Tyme raises $180 million in funding deal involving Tencent and UK’s CDC Group

Tyme raises $180 million in funding deal involving Tencent and UK's CDC Group

Multi-country digital banking group, Tyme, has secured $180 million Series B capital raise from Chinese multi-national technology conglomerate Tencent and UK impact investor CDC Group.

According to a statement, the investments from Tencent and CDC are pegged at an additional $70 million.

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 Group’s JG Summit Holdings (JG Summit), a Filipino conglomerate. 

Tyme, which has its roots in South Africa, will use the $180 million raised to fund and grow TymeBank in South Africa and to fund GOTyme in the Philippines, where the company secured a digital bank licence in partnership with, Gokongwei Group, with the possibility of further international expansion, explained the statement.

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 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.

Also commenting, Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme said: “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.”

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. TymeBank has also established solid partnerships with national retailers.

Most new TymeBank accounts are opened at kiosks, the statement said. The bank has, however, experienced a marked increase in accounts being opened online and a progressive shift from cash deposits to electronic transfers. 

The bank currently holds $177 million (R2.8 billion) in deposit balances from consumers and sole proprietors, and has taken in $2.1 billion (R33 billion) in gross deposits from the public since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

“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,” said TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan.

The finalisation of the investments is subject to conditions precedent and regulatory approvals, which are normal for transactions of this nature, concluded the statement.