By 29 April, 2010

JP Morgan is likely to join Leapfrog Investments, a Luxembourg-based global microinsurance fund, as an investor soon. The microinsurance fund is planning to announce its final closing of its fund on May 6.

Leapfrog, which claims to be the world's first investment fund focused on microinsurance, has received commitments from global financial majors including Soros Economic Development Fund, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Omidyar Network. 

The fund is providing microinsurance and financial services to developing countries, and will focus on investments in Africa and Asia, it said in a statement. It will invest in fast-growing markets such as India, Pakistan, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya. It targets investments in between $5 million and $15 million, and a strong financial return for its investors. 

According to a previous report in VCCircle, the fund would look at investing in innovative insurance and financial services companies or businesses that own strong distribution platform. 

The fund plans to serve around 25 million vulnerable people in Africa and Asia with quality insurance – protecting their lives, families, property and businesses. 

Speaking to VCCircle recently, Jim Roth, principal, Leapfrog Investments, said that the fund would be allocating around $40 million from its $110-million global fund in India. Roth also said the fund was looking at replicating some of its successful affordable insurance models in Asia and Africa in India. 

Microinsurance has a huge market in India with over one billion low-income people seeking for insurance and a market penetration below 9%. Currently, only five million people - or only 2% of the poor, have microinsurance, and only 24 microinsurance plans are registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority by 15 commercial life insurers in India, he said earlier.

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