London, UK: LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), the profit with purpose investment firm, today announces the appointment of Nakul Zaveri as Partner to co-lead its newly established Climate Investment Strategy. As COP 27 focuses on mobilising capital for developing economies, the new strategy will support companies and technologies that enable both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change by lower-income people.
LeapFrog’s Climate Strategy marks a natural extension of the firm’s 15-year journey as a pioneer of impact investing, backing companies that deliver essential services and products that enable lower-income consumers to build better lives. To date, LeapFrog companies have provided financial services or healthcare to 407 million emerging market consumers.
Already, through companies like Interswitch and CarDekho, LeapFrog is enabling emerging consumers in Asia and Africa to access products such as rooftop solar electricity and electric vehicles. Through its Climate Strategy, LeapFrog plans to accelerate these efforts and open multiple low-carbon pathways for these consumers to rise into prosperity, while avoiding the unsustainable carbon footprint of the developed world, a critical objective in global ambitions towards NetZero.
LeapFrog believes that emerging consumers can swiftly transition beyond expensive and highly polluting energy, transport, and agricultural business models to new low-carbon and climate change resilient technologies – much as hundreds of millions of low-income customers have leapfrogged traditional telecommunications and banking models in recent years.
The new Climate Strategy will focus on companies providing green products and services that are already cost competitive in many emerging markets, and enjoy enabling regulatory tailwinds. This large and expanding investable universe includes PAYG rooftop solar, distributed energy systems, 2-wheeler electric vehicles and smart farming practices.
LeapFrog plans to work alongside developed as well as developing country entrepreneurs to rapidly scale and expand access to these green technologies, improving living standards and protecting our planet.
Dr Andy Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog, said: “Navigating a just transition – where economic inclusion and carbon emissions reduction go hand in hand – is a significant challenge for governments, NGOs, and investors over the coming decades. It is a particular focus of this year’s COP 27. Too little emphasis has been placed on the demand side – on meeting emerging customers’ needs and making the transition to clean technologies also a transition to a better standard of living for all.”
“Our goal is to give consumers in emerging markets a pathway to leapfrog to low-carbon consumption as they join the middle class. We want to enable them to access superior, more affordable, less polluting, safer, healthier, digital, and climate resilient products and services. We’re looking at climate through the lens of inclusion, a distinctive but also vital strategy as consumption rises across global growth markets.”
Nakul Zaveri has been appointed a Partner of the firm to co-lead the new strategy. He has over 20 years of experience in climate investing and financial services. He joins LeapFrog from his most recent role as Managing Partner at Relativity Investment Management, a sustainability-focused growth private equity fund group, investing in mid-market Indian businesses.
Before that, Nakul was a senior leader for seven years at the Global Environment Fund, a private equity investor focused on the industrial technology, energy ecosystem, infrastructure, and resource efficiency sectors, where he was responsible for managing investment activity across India and Southeast Asia.
Phyl Georgiou, Head of Climate Strategy and Operations, LeapFrog said: “Nakul brings the ideal skill-set to enable LeapFrog to deliver on profit with purpose in this domain: deep technical and investment expertise, broad systems-based understanding of the climate challenge, and a long and successful track record in growth markets. I am delighted to be welcoming someone of his caliber to our team and am looking forward to working closely with him.”
Nakul Zaveri, Partner, LeapFrog, concluded: “I am excited to be joining LeapFrog to support the growth of its climate investment strategy. I believe developing markets are transitioning rapidly towards business models that not only address the risks and opportunities from climate change, but also provide innovative and digitally enabled solutions to assist emerging consumers with climate adaptation.
“LeapFrog has an impressive track record in scaling businesses in global growth markets, a laser focus on authentic impact, and unrivaled knowledge of the needs of emerging consumers. The firm is incredibly well placed to expand its investment and impact capabilities further in this critical area. I look forward to working closely with the team as we take the next leap on the profit with purpose journey.”