LeapFrog Investments closes $700M third impact fund to invest in Asia and Africa

LeapFrog Investments, an emerging markets-focused private equity firm, has announced the close of its third impact fund at $700 million, to invest in healthcare and financial services companies in Asia and Africa. Also, the fund targets to reach 70 million emerging consumers.

The new fund was led by US-based Prudential Financial in participation from leading Global insurers Admiral, pensions and asset managers, development financiers, foundations and family offices.

Speaking on the development, Dr Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investmentssaid,

“It is time for a better kind of capitalism. As our third fund and largest fund, it is a decisive demonstration that meeting the real needs of under-served people is great business.”

The third fund surpassed its initial target of $600 million, and brings the total capital raised by the investment firm so far to $1.6 billion, making it the largest private equity manager dedicated to impact investing.

“Prudential’s lead investment in LeapFrog’s latest fund underscores our conviction in the power of capital-based solutions to solve the financial, social, environmental, and economic challenges of our changing world,” added Charles Lowrey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Financial, Inc.

LeapFrog’s new fund has already made five investments. It has backed global digital remittances provider WorldRemit, and African healthcare services provider Goodlife Pharmacy and drug distributor Pyramid Pharma.

In India, it has invested in two Mumbai-based companies including non-banking financial company (NBFC) NeoGrowth, which raised Rs 300 crore ($47 million) in Jan 2018, and medical products company Ascent Meditech received an undisclosed amount in July last year.

LeapFrog has so far invested in 26 businesses. Its portfolio companies now reach 168 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services.

In Feb 2019, 3One4 Capital, one of the fastest growing VC firms in India, had launched Continuum I, a fund with a target corpus of Rs 350 crore ($50 million), and completed its first close for commitments of Rs 150 crore to focus on series B+ rounds. And in Jan, early stage consumer technology venture capital fund AdvantEdge Founders had announced the launch of AdvantEdge Founders Fund II, a mobility first transformation fund based in India, with a commitment of Rs 100 crore from its existing Fund I anchor Limited Partners (LPs).

Japanese multinational conglomerate Softbank Corp, which invests in growth-stage technology companies, is also planning to IPO its $100 billion Vision Fund, and mulling the launch of a second fund of a similar size to its first.

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