LeapFrog Invests $14M in African Group Apollo for Microinsurance

April 14, 2011

LeapFrog Investments has invested $14 million in East African insurance group Apollo Investment Ltd., which it says is the largest deal in the history of microinsurance in Africa.

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 insurance group and multi-line insurer, we expect to achieve robust returns and to reshape the market, helping bring safety nets to millions of low-income and vulnerable people. It epitomizes our profit-with-purpose approach to investing.”

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.

LeapFrog previously invested in AllLife, the South African insurer that covers people living with HIV. Since LeapFrog’s investment a year ago, AllLife has doubled in size.

“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,” said Doug Lacey, the LeapFrog partner who led the investment.

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.

Investors in LeapFrog’s investment fund include global banks such as JP Morgan, Triodos, IFC, KfW, and EIB; 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.

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