Incofin Investment Management, a leading global emerging markets impact investment fund manager, announces the sale of its remaining stake in Annapurna Microfinance to a consortium of Annapurna shareholders led by Oikocredit and Bamboo Financial Inclusion Fund.

Incofin had first invested in Annapurna in 2012 when the Belgium headquartered fund committed as Series A funding.

In 2016, Incofin sold a stake in Annapurna to Women’s World Banking.

Founded in 2006 in Odisha, Annapurna through its microfinance operations across 12 states in Eastern & Central India has built a strong financial inclusion platform for the underserved households in these regions. Today, Annapurna has a loan book of over Rs 2,200 Crores and services over 1.4 million female clients through their 504 branches supported by over 4,400 employees across India vs 52,000 female clients and 30 branches at the time of entry by Incofin.

In 2012, Incofin India was the first impact fund to invest in Annapurna via its Rural Impulse Fund II. Incofin in India later supported the management team throughout the Andhra crisis, and led efforts for a successful equity fund raise, followed by subsequent Series B to Series E fundraises.

Since inception, Annapurna has been dedicated to building a large scale microfinance platform focusing on two fundamental principles – Innovate & Replicate. Over the years, Annapurna has effected several innovative aspects in its products and in service delivery and has efficiently replicated the early successes across multiple states in Eastern and Central India.

Post Incofin’s investment in Annapurna, the company has attracted globally renowned institutional investors including the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), Women’s World Banking, Oman India Investment Fund, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Bamboo capital and Oikocredit and most recently the Asian Development Bank ADB.

In 2014, Annapurna was awarded for the Working Group for Disability Inclusive Microfinance at the 5th NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2014.

Dibyajyoti Patnaik, Director, Annapurna Microfinance, says: “Incofin was the first investor in Annapurna via its Rural Impulse Fund II. They helped us to grow and nurture the company thanks to their global experience in micro and inclusive finance. Their rural and social focus inspired us to reach more rural and interior parts of India. It was an enriching journey with Incofin and we cherish their relationship.

Aditya Bhandari, Partner & Co Head for Asia, said: “It has been a classic example of co-creating something meaningful with deep rural and social impact. We are extremely pleased with the achievements of Annapurna, led by a mission aligned promoter management team. Annapurna has truly sailed through the challenging periods of Andhra-crisis and has demonstrated their ability to reach thousands of underserved women entrepreneurs.

Annapurna represents the 5th successful exit by Incofin in India, both in terms of impact and returns for the investors of Rural Impulse Fund II.

As a leading emerging markets impact investment firm, Incofin has invested (via equity and debt financing) over USD 2.1 billion in 257 microfinance/financial institutions across 53 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.

About Annapurna

Annapurna Microfinance Pvt. Ltd (AMPL) (http://ampl.net.in/), one of the fast growing NBFC-MFI in the country, has its roots in the early 1990s doing various developmental activities as a not-for-profit entity registered as Peoples Forum. The microfinance activities started with the evolution of Mission Annapurna under Peoples Forum from the year 2005. Mission Annapurna was able to reach the interior hinterlands of Odisha through its untiring effort of addressing the economic necessities of poor women at their doorstep. As the program grew large by size and area of operation, there was an utter need to transform itself into a more regularized entity. The gradual transformation from Mission Annapurna bring forth the name Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) to the sector in the year 2009. Thereafter, AMPL registered itself with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as an NBFC-MFI in the year 2013.

Annapurna was established with a purpose of serving the economically backward clients by bringing them to mainstream, providing need based financial services at their doorstep. The focus has been clear, to reach the areas where formal financial institutions find it unprofitable to settle in. Its objectives have not only limited to just reach and serve but also by providing financial and technical support to strengthen entrepreneurial skill for effective and efficient undertaking of business activities.

About Incofin

Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) is a global independent impact investment firm, focused on rural and agricultural finance, driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. It is an AIFM licensed fund manager, advising and managing over USD 1 billion of assets. Incofin has a team of more than 50 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and 4 regional offices in Colombia, India, Kenya and Cambodia.

Incofin manages the following funds:

  • Rural Impulse Fund II (closed-end fund) that invests in microfinance institutions that offer financial services in disadvantaged rural areas through debt and equity investments. RIF II focuses on investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

 

  • agRIF is a third generation (closed-end) fund, uses leveraged private equity structures to support investments in financial inclusion for the rural sector. agRIF takes this model one step further by specifically targeting the agricultural sector and smallholder farmers, as well as rural micro-entrepreneurs. In addition to the equity investments targeted by the fund, agRIF provides debt investments in agricultural SMEs and agricultural focused financial intermediaries.

 

  • The Fairtrade Access Fund (evergreen fund), which contributes to the development of a fair and sustainable agriculture sector. The fund addresses the financial and technical assistance needs of smallholder farmers by bridging the gap in working capital and providing long term financing.

 

  • Incofin CVSO (evergreen co-operative) specialises in debt and equity investments in sectors generally accepted to belong to the impact investments universe. CVSO focuses in particular on Financial Inclusion and can make (direct and indirect) investments in companies (including SME’s) that pursue relevant impact objectives at the base of the pyramid in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Energy, Housing, Healthcare or Education. It is a cooperative fund and open to retail investors.