Overseas Private Investment Corporation to invest upto $200 million in LeapFrog Investments. This is the largest commitment in history to any impact fund manager, claims the company. OPIC is the US Government's development finance institution.
It also brings commitments to LeapFrog to over $1 billion, heralding the arrival of the first billion-dollar group dedicated to equity impact investing.
LeapFrog is planning to deploy the money in financial services and healthcare companies, in both Africa and emerging Asia.
"This commitment marks a transformative moment for impact investing," said Dr Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog commented in a press release.
"OPIC's vision and capital are a magnet for other leading institutions, revealing how to invest in companies that reach billions of underserved consumers," he added.
By focusing on these underserved markets, LeapFrog portfolio companies recorded a 60 per cent average revenue growth last year, and now serve 51.8 million people.
Investors are joining the move towards what LeapFrog terms profit with purpose investment strategies, said the company adding that the US pension plans and endowments in particular saw a recent shift in US policy to enable them to consider a wider range of investment opportunities, combining financial reward and impact.
OPIC's commitment to LeapFrog marks a new level of recognition for the private sector as a source of social change. Notably, it is the largest single commitment made by OPIC to a private equity manager. Since launching with President Clinton in 2009, LeapFrog has emphasized the need for scale and strong returns in impact investing.
LeapFrog founders are Andy Kuper and Jim Roth.
Leading US investors in LeapFrog's funds to date include AIG, J. P. Morgan, MetLife, Prudential Financial, RGA, and TIAA-CREF. Global investors in LeapFrog include Alliance Trust, AXA, HESTA, Partner Re, Swiss Re, XL Catlin and Zurich.