29 Mar 2021
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Nuveen Global Impact strategy invests in India’s microfinance lender, Annapurna
Nuveen, a leading global investment manager with over $1.2 trillion of assets under management, announces today that it has invested in Annapurna Finance Private Limited (AMPL), one of India’s leading microfinance institutions (MFI). The investment represents the second from Nuveen’s Global Impact Strategy, after it invested in Advanced Battery Concepts LLC in October 2020.
AMPL is one of the largest microfinance institutions in India with a national footprint and a loan portfolio of over $500 million, serving over 1.7 million mostly female entrepreneurs with small working capital loans in rural areas.
Over the last several years, the company has led the industry in innovation and customer engagement, launching products and services aimed at increasing access to basic financial needs, including group loans, micro business loans, and individual lending products. Started over a decade ago as an NGO in India’s Western state of Odisha the company today operates across Eastern, Central and Western India, with further growth and diversification plans over the next five years.
Nuveen led the latest funding round, acquiring a significant minority stake in the business. As a key strategic shareholder, Nuveen will play a role in driving the company’s strategy, helping the company to identify and execute on potential acquisitions as well as leveraging AMPL’s significant outreach to broaden its climate initiatives. As a result of the investment, Nuveen will join the company’s Board of Directors.
Radhika Shroff, Managing Director, Private Impact Investing at Nuveen, said: “AMPL has differentiated itself in the industry by focusing on product diversification, digital innovation and geographic expansion, ensuring that rural entrepreneurs in India have the financial tools they need to run and grow their businesses. As a result, the company has continued to grow its portfolio during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening new branches, launching specialized outreach and education, and supporting its clients’ resiliency through the crisis.
“Today, over 80% of India’s lower middle-income class and below (around 640 million people) are financially excluded. However, by 2025, it is expected that 54 million people will be new consumers, creating a $600 billion consumption demand and $120 billion debt demand. Thus, AMPL is well-positioned to benefit from this and Nuveen’s investment will help the company execute its future growth plans.”
Gobinda 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.”
Nuveen’s Global Impact strategy seeks to drive positive change in two critical sustainable development challenges – inclusive growth and resource efficiency. The strategy targets a 40-60% allocation to each theme through direct private equity investments. Nuveen’s Global Impact strategy targets strong risk adjusted private equity returns and growth stage companies in developed and emerging markets that are at an inflection point where Nuveen can help them scale.
Nuveen is a pioneer in global impact investing with its first investment in this discipline dating back to the 1980s. Today it manages over $5.8 billion in public and private markets impact investing strategies. It has already invested nearly $500 million in direct and indirect private equity capital across over 200 portfolio companies in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.