Meet the Impact 20: ‘Commerce is more than the pursuit of filthy lucre’

The founder of LeapFrog Investments explains how his firm’s definition of impact empowers society’s most vulnerable citizens.

The private impact capital manager LeapFrog Investments is trying to effect change by empowering those on the lowest rungs of societies, according to the firm’s founder and chief executive Andy Kuper.

Impact investing can be “fundamentally life changing” for lower income communities around the world, Kuper told New Private Markets in an interview. “The idea for LeapFrog was that, ultimately we would invest in companies that treated low-income customers as worthwhile customers, as people who choose to be buyers and are empowered by tools that our companies provide.”

Goodlife Pharmacy is one example from LeapFrog’s portfolio which Kuper gives. In 2016, the firm backed a small chain of pharmacy stores in Kenya and has now steadily grown access to Goodlife’s medical supplies to more than 70 stories and two million customers.

“You see how much [impact investing] changes people’s lives, and you understand that commerce is not this pursuit of filthy lucre,” Kuper explained.

LeapFrog finished eighth in our inaugural Impact 20 ranking after raising $1.09 billion over the previous five-year period. The ranking measured final or official interim fundraising closes held between January 2016 and March 2021. The ranking uses the GIIN’s definition of impact, which considers investments that are made “with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return”.

The video posted above highlights more of our conversation with Kuper, who walks us through in detail how Goodlife is a good example of an impact investment made through LeapFrog.

This article is part of our Meet the Impact 20 series profiling the managers featured in the ranking. View our previous post here to learn how Philip Newborough is balancing the competing reporting methodologies among GPs.