Pyramid Group

According to the World Health Organisation, Africa currently has the highest age-standardised mortality rate of non-communicable diseases (779 per 100K people, versus US and EUR at 400-600 per 100K people). Poor access to medical resources and over-burdened healthcare systems, as well as an increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes are driving a need for access to affordable new medicines and more advanced diagnostic equipment.

Pyramid Group is a leading distributor of specialist medical equipment and products delivering the latest standard of care, access and affordability to Africans to address this need.

Founded in 2001, the company has grown to be the largest specialty distributor for cardiac and orthopaedic equipment in East and West Africa offering a comprehensive range of quality medical products from top-tier brands including Medtronic Plc and Johnson & Johnson, opening up access to specialised products like pacemakers and hip replacements for customers in Africa. Previously customers would need to travel abroad for these specialist treatments, contributing to c.$1bn a year to medical tourism abroad.

Pyramid’s products are distributed across eight countries in East and West Africa. The company currently provides healthcare products to four million consumers, of which over two million are emerging, through a vast number of healthcare providers, including over 700 in Tanzania alone. This is projected to increase to eight million total consumers over the next four years of which over five million are emerging.

LeapFrog’s investment in Pyramid will support business and operational improvements, enabling the company to reach more healthcare providers and expand its product lines and services across Africa.

According to recent research, the pharma and devices market is expected to reach $60 billion by 2022; meaning that Pyramid is well positioned to deliver strong commercial and impact returns.

(Goldstein Research referencing the IFC and the World Bank; September 2017)

ARM Pensions

Today, eighty-nine per cent of working Nigerians are not yet registered for pensions. Pensions not only serve as a safety net for aging Nigerians but can also make a huge impact on the households in which these individuals live – for both children and other family members – supporting education, healthcare and other necessary services. The aim of ARM Pensions, one of the largest fund administrators in Nigeria with approximately $1.8bn in funds under management, is to build understanding and uptake of this essential service.

The company provides pensions and retirement savings accounts to three million Nigerians, of which one million are low-income or emerging consumers. Clients are served through 59 locations across all 36 states of  Nigeria, with dedicated mobile offices reaching consumers in the most remote areas, and innovative digital channels ensuring swift access to accounts and assistance. The LeapFrog, ARM Pensions partnership began in June 2018. The investment is a continuation of LeapFrog’s focus on pensions in the West African market, following its successful exit from Ghana’s Petra Trust to Capital Alliance Private Equity IV Limited, a fund managed by African Capital Alliance, a pan-African investment firm in February 2018. LeapFrog worked closely with the Petra Trust team to grow the business to become the largest independent pensions provider in Ghana, achieving 76% GAGR over the period of LeapFrog’s investment. The investment also builds on LeapFrog’s partnership with ARM Group following a 2012 co-investment into what is now ARM Life, a high-growth insurer.

Karima Ola, Partner LeapFrog Investments, commented: “ARM Pensions is a well-established first-class pension fund administrator with an impressive track-record of both profitability and growth. Our team brings significant operational skills to bear on the development of ARM Pensions’ market presence. We have identified valuable opportunities to support the company’s digital strategy, to facilitate partnerships and to increase the firm’s brand awareness in ways that further strengthen customer retention and acquisition. LeapFrog sees the partnership with ARM Pensions, and the shared growth agenda, as capable of delivering large and measurable impact for Nigeria’s people.” Founded in 2005, ARM Pensions is one of the first seven Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) to be granted a license by the National Pension Commission. The company is majority owned by Asset and Resource Management (ARM) Group, Nigeria’s largest and most respected non-bank financial institution, and the country’s largest independent asset manager.


As a schoolboy in Somaliland, Ismail Ahmed’s brother was one of the tens of thousands of men who crossed the Red Sea to work in the Gulf states. “It was kind of a gold rush, and I became a recipient of remittances from my brother, who would send money back. Then, when I came to the UK to study on a scholarship, I became a sender. I saw remittances from both sides.”

This early exposure to the business of money transfers led Ahmed to later set up WorldRemit. Today he is both Founder and CEO of a business that handles a growing share of the USD $600 billion remittance market.

The key to the company’s success has been Ahmed’s insight and understanding early on, into how the remittances model was ripe for digitization. He observed senders and receivers traveling hours to reach a remittance agent. This required out-of-pockets expenses for travel, as well as time spent away from work.

His response was to build a business that not only offered traditional means to transfer and receive money: bank deposit, cash pickup, but as a digital disrupter, also includes mobile and airtime top-up, reaching emerging consumers with fast, secure, low-cost remittance services

The company is a trailblazer in international transfers to mobile money accounts, dramatically reducing both corruption and costs faced by low-income consumers. Sending from over 50 countries to 148 destinations across Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Americas is possible via WorldRemit.

With an estimated two billion people worldwide still classified as unbanked, but owning a mobile phone, there remains a significant growth opportunity for online and mobile remittances services to disrupt the industry and reach emerging consumers. 90% of WorldRemit’s customers use smartphones for their transactions. In fact, it has become the a key driver to owning a phone in the first place.

LeapFrog invested in WorldRemit in December 2017. The investment will support the company’s plans to reach 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020. This will be achieved through expansion into new markets, continuing to deliver innovative products and services, and scaling the technology that underpins its mobile-first, digital model.

Stewart Langdon, Partner at LeapFrog Investments, adds: “This investment is an opportunity to bring a global leader in digital remittances into the LeapFrog portfolio. WorldRemit’s model is uniquely suited to scale and offers a best in class service that is vital to the livelihood of millions of consumers in LeapFrog’s core markets. The company also has a huge potential to expand globally – a combination that puts it at the heart of our profit with purpose philosophy. I’m delighted that a world-class fintech company like WorldRemit is choosing LeapFrog as its partner for growth in the emerging markets.”

Goodlife Pharmacy

With a focus on “helping the nation feel better one customer at a time,” Goodlife Pharmacy’s customers have voted with their feet, helping Goodlife to become the largest pharmaceutical retail business across East Africa.

In just under four years, Goodlife has grown to provide trusted pharmaceuticals to 600,000 customers from 19 convenient locations – with a total reach of 1.2 million people.

This innovative healthcare business defies the traditional notion of the pharmacy, by delivering a truly customer-centric brand that combines pharmacy services with wellness, beauty and diagnostics. Goodlife prides itself on being the first in the market to introduce consultation centers into all its locations and will shortly be offering telemedicine.

Crucially, pharmacy is often the first point of care for Kenyans – and Goodlife is dedicated to increasing access to healthcare through its stores, thereby improving the quality of life and wellness of East Africa’s growing consumer class. The pharmacies can be found in shopping malls and gas station locations throughout Kenya, placing health services at the heart of communities and making them accessible to all income groups.

Goodlife was recently endorsed by The Pharmaceuticals Society of Kenya as best pharmacy practice in the country; a testament to Goodlife’s ongoing commitment to excellence in pharmacy practice. It is both widely recognized and trusted as a brand that delivers quality medication, in a market where substandard and counterfeit medication are yet to be rooted out.

In 2018, an independent team within IFC recognised Goodlife as having an inclusive business model as it directly reaches people at the base of the pyramid. This is something only 10-20% of IFC investments achieve.

Goodlife plans to expand to over 100 stores by 2021, reaching over 5.5 million consumers, and creating over 700 jobs, of which approximately 400 will be held by pharmaceutical professionals.

It is tapping a high-growth market, with Kenya’s pharmacy sector already worth $725m and set to rise to $1.3bn by 2020.

LeapFrog invested in Goodlife in 2016, marking it the largest direct investment in the East African pharmacy sector to-date.

“Goodlife, with its consumer focused business model, rapid growth, and excellent management team, has proven to be a fine example of how businesses that serve a real social need can be scalable and provide good financial returns,” says Dr. Felix Olale, LeapFrog Partner and Global Co-Leader for Health Investments.

The LeapFrog team brings to bear significant health industry knowledge, operational skills and international networks, and will enable Goodlife Pharmacy to accelerate its growth across East Africa, delivering best-in-class customer care to millions of consumers across East Africa.


miLife Insurance Ltd is one of the leading life insurers in Ghana. The award-winning firm puts the customer at the heart of the business by delivering on its core values of making purchasing and owning insurance simple, affordable and more accessible. miLife’s vision is to be the leader in helping Ghanaians build their dreams, one customer at a time through its educational, savings, funeral and term assurance policies which offer protection for death, disability, and critical illness.

“We want to be the most innovative and affordable life insurer for the consumer mass market in Ghana,” says Kwaku Yeboah-Asuamah, CEO of miLife. “We believe our partnership with LeapFrog will give wings to our growth plans and enable us to benefit from LeapFrog’s rich insurance expertise and knowledge.”

The ambitious firm aims to reach over 1 million people with insurance over the LeapFrog investment horizon. With insurance penetration sitting at below 2% of GDP in Ghana, the opportunities for growth are boundless.

“We’re immensely excited for the future with the miLife team. By focusing on opening up accessibility to life insurance and taking the complexity out of purchasing and owning insurance for all Ghanaians, we are giving customers a more certain future and the confidence to pursue their dreams,” said Michael Joyce, Director at LeapFrog Investments and miLife Board member.

LeapFrog’s deep expertise in developing insurance products for emerging consumers and its track record of success in Ghana and life insurance will be used to help miLife to soar to new levels of growth, profitability and impact.

Resolution Insurance

Resolution Insurance is Kenya’s fourth largest health insurer and a rising star in East Africa’s fast-expanding general insurance markets.

Entering the Kenyan market in 2002, Resolution was the first company to be registered as a Medical Insurance Provider. In a short time, the company grew to become a leading health insurer and a highly trusted brand, under the stewardship of an exceptional management team and entrepreneurial CEO, Peter Nduati. Today, the Resolution Group comprises Resolution Insurance in Kenya, Resolution Insurance in Tanzania and IAA-Resolution in Uganda, a partnership with IAA.

The company partners with a robust network of 800 medical service providers across East Africa, managing the diversified health insurance needs of corporates, social groups, families and individuals.

It has carved out a niche in serving the SME sector, reaching almost 50,000 emerging consumers though provision of health insurance to employees of SMEs and individual retail clients. LeapFrog’s actuarial and subject-matter experts are working with Resolution to develop new products, to stretch into broader general insurance lines, to grow its distribution network, and to strengthen its team and capabilities.

Says Peter Nduati, Resolution CEO, “We believe that LeapFrog’s dedicated operational investing approach, strong track record in health insurance, and emerging consumer expertise will add tremendous value. Importantly, LeapFrog shares our entrepreneurial ethos and commitment to financial inclusion.”

Petra Trust

Ghana’s recently liberalised pensions industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. LeapFrog’s investment in 2014 was predicated on the shifting financial services landscape of Ghana – at the time of investment, only 19 percent of the population had ever used a formal savings product. Investing in Petra Trust was a recognition of the market potential as much as it was a vote of confidence in Petra’s dynamic leadership team.

The Petra team has a long shared history: Co-founders Kofi Fynn and Chris Hammond, and Head of Operations Helena Poku were school friends before studying in the US, at Harvard and MIT. Later they returned home to Ghana to start Petra, inspired by the social need for pensions, and the market opportunity this represented.

Launched in 2011, Petra was the first trustee approved and licensed by Ghana’s National Pensions Regulatory Authority in 2012. Today Petra is the largest independent pensions trustee in Ghana, and one of the two largest by assets under management.

Petra has benefited from LeapFrog’s support in consumer research, marketing, governance and strategy and IT infrastructure.

Kofi Fynn, Managing Director, said, “In partnership with LeapFrog, we have made key changes to the business, including introducing a world-class governance structure, diversifying our product offering, and opening up access to high quality, affordable savings for Ghanaians. Our work together has set the foundations for the provision of financial security for millions of emerging consumers in Ghana.”

The LeapFrog and Petra team rapidly grew the business into the leading independent pensions trustee in Ghana with over 1.4bn GHS (USD 310m) in assets under management (AUM). The company has achieved average annual revenue growth of 76 percent across the period of investment. LeapFrog successfully exited in 2018.

Express Life

LeapFrog’s majority investment in Express was, at the time, the largest private foreign investment in Ghana’s insurance industry.

At the time, the company was in difficulty, but LeapFrog saw the opportunity in Ghana’s burgeoning insurance market. The country is one of the fastest growing economies globally, with the life insurance sector alone growing 40% per annum. Yet less than 2% of the country’s 25 million people had access to insurance, offering a compelling opportunity for quality, relevant and affordable products to fill this gap.

LeapFrog set to work, with the objective of restructuring Express and then transforming it from insignificance to a dominant position in the mass-market.

LeapFrog helped Express Life to create a completely new product range: more affordable, better quality, and more relevant to the emerging customer. LeapFrog supported the implementation of a new IT system, enabled customer service improvements and ensured the viability of low-cost insurance policies. Over 350 team members underwent sales and management training, including a large new agency force.

Crucially, LeapFrog promoted connections across the portfolio by introducing Express to BIMA, a dynamic mobile distributor and LeapFrog investment. Read about this partnership here.

When LeapFrog invested, Express had 12,000 clients. Within two years, Express Life had catapulted to 423,000 clients, reaching almost 900,000 people, family members included.

This transformed company attracted the attention of Prudential PLC, who were looking to establish a footprint in Africa. By March 2014, Express – now a healthy and growing company – had been acquired by Prudential PLC. The successful LeapFrog exit was a remarkable demonstration of how profitable investing can go hand-in-hand with deep social impact.

ARM Life

Nigeria is leading the African growth story; this exhilarating nation has been an outperformer even among fast-growing African markets. Nigeria has been posting 6% real GDP growth every year for the past decade, 1.2% above that of Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, 66% of the vast Nigerian market is still underserved with vital financial services.

The Asset and Resource Management Company (ARM) is the leading non-bank financial institution in Nigeria, and the largest independent asset manager. ARM partnered with LeapFrog to expand into life insurance to complement its pensions and investment management offerings. ARM Life offers a wide range of investment and savings, risk and annuity products to Nigeria’s mushrooming employee base and mass-market.

LeapFrog’s team brings significant actuarial and operational skills to bear on the development of ARMLife’s retail presence, helping diversify and grow the business. LeapFrog has worked with ARMLife to bring in new leadership talent and support across management training, as well as to improve governance, financial reporting actuarial and technical services and human capital management.


Financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa is growing at about 19% annually, with East Africa a particular area of growth. Apollo is one of the region’s star performers when it comes to insurance.

The company, which operates through its wholly owned subsidiary APA, is active in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Apollo sells various types of insurance policies, from life to motor to health to crop insurance. It is a pillar of Kenyan society, emphasizing affordable protection products to the underserved. LeapFrog invested in Apollo in 2011, forming a partnership that focused on creating a dedicated emerging consumer strategy and developing pioneering new health products.

Says Ashok Shah, Apollo CEO, “LeapFrog provided more than capital; the team helped us to scale our substantial health insurance offerings. They helped us launch a number of products for underserved clients, including last needs and hospital cash insurance. These innovations will be crucial not just for Apollo, but for regional development.”

LeapFrog successfully exited Apollo to Swiss Re, in a deal announced in October 2014. By then, Apollo was reaching 969,000 people of whom almost 725,000 were under-served emerging consumers. At exit, health insurance coverage had increased 26% to reach 72,500 people, while life insurance coverage had increased 170% to reach 490,000 people.