Odisha-based microfinance lender Annapurna Finance has raised Rs 260 crore ($35 million) from a clutch of investors to mainly fund its digital transformation and green financing.
Annapurna Finance said the $35 million investment from Encourage Capital, Accion, and existing investor Oikocredit is the third fundraising during 2021.
After attracting a $30 million investment from Nuveen Global Impact Fund in March and a $20 million from DEG in November, the total fundraise this year has reached $85 million, the company said in a release.
The MFI lender has a pan India rural distribution network, offering micro-credit loans, home improvement, and MSME loans to individuals and small businesses. As part of its larger vision, Annapurna is adding green finance products to its offering and also advancing its digital transformation journey, it added.
"Annapurna Finance is working towards transforming itself into a fully digital financial services entity with the help of Accion's investment and advisory services. This focus on digital strategy will further boost the financial inclusion objectives of Annapurna," the company said.
It will increase the speed and convenience of the distribution of the company's products and provide access to women borrowers in rural India, bringing them into the formal financial ecosystem.
The investment from Encourage Capital will help Annapurna to initiate green finance products. Expertise from Encourage Capital will be utilised to launch clean and sustainable energy financing products to small businesses and individuals, it said.
Annapurna Finance said this will be Oikocredit's fourth investment in the company since its first equity investment in 2016 and first debt investment in 2010. Oikocredit has played a vital role over the years in the growth of the company and its ability to create higher social impact, it noted.
Gobinda Chandra Pattnaik, managing director, Annapurna Finance, said: "Set up with a focus of bringing economically weaker sections of society into the mainstream by providing need-based financial services, Annapurna's vision will be further emboldened by this round of investment.
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"These investments will help us further the cause by providing easier credit access through a scalable digital framework and allowing us to enter into clean energy lending."
Annapurna has a gross loan portfolio of Rs 5,128 crore as of September 2021, with microfinance operations spread across 336 districts in 19 states. The other investors of the company are ADB, MUDRA, Oman India Joint Investment Fund, Belgian Investment Company (BIO), SIDBI Venture Capital, DCB Bank, Women's World Banking, Nuveen Global Impact Fund India, DEG and Bamboo Capital Partners.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)