addition to its investment in South Africa.
"Some of the greatest opportunities for business growth, profitability, and impact are found in Africa – whose people so often prove the critics wrong," said Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and President of LeapFrog. "By investing in Apollo, a fast-growing and multi-line insurance group, we expect to achieve robust returns and to reshape the market – helping bring safety nets to millions of low-income and vulnerable people. It epitomises our profit-with-purpose approach to investing."
Ashok Shah, who is continuing as Apollo CEO, said, "LeapFrog's capital and global insurance expertise will help Apollo to become the preeminent regional player in insurance in East Africa – including in microinsurance. We are taking the next leap." Beyond its current life, health, and property insurance activities, Apollo is now targeting a market of 7.9 million self-employed people in the informal sector. Mr. Shah is the recent winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Kenyan insurance industry.
LeapFrog, a pioneer impact investor in Africa and Asia, previously invested in AllLife, the innovative South African insurer that covers people living with HIV. By linking clients with a health management program, AllLife helps people lead long and productive lives, which also makes it commercially worthwhile to insure them. Since LeapFrog's investment a year ago, AllLife has doubled in size.
In addition to capital, LeapFrog's team brings decades of operational experience in distribution and product design to portfolio companies. This enables groups like Apollo and AllLife to swiftly change their growth curve and amplify their impact.
"Our aim as a fund is to reach 25 million vulnerable people with affordable insurance – generating robust financial returns as well as social impact from serving this untapped market," concluded Doug Lacey, the LeapFrog partner who led the investment. "Apollo's track record and commercial courage are exactly what we look for in a partner."
In the coming year, LeapFrog expects to make further investments in Africa as well as Asia, where its focus countries are India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
LeapFrog Investments invests in insurance companies serving 'The Next Billion' consumers in Asia and Africa. Launched with President Bill Clinton in 2008, LeapFrog's $135 million fund targets robust returns for investors while bringing financial security to 25 million vulnerable people. The fund's profit-with-purpose investment approach, combining capital with specialist expertise, has been hailed by The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Fast Company, and many global leaders as opening up new frontiers for alternative investing. 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.
SOURCE LeapFrog Investments