London-based impact investor Leapfrog has sold its stake in this developing markets insurer as part of a $97m deal

Lucy White
Leapfrog had supported Bima for four years (Source: Getty)

London-based impact investor Leapfrog has sold its stake in developing markets micro-insurer Bima, as part of a $96.6m investment from Allianz X.

Allianz X, the digital investment unit of global insurer Allianz, has bought out the stakes of a number of smaller shareholders to become Bima's sole insurance shareholder. Swedish private equity firm Kinnevik will retain the largest overall stake.

As an early investor in Bima four years ago, Leapfrog has helped the business sell more than 30m insurance policies to low-income people across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has aided in building an innovative "teledoctor" service.

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"Mobile technologies have fundamentally reshaped the future of financial services, creating an infrastructure to reach billions of first-time consumers in emerging markets," said Andrew Kuper, Leapfrog's founder and chief executive.

"Bima has demonstrated the potential of this model to impact the lives of millions of people, providing essential services that enable their rise into prosperity."

Since its launch in 2010, Bima has scaled operations in 14 communities and reached 24m people. With Allianz's help, it aims to reach 1bn.

"Allianz is the perfect insurance partner and investor for Bima because of their strong commitment to emerging markets and overlapping footprint," said the company's founder and chief executive Gustaf Agartson.

Bima aims to use mobile technology to reach underserved customers in poorer areas, while an agent force of 3,500 staff distributes products and educates consumers.

The firm works with mobile operators, banks and microfinance institutions as well as a growing range of corporates.

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