PR: Annapurna Microfinance raises USD 5 million of Equity from BIO and & Rural Impulse Fund II

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Brussels, March 26th, 2014 – Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) has led an INR 300 Million (USD 5 Million) Series B investment in Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Limited. Incofin IM’s Rural Impulse Fund II, an existing investor in the microfinance institution, also participated in this Series B round of investment.

Annapurna Microfinance Private Limited (AMPL-, founded in 2009, is a Central Eastern geography based microfinance institution (MFI), which is active in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. AMPL is already the leading regional MFI in Orissa and within next three years it aims to attain a leadership position in other central Eastern states.

AMPL, through its microfinance operations, provides livelihood support to the financially underserved households in the Central Eastern region. AMPL has a clear vision to contribute towards establishing a self-sustainable and economically empowered rural, tribal & sub-urban society. As a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC-MFI), AMPL is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.

In past three years AMPL has shown strong yet sustainable growth which has led to it achieving double bottom line returns. As of Feb 2014, AMPL has a base of 225,000 clients across 53 branches with a loan book of INR 1,442 million (USD 24 million).

Investment to support technology based innovative financial solutions

Commenting on the investment, Gobinda Pattnaik (MD of AMPL) said: “Annapurna has come a long way from an Odisha based MFI to Central Eastern India focused organization and it intends to cater 500 thousand families through its Self-Help-Group movement by 2015. 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, Chattisgarh and Madhyapradesh.”

Speaking on the First equity transaction in a microfinance company in India, Carole Maman (Chief Investment Officer, BIO) stated: “BIO is proud to become a shareholder and a long-term partner of AMPL, an institution that leads financial inclusion in rural areas in Orissa and the Central Eastern region and makes a difference in the life of thousands of households in India. As a shareholder, we will encourage the pursuit of a sound development based on good socio-economic fundamentals”. Laetitia Counye (Senior Investment Officer, BIO) added “the capital increase will help AMPL to realize 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;”

Speaking on the follow-on investment in AMPL, Aditya Bhandari (Regional Director, Incofin IM South Asia) stated: “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.”