Pyramid Group of Tanzania Receives Funding From Leading Healthcare Investor, LeapFrog Investments

LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), the leading investor in companies that deliver healthcare and financial services for emerging consumers has invested in Pyramid Group (“Pyramid”). Pyramid Group is a leading distributor of specialist medical equipment and products that deliver the latest standard of care, access and affordability to Africans.

Founded in 2001, the company has grown to be the largest specialty distributor for cardiac and orthopaedic equipment in East 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 consumers in Africa who historically have had to travel abroad to access specialist products and treatments. This has contributed to the c.$1bn a year lost by Africa on medical tourism abroad.

Pyramid’s products are distributed in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana. The company currently provides healthcare products to four million consumers, of which over two million are emerging. Sales are projected to increase to approximately eight million total consumers over the next four years, of which over five million will be emerging.

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“We are delighted to have LeapFrog’s support to help us take Pyramid Group to the next level in the service of even more Africans,” said Abraham Okore, CEO and Founder of Pyramid Group. “LeapFrog emerged as the strongest, and most logical investment partner for Pyramid, given its deep healthcare expertise and strong pan-African network, which will help us meet our ambitious growth plans in the pharma and devices market.”

Africa currently has the highest age-standardised mortality rate of non-communicable diseases (779 per 100K people, versus US and EUR at 450-550 per 100K people). Poor access to medical resources and over-burdened healthcare systems, as well as an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes are driving a need for access to affordable new medicines and more advanced diagnostic equipment. According to recent research, the African pharmaceutical market is set to reach $62 billion by 2024, while the African medical devices market is set to reach $7bn by 2023, meaning that Pyramid is well positioned to deliver strong commercial and impact returns.

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LeapFrog will leverage its deep expertise in healthcare and networks within the African market to support Pyramid’s growth ambitions. This will include the identification, targeting and origination of new customers utilising LeapFrog’s unique in-house consumer insights capabilities, navigation of the complex regulatory environment found in many of the countries in which Pyramid operates, and the optimisation of internal systems and processes.

“The Pyramid team have built a remarkable pan-African business, set for growth, which benefits Africans who have a growing need for quality health products and diagnostics,” said Felix Olale, LeapFrog Partner, and Global Health Co-Lead, who originated the transaction. “We see immense potential to optimise the company’s operations and increase its customer reach in underserved areas, introducing new product lines like renal and oncology and continuing to deepen its distribution across Africa.”

The investment in Pyramid builds on LeapFrog’s successful track record in the African healthcare market and its decade of experience in partnering with emerging market businesses to provide health insurance to emerging consumers. LeapFrog invested in GoodLife Pharmacy in November 2016. It is now the largest pharmacy brand in East Africa. LeapFrog has successfully built and sold healthcare orientated businesses in the region, including global mobile health insurance provider BIMA sold to Allianz X, and West African life and health insurance provider Express Life sold to Prudential PLC.

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