Here is another Hyderabad-based microfinance institution that has raised private equity funding. Asmitha Microfin Limited has raised Rs 50 crore from BlueOrchard Private Equity Fund in its second round of funding. The firm, which claims to be one of the top five microfinance institutions in India in terms of portfolio size, has over 1.16 million clients with a loan portfolio of about Rs 745 crore ($165 million) as of July 31, 2009.

Asmitha has a network of 485 branches across 127 districts in 13 states of the country. The funds will be used by Asmitha to expand its operations into the rural markets. Last year Hyderabad-based SKS Microfinance raised a $75 million round led by Sandstone Capital,

followed by the recent $10 million strategic investment by Bajaj Allianz into the company. Two other big MFI firms - Share Microfin and Spandana Microfinance, who are also city-based, are also in the midst of raising their $50-60 million private equity rounds.

"After participating in the first round of equity raising, BlueOrchard’s investment in the second round as well, endorses Asmitha’s strong commitment to quality, efficient systems and striking

the optimal balance between impressive social impact and well-managed, sustainable growth,” said Dr. Vidya Sravanthi, Chairperson and Managing Director, Asmitha Microfin Limited, in a release.

Switzerland-based BlueOrchard invests in financial institutions providing microcredit for families and small businesses that do not have access to regular financial institutions. The firm also provides

credit products besides private equity, investing in MFIs across the world.

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