South Africa’s Tyme Bank Raises $180-Million from Tencent & CDC Group

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Tyme, one of the fastest-growing digital banking groups globally has successfully secured investments from Tencent and CDC to complete its $180 million Series B capital raise.

The investments from Tencent and CDC are pegged at an additional $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 $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 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.

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.”

The finalisation of the investments is subject to conditions precedent and regulatory approvals.


Edited by Luis Monzon
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