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LeapFrog Investments, the world’s largest investor in insurance for emerging consumers, has invested in BIMA. Launched in 2010 by Kinnevik, an emerging markets investor, BIMA was built on the idea of bringing more affordable insurance to people in emerging markets via their mobile phones.
Eighteen months later, the firm is one of the largest mobile insurance platforms in the world, reaching and protecting nearly four million people in Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, Mauritius, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The total equity investment amounts to USD7m of which USD4.25m comes from LeapFrog, and the remainder from existing shareholders.
Both investment firms are backing BIMA to lead a second wave of mobile financial services.
“Just as banks ultimately embraced mobile money, insurers will become rapid adopters of mobile technology,” says Gustaf Agartsson, chief executive of BIMA. “LeapFrog provides us with world-leading expertise in product design and distribution, plus access to its portfolio of insurance companies. This distinctive support will enable us to innovate and scale in current markets and roll out in many new markets in the coming two years.”
This is LeapFrog’s seventh insurance investment, with the fund’s portfolio companies now spanning 10 markets in East, West and South Africa as well as South Asia.
“BIMA has harnessed the mobile revolution to dramatically reduce the price of premiums. Products such as life, accident and health insurance are provided on a commercial basis for as little as USD0.20 to USD6.00 a month,” says LeapFrog partner Stewart Langdon. “This radical affordability puts the safety net of insurance within reach of millions of low-income customers in emerging markets for the first time.”
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