TymeBank international arm raises over R1.1bn from Tencent and UK financier

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TymeBank's sister company just raised US$ 180million from Tencent and UK development financier to expand its operations. Photo: Supplied
TymeBank's sister company just raised US$ 180million from Tencent and UK development financier to expand its operations. Photo: Supplied

TymeBank's sister company just got $70 million (about R1.1 billion) from Tencent and UK's development financier to expand its operations.

Tyme, which is the international arm of TymeBank and has the same shareholders as the local digital bank, announced on Tuesday that it completed a capital raise with investments from Tencent and CDC Group.

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 said it will use the US$180 million to fund and grow TymeBank in South Africa and to fund GOTyme in the Philippines. The company has now secured a digital bank licence in partnership with Filipino conglomerate Gokongwei Group.

This is the second time that Tyme has successfully concluded a capital raise in one year. Earlier this year, it secured US$110 million from a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP and JG Summit Holdings. But despite all the capital raises, the banking group said Patrice Motsepe's African Rainbow Capital remains its majority shareholder.

This new capital brings the possibility of further international expansion, said Tyme.

"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," wrote the banking group in a statement.

The money will also be used to accelerate the rollout of financial services to TymeBank's mass-market customer base in SA.

TymeBank has already acquired four million customers in SA. It has been expanding its product offering, launching a buy-now-pay-later credit product called MoreTyme and several other value-added services.

It currently has R2.8 billion in retail deposits from customers sitting in its bank accounts and has attracted R33 billion in gross deposits since March 2020.

Tyme said the investment by Tencent and CDC represents a strong endorsement for both TymeBank and South Africa's banking sector overall.

"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," said Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme.

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