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LeapFrog Investments backs east African medical distributor Pyramid Group



ImpactAlpha, September 30 – LeapFrog Investments has expanded its healthcare portfolio by taking an undisclosed share of Pyramid Group.

Tanzania-based Pyramid Group is a medical devices and pharmaceutical distributor for Eastern Africa. It’s the biggest regional distributor of some types of specialty equipment, like cardiac and orthopedic equipment, on a continent where lifestyle diseases are on the rise and require more specialized care and intervention.

“Communicable diseases still pose the greatest challenge to the health of the people in [Africa], although about one third of the disease burden is due to noncommunicable disorders and conditions,” according to a World Health Organization report. “To stem the tide of these disorders and conditions, it will need to develop a response using low-cost health solutions, particularly prevention and health promotion, for the entire population.”

Pyramid Group’s products currently reach about four million people, half of whom are part of the continent’s emerging consumer class. It’s looking to double its reach in the next four years. By then, LeapFrog estimates that Africa’s market opportunity for medical devices and pharmaceuticals will be $58 billion by 2022.

“[Pyramid] benefits Africans who have a growing need for quality health products and diagnostics,” said LeapFrog’s Felix Olale. “We see immense potential to optimize the company’s operations and increase its customer reach in underserved areas.”

In particular, LeapFrog is looking to help the company expand into new product lines, like oncology. Oncology products and services would have a disproportionate impact on women, who suffer higher cancer rates than men in Africa.

LeapFrog’s investment in Pyramid follows its July acquisition of a majority stake in India’s Ascent Meditech.

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