LeapFrog reaches 5% of world’s low-income population, 10 times above initial target – impact report

The impact investor says its portfolio companies provided healthcare and financial services to 248m people on low incomes in 2021 – and that it is on track to reach 1bn by 2030.

Impact investing firm LeapFrog Investments reached 5% of the world’s low-income population in 2021, according to its latest impact report.

LeapFrog, which was founded in 2007 and has more than US$2bn in assets under management, invests in tech-driven impact businesses in Asia and Africa that focus on improving access to quality healthcare or advancing financial inclusion.

The new figures, published last week, show that 248m people on low incomes (defined as living on less than US$11.20 a day) benefited from the services of LeapFrog’s portfolio companies in 2021 – a 42% increase on the year before. 

The figure is almost ten times Leapfrog’s original target, set 15 years ago, of reaching 25m people on low-incomes.

LeapFrog is on track to reach a billion low-income people by the end of this decade

Andy Kuper, founder and CEO of LeapFrog, said the firm was “on track to reach 1bn low-income people by the end of this decade, enabling them to change their own lives.” 

He said LeapFrog portfolio companies served “the unquenchable desire from the world’s 4bn low-income consumers to achieve health and security for their families”. 

Last year, LeapFrog struck a US$500m deal with Singaporean bank Temasek, which was then described as the biggest single commitment to an impact investment firm, bringing the firm’s assets under management above US$2bn.

Low-income customers make up nearly three quarters of the total number of people reached by LeapFrog’s portfolio companies in 2021 – which stands at 342m, up 55% from 2020 levels. 

In 2021, the firm’s portfolio companies employed 160,000 people, 30% of whom were women, and paid $450m in wages to their workers. “In diverse ways, [LeapFrog investees] empower people to change their own lives,” Kuper said.

In diverse ways, LeapFrog investees empower people to change their own lives

Audited valuations of the firm’s investees also show that their growth outperformed benchmarks for their respective sectors in 2021. Among LeapFrog’s best-performing investees are Jumo, which provides digital banking for underserved customers in emerging markets (and now reaches more than 35m low-income customers) and PasarPolis, an insurance company that broadens access to insurance and reaches nearly 20m low-income customers.

 

Header image: A pharmacist at LeapFrog investee GoodLife serves a Kenyan customer (credit: LeapFrog Investments)

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