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Grameen Koota Announces Second Round of Funding 18-11-2009

Grameen Koota receives Over 27.5 crore in second round funding

Bangalore, November 18th, 2009: Grameen Koota a division of Grameen Financial Services P. Ltd., a Bangalore-based Microfinance Institution (MFI), today announced equity funding of Rs 27.5 crores from MicroVentures Investments (Luxembourg), MicroVentures SPA (Italy), Incofin (Belgium) and Aavishkar Goodwell (India).

Grameen Koota, an NBFC-MFI, works with poor and low-income households, providing financial and developmental services. Grameen Koota has close to 3 lakh borrowers who are serviced through 117 ranches spread across Karnataka and Maharashtra. “The infused capital will spur the company's growth and enable Grameen Koota to reach 5 lakh poor & low income households by the end of this financial year. Grameen Koota will also make use of this capital to expand operations into the neighbouring states of AP, TN and MP” says Mr Suresh Krishna (Managing Director, Grameen Koota).

Grameen Koota has also focused on widening it's offerings to engage communities in social development activities and services like education, health, sanitation, awareness on indoor air pollution etc. “From the very beginning, Grameen Koota has operated in a sustainable, business-like manner, with a firm social focus and purpose. Hence, we have always sought investment from socially oriented investors and are happy to have found investors who are aligned with our social vision & mission.” says Mrs. Vinatha Reddy (Founder-Chairman, Grameen Koota). Aavishkaar Goodwell, a first round investor, makes it's second investment in continued support of Grameen Koota's work. “Our long association with Aavishkaar stems from our common understanding of the need for financial inclusion in India. In the past, Aavishkaar has contributed significantly to the resources we required to scale operations. Today, the company has helped us structure deals for our second round of investments,” adds Mr Suresh Krishna.

Grameen Koota's leadership team comprises several seasoned professionals from the banking sector who have led operations in various districts across the country. “We are excited to participate in Grameen Koota, which is a leading MFI in India. We believe in Grameen Koota’s Management team and trust that their constant efforts to innovate, both on products and value services will yield quality results faster than expected,” said Mr De Canniere (CEO, Incofin).

Micro Ventures has been actively linked to social capital investment in developing countries since 2006.Speaking on the investment in Grameen Koota, Paolo Brichetti (Chairman, MicroVentures Investments) stated that the association made social and economic sense. ”We are proud to be part of Grameen Koota, which has, for many years, been a reference point for the Indian Microfinance sector, always looking ahead with a clear vision and strategy,” he added.

“We are delighted to welcome new investors on board in Grameen Koota. Our investment in the second round exemplifies our faith in Grameen Koota and its commitment towards being a strong partner to its clients . Their efforts to pioneer new technologies that would benefit their existing and new clientele is laudable and will go a long way in setting a trend in the MFI industry” saidP Pradeep, Partner at Aavishkaar Goodwell.

In the past, Grameen Koota has invested significantly in infrastructure and technology that manages portfolio information. “We are one of the first in the world to use MIFOS, a open-source centralized MIS system that effectively monitors our borrowers & portfolio. The investment we have received now will help us make more strategic investments into technology, which will give us the strength to standardize our operations & bring down our back office costs” explains Mr Suresh Krishna.

Grameen Koota aims to reach 20 lakh poor and low-income households, across 7 Indian states, by 2012 through financial produces and development services.

About Grameen Koota – A Division of Grameen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.

Grameen Koota was inspired by the book “Gives us credit” written by Alex Counts (President & CEO of Grameen Foundation USA) on the story of Grameen Bank & Prof. Muhammad Yunus. It began in 1999 as a project of T. Muniswamappa Trust (an NGO) with seed capital funding from Grameen Trust, Bangladesh following the core principles of Grameen Bank. In the year 2007 the micro finance activities was transformed into an NBFC. Currently Grameen Koota serves 3 lakh poor & low income household through 117 branches in Karnataka & Maharashtra with over 1200 employees & an outstanding loan portfolio of Rs. 155 crores. Grameen Koota has leveraged several strategic partnerships that contribute to the organisations capacity & outreach. Grameen Koota is also a member of various nation and international networks, associations & institutions.

About MicroVentures

The MicroVentures initiative was started-up in Italy by a group of private social entrepreneurs with previous experience in the field of social venture capital and business cooperation with the Developing Countries. The initiative has gradually expanded into an international network of affiliates, which includes the Bangalore-based MicroVentures India (specialized in providing debt to indian MFIs) and the recently born MicroVentures Investments,  a specialized investments fund based in Luxembourg, which provides equity  and debt financing to promising Microfinance Institutions in Asia and Latin America.

About Incofin Investment Management

The Belgium-based company manages a number of funds in microfinance. These funds among which Impulse Fund invest in high potential MFIs worldwide with a focus on both financial and social performance. Incofin Investment Management provides active support to the companies it has invested in.

About Aavishkaar Goodwell

Aavishkaar Goodwell is a Mauritius based fund focused on creating high impact investments through entrepreneurial microfinance initiatives in India. Aavishkaar Goodwell is a joint initiative of the teams behind Aavishkaar India, the world’s first microventure capital fund; and Goodwell, a Dutch microfinance investment company funded by social investors and pension funds.

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