Bhubaneswar-based microfinance institution Annapurna Finance Pvt Ltd on Tuesday announced that it has raised $30 million as primary equity from Nuveen Global Impact.
According to the company, this fund will allow the MFI to expand its microfinance portfolio by extending micro-credits to women members of self-help groups (SHGs) and Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), along with re-engineering and digitising business processes to better serve its clients. Unitus Capital has been the sole advisor throughout the fund-raising process, stated the company.
Leading the latest funding round, Nuveen will acquire a significant minority stake in the business. As a key strategic shareholder, Nuveen will play a role in driving the company’s strategy, helping the company to identify and execute on potential acquisitions as well as leveraging the company’s significant outreach to broaden its climate initiatives. As a result of the investment, Nuveen will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
Founded in 2010 by Gobinda Chandra Pattnaik, Annapurna focuses on digitally transforming the businesses and the lives of small business/MFI and MSME customers by introducing innovative technology solutions that will enable the merchant, small business, and MSME customers of the company to “Run better, Buy better and Sell better”.
Speaking about the new development, Gobinda Chandra Pattnaik, Managing Director at Annapurna Finance Private Limited, said,
“We are delighted to have received financial backing from a leading global investor like Nuveen. Over the last decade, we have dedicated our efforts to support rural entrepreneurs with their financial needs and we are proud to have helped so many individuals across India. Nuveen’s expertise and funding will help us meet our expansion plans and we look forward to working with them to develop our climate initiatives.”
With a wide area of microfinance operations in 313 districts across 18 states, the company claims to be serving 1.8 million clients, the majority of which are women.
Its existing investors include Asian Development Bank, SIDBI, Oman India Joint Investment Fund, Belgian Investment Organisation, SIDBI Venture Capital, DCB Bank, Oiko Credit, Women’s World banking, and Bamboo Capital Partners.
Commenting on the recent investment, Radhika Shroff, Managing Director, Private Impact Investing at Nuveen, added,
“We have tracked Annapurna’s progress as a trailblazing MFI in India, helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and successfully supporting its clients through the COVID 19 pandemic, and are delighted to partner with the company to help drive its future strategy of growth, product expansion and innovation.”