LeapFrog Raises $44 Million for World’s First Microinsurance Fund
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
LUXEMBOURG, June 16, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —-In a breakthrough for microfinance and alternative investment, the LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund announced today that it has raised US$44 million. It is the world’s first investment fund focused on microinsurance. The fund aims to invest in businesses that will bring insurance and financial services to 25 million low-income people in Africa and Asia.
The capital was raised from a diverse set of public and private investors around the world, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), FMO, Omidyar Network, Triodos-Doen, Hivos-Triodos Fund, ACCION International, Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund, wealth manager Felipe Medina, and the LeapFrog team. The team consists of former CEOs and pioneers in insurance and investment in emerging markets.
“The world desperately needs market-based solutions to poverty that draw in major financial investors by offering fair but competitive returns,” said Dr. Andrew Kuper, President and Founder of LeapFrog. “The best part about microinsurance is that we can reach millions of people, swiftly. Microinsurance is both profitable and scalable. We can think big. We don’t have to choose between money and meaning.”
Numerous studies have demonstrated that low-income people in developing countries are willing and able to pay for a safety net that protects their family or business, but they can’t access affordable and quality insurance. The 100 Country Landscape Report by the Microinsurance Center estimated a market size of one billion people, but found that less than three percent of these people now have any kind of insurance.
When launching LeapFrog at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in 2008, President Bill Clinton hailed LeapFrog as the world’s largest initiative to tap this vast and underserved market. Building on the transformative work of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and others in the rapidly expanding microcredit sector, LeapFrog’s microinsurance fund represents the next frontier for low-income financial services.