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India’s Annapurna Finance raises $19 million to expand lending to rural women

ImpactAlpha, February 5 – The Asian Development Bank has invested 1.4 billion rupees ($19.1 million) in Indian microfinance institution Annapurna Finance.

Annapurna Finance is based in Bhubaneswar, in the state of Odisha. The organization’s lending activities focus on rural areas, where only 16.5% of adults have access to formal financial services, according to an ADB statement. Eighty-five percent of its borrowers are based in rural areas. The organization concentrates on reaching women and has recently expanded into affordable housinga high priority sector for the India government, which is pushing to ensure that all Indians can secure affordable housing by 2022.

“Women, particularly in the rural areas in India, still have difficulty in accessing capital, which limits their potential and prevents them from contributing significantly to inclusive and sustainable growth,” ADB’s Paul Flegler said.

ADB’s equity investment accounts for a 14% share of Annapurna, The Economic Times reportedUnitus Capital advised on the deal. 

Several other existing investors including the Oman India Joint Investment Fund, and impact investors Oikocredit and Bamboo Finance, also increased their equity shares in the institution through secondary market deals, according to several local press outlets.

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