Annapurna Finance funding

Bhubaneswar-based microfinance company Annapurna Finance Pvt Ltd on Tuesday announced that it has raised $30 million as primary equity from Nuveen Global Impact.

As stated by the company, the freshly acquired funds will enable the MFI to grow 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 digitizing business processes to properly serve its clients. Unitus Capital has been the sole advisor throughout the fund-raising process, said the company.

Leading the latest funding round, Nuveen will acquire a notable minority stake in the business. As a key strategic shareholder, Nuveen will play a role in directing the company’s strategy, assisting the company to recognize and execute on potential acquisitions as well as leveraging the company’s significant outreach to widen 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 help the merchant, small business, and MSME customers of the company to “Run better, Buy better and Sell better”.

Commenting on the new investment, 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 current investors include Belgian Investment Organisation, Asian Development Bank, DCB Bank, Oiko Credit, SIDBI, Oman India Joint Investment Fund, SIDBI Venture Capital, Women’s World Banking, and Bamboo Capital Partners.

Speaking on the recent development, 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.”