Orissa-based (AMPL) has raised Rs 13 crore ($2.6 million) from Belgian investment firm Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.
Incofin has invested through equity shares, making Annapurna its sixth equity investment in India. Through this investment, the company would be able to reach out to micro-entrepreneurs in more than 12 states across the country.
Annapurna Micro Finance, founded in 1988 as Gwalior Finance and Leasing Co. Pvt Ltd, is a non-banking finance company which offers micro finance to poor, needy women. The firm also designs and develops financial products and services for the urban poor in the sectors including health, education and rehabilitation, according to a company statement.
As of March, AMPL had around 125, 000 clients in 18 districts of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. It has provided loans worth Rs 35.77 crore. The company, which has funding relationships with 18 banks or financial institutions, is targeting leadership position in Orissa and Chhattisgarh within the next three years.
“We do not only provide finance to the micro entrepreneurs, but also encourage them to build up financial reserves by saving at local banks. Our strategy has been to work closely with rural enterprises and build their financial strength,” Gobindra Pattanaik, MD of AMPL, said in the statement.
Incofin is very active investor in India with five equity investments in the last four years including Hope MicroCredit Finance India Pvt Ltd, Fusion Microfinance Pvt Ltd, Grameen Financial Services Pvt Ltd, Asomi Finance Pvt Ltd and Arman Financial Services Ltd. The total investment portfolio includes over 100 MFIs globally across 40 countries.
“Our investment in AMPL stresses our faith in the long-term potential of the Indian microfinance market. Annapurna is a promising MFI with well-balanced social and sustainable commercial returns. We are quite confident that they will attain a leadership position in the regions they operate,” said Aditya Bhandari, regional director, Incofin South Asia.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)