London, 07 December 2021 – Tyme, one of the fastest growing digital banking groups globally, has successfully secured investments from Tencent and CDC to complete its US$180 million Series B capital raise.
The investments from Tencent and CDC are pegged at an additional US$70 million. Tencent is a world-leading internet and technology company based in China, and CDC Group is the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
Tyme, which has its roots in South Africa, is using the US$180 million it has raised to fund and grow TymeBank in South Africa and to fund GOTyme in the Philippines, where it has secured a digital bank licence in partnership with the leading Filipino conglomerate, Gokongwei Group, with the possibility of further international expansion.
The first part of Tyme’s Series B raise concluded earlier this year when it secured US$110 million from Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP, and the Gokongwei’s JG Summit Holdings (JG Summit).
The investments will enable Tyme to use its digital infrastructure to accelerate the rollout of financial services to TymeBank’s historic mass market customer base. The two investor’s capital and expertise will also be used to improve Tyme’s ability to manage risk and support Tyme’s expansion into markets where CDC has a presence.
CDC’s investment in Tyme in South Africa is part of its strategy to support businesses that provide vital infrastructure, such as digital financial services, to traditionally underserved groups.
African Rainbow Capital remains Tyme’s majority shareholder.
TymeBank, which is one of the world’s fastest growing digital banks, has acquired four million customers in 32 months, with noticeable acceleration in its acquisition rate. The hybrid model of digital banking and physical service has made banking accessible to South Africans across the economic spectrum. It has well established partnerships with national retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer as well as the largest church in South Africa, the Zion Christian Church. It also recently partnered with leading fashion retailer TFG, The Foschini Group (subject to regulatory approvals where applicable), to diversify its customer base into higher income segments and to provide a viable pathway to responsible consumer lending.
TymeBank has continued to expand its offering, having recently launched its buy-now pay-later product, MoreTyme; a number of value-added services including the ability of customers to be paid their salaries a day early; and various off-balance sheet products such as insurance. It has maintained high levels of customer satisfaction as well as high levels of price and savings rate competitiveness throughout its growth trajectory. Most new TymeBank accounts are opened at kiosks; the bank has, however, experienced a marked increase in accounts being opened online and well as a progressive shift from cash deposits to electronic transfers. It currently holds R2.8 billion in deposit balances, all from consumers and sole proprietors, and has taken in R33 billion in gross deposits from the public since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
Mr Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme commented: “This is a very welcome investment from Tencent and CDC. It is a clear vote of confidence in our digital banking offering as well as our leadership teams in South Africa, Singapore, and the Philippines.
Tyme’s global footprint now includes a product development and engineering hub in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam and banking businesses in South Africa and the Philippines. We have successfully attracted a team of skilled people, which includes over two hundred engineers, and established strategy, business development, data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) functions in our global headquarters in Singapore.”
The investment by Tencent and CDC represents a strong endorsement for both TymeBank – as one of the world’s fastest growing digital banks – and for South Africa’s banking sector overall. TymeBank is fully regulated and held to the same standards of safety and security as all other banks in South Africa. TymeBank is the first bank in South Africa to be operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network. It was also the first bank to be granted a commercial banking licence since 1999.
Commenting on the transaction, TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan said: “This is a momentous event for TymeBank. We look forward to continuing to demonstrate our strong strategic and execution capabilities to all our investors and to benefit from the deep global expertise that Tencent and CDC have accumulated through a multitude of investments in digital businesses. We are equally excited about the opportunity to pursue the synergies that exist between all investors and partners, ultimately to ensure added value for our customers.”
Dr Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Chairman of African Rainbow Capital, which is the majority shareholder of Tyme, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tencent and CDC as our new co-investors in Tyme. The ability to attract investors of this calibre is a testament to the global competitiveness of Tyme’s value proposition, and its management. The success of TymeBank in South Africa is an example of our innovation in financial services, and this is evidenced in our business model. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Tencent and CDC.”
In the Philippines, GOTyme was successfully awarded one of six digital banking licences in August this year. Tyme’s strategy is to embed banking in people’s everyday lives, making it an integral part of shopping and business experiences. This is particularly important in a country with an unbanked population of over 70%. The build-phase is currently underway in the Philippines, and Tyme is on track to launch in the third quarter of 2022. It is aiming to leverage its partnership with the Gokongwei Group.
The finalisation of the investments is subject to conditions precedent and regulatory approvals, which are normal for transactions of this nature.
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Notes to the editors
Tyme is a multi-country digital banking group, focused on bridging the digital divide in emerging markets, by integrating into physical retail ecosystems. Headquartered in Singapore with offices in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City, Tyme designs, builds, and commercializes digital banks for the mass market, with a particular expertise in serving under-served and under-banked populations. Tyme recognizes the unique challenges of digital banking in emerging markets and builds financial education, a high tech – high touch approach, and efficient cash management solutions to meet the needs of the emerging mass market in these countries.
For more information, please visit www.tyme.com
TymeBank is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, with more than 4 million customers acquired since launching in February 2019. The bank is founded on simplicity, transparency and affordability and is designed to make digital banking accessible and affordable to all South Africans across the economic spectrum.
TymeBank is majority owned by Dr Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (‘ARC’). Other shareholders include UK based Apis Growth Fund II (‘Apis’), a fintech private equity fund based in the UK, JG Summit Holdings (JG Summit) a Philippines based conglomerate owned by the Gokongwei family, African Fig Tree (AFT), a ring-fenced vehicle established by the founders along with key individuals, and the Ethos AI Fund.
TymeBank is a member of the Tyme Group of companies with headquarters in Singapore.
For more information, please visit www.tymebank.co.za.
About CDC Group
CDC Group is the UK’s impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in Asia and Africa. Under its new strategy its geographical mandate will be expanded to include Indo-Pacific countries and the Caribbean. More detail about the next strategy period will be made available on 14 December 2021.
CDC will become British International Investment plc on 4 April 2022.
The company is a leading player in the fight against climate change and has committed more than £700m of climate finance over the last four years. It plans to invest over £3 billion in climate finance between 2022 and 2026. CDC is also a founding member of the 2X challenge which has raised $10bn to empower women’s economic development.
The company has investments in over one thousand businesses in emerging economies and total assets of £6.9 billion. In 2020, CDC committed over of £1.1 billion to businesses in Africa and Asia and aims to invest up to £1.3 billion in 2021 – with a focus on driving inclusive growth, job creation and supporting economic recovery from COVID-19.
CDC is funded by the UK government and is a champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All proceeds from CDC’s investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Asia and Africa. CDC’s expertise makes it an ideal partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.
About African Rainbow Capital
African Rainbow Capital (ARC) is a black-owned and controlled investment holding company focusing on the South African financial services industry and businesses that deliver superior returns on equity. ARC is also focused on investment opportunities in select markets elsewhere on the African continent. ARC’s objective is to be a leading financial services investor, covering the full spectrum of financial service needs, such as life insurance, healthcare, asset management, general financial services, short-term insurance, property and banking. This is achieved through building strategic partnerships, both in South Africa and further afield, by obtaining equity stakes in product providers. The company is 100% owned by Ubuntu-Botho Investments, which was founded by Dr Patrice Motsepe in 2004. Ubuntu-Botho Investments became Sanlam’s anchor empowerment partner in 2004. In addition, Ubuntu-Botho Investments has the objective of contributing to the improvement of the livelihoods of poor, unemployed and marginalised South Africans.
For more information, please visit www.africanrainbowcapital.co.za