Annapurna Microfinance raises $4.2M in Series C round from SIDBI VC

Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. has raised Rs 25 crore ($4.2 million) in a Series C round of funding from Samridhi Fund which is managed by SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SIDBI and an existing investor in the firm, it said on Wednesday.

The Odisha-based microlender had last year raised Rs 30 crore (around $5 million) in a Series B round of funding led by Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), with participation from the existing investor Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.

It had also raised around Rs 3 crore from SIDBI two years ago.

Annapurna focuses on central-eastern regions of the country with its operations spread across 115 branches and 65 districts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. With assets under management (AUM) of around $67 million, the microfinance institution caters to 380,000 members.

Gobinda C Pattanaik, managing director of Annapurna, said: "This enhanced net worth position would fuel the expansion plan of the company while enabling it to widen its funding base and geographical outreach.”

The microfinance sector has been a hot commodity since the beginning of this year with several MFIs attracting money. The top MFI in the country Bandhan got a commitment for $260 million earlier this year from GIC and IFC (partly for its upcoming retail bank); Ujjivan raised $96 million; Arohan raised $9.6 million from Tano Capital.

The government and RBI have both supported the sector through various schemes and programmes. The government on Wednesday formally launched MUDRA Bank with a corpus of Rs 20,000 crore to help MFIs with their refinancing operations. The RBI on Tuesday in its monetary policy report revised the loan amount and the income threshold for borrowers in rural and urban areas.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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