Annapurna Microfinance raises $5M in Series B funding led by new Belgian investor

Odisha-based Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) has 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.

“This investment will help us in providing technology based innovative financial solution to thousands of SHGs thereby enabling us to strive forward in achieving our mission of an inclusive financial growth. We are looking forward to expand and strengthen our work in the underserved tribal dominated districts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh,” Gobinda Pattanaik, MD of AMPL, said.

“The capital increase will help AMPL to realise its important developmental mission of reaching out to underserved people, focusing on empowering women micro entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas and improving their livelihoods,” Laetitia Counye, senior investment officer, BIO, added.

"AMPL has lived up to its strategy of sustainable and controlled growth.  In a highly regulated framework, it has been able to show considerable buildup in the field infrastructure – which has led to balanced socio-commercial returns to all stakeholders. We will continue to support its strategy to build a strong portfolio in the much deserving Central Eastern region," Aditya Bhandari (regional director, Incofin IM South Asia) said, while commenting on the follow-on investment in AMPL.

BIO is a private company whose capital is held by the Belgian state. The company invests directly in private sector projects and as such makes a structural contribution to the socio-economic growth of host countries.

Another Belgian investment firm Incofin Investment Management had invested Rs 13 crore (then $2.6 million) in Annapurna Microfinance in June 2012.

Incofin Investment Management has been an investor in India with investments in around half a dozen MFIs. Over the last five years it has invested in Hope MicroCredit Finance India Pvt Ltd, Fusion Microfinance Pvt Ltd, Grameen Financial Services Pvt Ltd, Asomi Finance Pvt Ltd and Arman Financial Services Ltd. As of June 2011, Incofin Investment Management managed six facilities with total outstanding investments of $425 million in approximately 39 countries.

Founded in 2009, AMPL is a non-banking finance company which offers micro finance in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The MFI is looking to be at a leadership position in the other central eastern states within three years. The firm also designs and develops financial products and services for the urban poor in the sectors including health, education and rehabilitation.

As on February 2014, AMPL had a base of 225,000 clients across 53 branches with a loan book of Rs 144.2 crore ($24 million).

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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