Leapfrog Investments secures US$500m investment from Temasek Holdings

AFRICAPrivate equity fund, Leapfrog Investments, has received a commitment of US$500 million from Temasek Holdings, an investment company headquartered owned by the Government of Singapore, to anchor all its future funds.

The tie-up will take the form of a multi-fund investment by Temasek to anchor Asia and Africa-focused LeapFrog’s future funds, and the Singapore state investor will also acquire a minority stake in LeapFrog.

“There is an urgent and pressing need to address the critical social and environmental challenges that the world is facing. We believe in the potential of impact investing to unlock the capital to meet these challenges,” said Benoit Valentin, head of impact investing at Temasek.

Temasek’s latest move comes two years after its philanthropic arm set up a private equity fund for impact investing. LeapFrog and its investment process will continue to be managed and controlled by its team of partners.

“We believe in the potential of impact investing to unlock the capital to meet critical social and environmental challenges that the world is facing.”

Benoit Valentin – Head of impact investing, Temasek

With the latest funding, LeapFrog says it will have received more than US$2 billion from global institutional investors since it was founded in 2007.

“We will continue to open the gates of the capital markets to purpose-driven businesses,” said Andy Kuper, founder and CEO of LeapFrog.

The firm said its companies now reach more than 210 million people with healthcare or financial services, with the majority being low-income consumers.

Impact or socially responsible investing has gone mainstream in the last few years, moving beyond being a niche for development banks. It has attracted the likes of some of the world’s largest buyout funds including TPG, KKR and Blackstone.

LeapFrog claims its companies have grown on average at 30% annually from the time of investment. It also provides jobs to over 130,000 people.

The investment firm has scaled digital companies that have then been sold to the likes of Prudential, Allianz X, AXA-XL, Swiss Re, Fidelity’s Eight Roads, and Standard Chartered, said the company.

Temasek, which has invested more than US$12 billion in India in the last 15 years, is increasingly taking bigger and bolder bets in India’s burgeoning new economy companies and startups. Some of its recent investments include Byju’s, Zomato, PolicyBazaar and Pharmeasy among others.

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