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TymeBank secures R1.6 bn investment from global investors

By Pavithra R

February 24, 2021

  • Africa
  • Tymebank
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South African digital bank TymeBank has announced securing an investment amounting to R1.6 bn, one of the largest foreign investments any FinTech company has secured in the country.

The funding represents a strong endorsement for both TymeBank and will be used to bolster its growth and secure its path to commercial success. The finance round attracted new investors from the UK and Philippines: Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners , and JG Summit Holdings, one of the largest and renowned conglomerates in the Philippines and owned by the Gokongwei family. TymeBank values the global expertise Apis and JG Summit will bring as shareholders and Apis as a Board member.

The new investment will allow TymeBank to expand its range of banking products and grow its lending portfolio. The bank also seeks to enhance its propositions in insurance, credit cards, and other value added services to customers. This will support the bank’s ethos of broadening access to financial services to individual clients, entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners into the banking ecosystem.

Like all banks in South Africa, TymeBank is regulated by the Prudential Authority of the SA Reserve Bank. The bank touts to be the first bank in SA to be operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network. It is the first bank to be granted a commercial banking license since 1999.

“The establishment of digital banks in South Africa is in its infancy. Growth in this particular segment of financial services is only possible with investments from partners who understand and support the growth trajectory of digital banks. Our new shareholders in TymeBank have significant experience in digital financial services in key emerging markets. We certainly look forward to learning from their experience to enhance our own offering to South African customers,” said Mr Tauriq Keraan, Chief Executive Officer of TymeBank.

Along with TymeBank’s existing shareholders, which includes majority shareholder African Rainbow Capital, the new investors commits to growing the bank into a top tier retail bank in South Africa. They have also agreed to launch a digital bank in the Philippines, testament to the innovation and digital banking capabilities TymeBank has built.

Of the total investment of R1.6 bn, some R500 mn has already been invested. The balance of R1.1 bn will be invested over the next 12 to 15 months. The investment comes on the heels of the company’s efforts in satisfying customer demand for low and transparent bank fees, a costly and difficult area to understand in South Africa. The bank is also improving access to underbanked and under-serviced people in the country.

TymeBank is an exclusively digital retail bank based in South Africa. The company boasts 2.8 mn customers and is expected to reach a milestone of 3 mn customers by the end of March 2021. TymeBank is a member of the Tyme group of companies, which is headquartered in Singapore.

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