Wed, 13/09/2017 - 16:14
Companies backed by LeapFrog Investments, the ‘profit with purpose’ investment group, have reached 111 million people, marking an impact investing milestone.
The figures surpass the targets set a decade ago when Dr Andrew Kuper, LeapFrog’s founder and CEO, pledged on stage with President Bill Clinton to impact the lives of 25 million low-income people by 2020 and achieve top-tier results through Profit with Purpose investing.
Dr Kuper also pledged then to raise USD100 million to invest in purpose-driven businesses. Today, LeapFrog manages over USD1 billion, making it the largest equity impact investor for emerging markets. The capital has so far been invested in growing 20 partner companies that deliver financial services and healthcare in 33 countries. Last week, LeapFrog was named in Fortune Magazine as one of the top five companies changing the world, alongside Apple, Novartis, DSM and JP Morgan.
A decade of focus on the growth markets of Asia and Africa has driven LeapFrog’s performance. Among those reached by LeapFrog partner companies, 93.8 million are classified as emerging consumers, earning less than USD10 a day PPP. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2025 the number of consumers in emerging markets will grow to 4.2 billion people.
“Emerging consumers represent the highest growth segments globally, and they are consuming essential health and financial services at unprecedented rates. The pace at which our portfolio companies have reached 111 million people is testament to the scale that can be realised through focusing on this economic destiny,” says Dr Kuper. “At the core of our business is a commitment to understanding the needs of emerging consumers and how companies can best serve them, which in turn enables our portfolio to deliver outsize rates of growth and returns.”
LeapFrog’s specialist operational method of investing is distinct in the private equity and impact investing landscape. Embedded in the deal teams are specialists including actuaries and doctors. The teams are also backed by a research and customer insights function and by LeapFrog Labs, which drives R&D and catalyses innovation.
“Leaps in technological innovation offer an unprecedented opportunity to drive health and financial inclusion on a massive scale worldwide, and generate outsize returns for investors in the process. That remains our mission,” says Dr Jim Roth, LeapFrog’s Co-Founder. “The next decade will prove transformative not just for many societies but for the capital markets, as people recognise the benefits and competitive advantage of purpose-driven business.”
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