Indian microfinance lender Annapurna raises $23.2m from Oman fund

Photo: Mint

Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Ltd on Wednesday said it has raised ₹155 crore from Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a private equity fund backed by Oman’s sovereign wealth fund State General Reserve Fund and India’s largest lender State Bank of India.

OIJIF recently announced the second close of its second fund, OIJIF II, with commitments of $230 million.

Bhubaneswar-based Annapurna is promoted by social activist Gobinda Pattanaik. With a portfolio of over ₹2,000 crore, it is one of the leaders in microfinance in eastern India. It serves more than 1.2 million borrowers through a network of more than 400 branches across 14 states.

“With this new round of equity, we will be one of the best capitalized MFIs (microfinance institution) in the country,” said Pattanaik, managing director and chief executive officer of Annapurna Finance. “We look forward to leverage the experience of OIJIF, along with our existing investors, to further strengthen our commitment towards inclusive growth. We are now committed to expand our offerings to our borrowers by venturing in new asset classes like SME and housing finance.”

Annapurna, which is focused on rural India, is primarily engaged in providing micro loans to women borrowers for income-generating activities.

The company has raised multiple rounds of equity. Its existing investors include Sidbi, Incofin, Belgian Investment Organization, Sidbi Venture Capital, DCB Bank, Oiko Credit, Women’s World Banking and Bamboo Capital Partners.

According to Satyajit Das, chief finance officer at Annapurna Microfinance, the investment by OIJIF is part of a larger fund-raising plan.

“The company is raising ₹400 crore, of which primary equity infusion will be ₹300 crore and secondary will be ₹100 crore,” Das said. “The company has already raised ₹155 crore from OIJIF as primary equity infusion. We are expecting this entire fund-raise to be completed by the second quarter of the year.”

With the latest fund-raising, the company plans to diversify itself into newer asset classes and invest in technology to increase operational efficiency, he said.

“The company has clocked a revenue of ₹342 crore in financial year 2018, while the revenue was ₹247 crore in FY2017 with year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 39%,” he said. “The number of customers serviced increased from 0.9 million in FY2017 to 1.2 million in FY2018 registering y-o-y growth of 33%.”

This is the second investment by OIJIF from its latest fund.

OIJIF recently invested ₹100 crore in Pune-based automobile component maker Divgi TorqTransfer Systems.

Some of the earlier investments made by OIJIF are National Commodities and Exchange Derivatives Ltd, footwear manufacturer and retailer SSIPL Retail Ltd and ING Vysya Bank, which was acquired by Kotak Mahindra Bank.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.