Impact lender Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth Pvt. Ltd. announced acquiring a majority stake in its long-term microfinance partner Prayas Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.
Both the lenders are registered with RBI, Ananya as a NBFC, and Prayas as a NBFC-MFI. Ananya initially picked up a ~6% stake in Prayas and after receiving the requisite approvals from the regulator, has increased its stake to 55%.
Prayas has been serving women micro-borrowers in rural & urban backward areas of Gujarat & Rajasthan and the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh through its network of 30 branches and plans to expand to 150 branches.
Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth has been extending debt capital and capacity-building support to small and mid-sized MFIs. It is now helping its small MFI partners with tech upgrades and new product introductions through BC / Co-lending partnerships. It also extends loans and capacity-building support to smallholder farmer FPOs and start-ups in the renewable energy and sustainable landscapes sectors. Ananya was promoted by FWWB-I, (a not-for-profit promoted by SEWA), and is backed by foreign impact investors Gojo & Co, Japan, and C4D Partners, Netherlands.
Mr. Bhadresh Rawal, the Promoter Director of Prayas while sharing his views stated that the capital investment would help Prayas scale up and serve more women entrepreneurs who form the bottom of the economic pyramid. He further stated that the equity investment by Ananya showed its commitment to support its long-standing small microfinance partners.
Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Managing Director of Ananya Finance said the investment is in line with the company’s mission of creating a deep social impact by providing finance to women micro borrowers. He further stated that this acquisition gives impetus to the company’s strategy to transition from wholesale to direct retail.
Ananya & Prayas have appointed Mr. Abhisek Khanna, a former Banker with 18 years of experience in Microfinance & Rural Banking, as the CEO of Prayas to scale up its operations by leveraging technology for improving customer experience while reducing operational costs, and reach the target of serving 500,000 women micro & small entrepreneurs within the next 2-3 years.