Barely two years since it was launched and with over 2.8 million customers, South Africa’s TymeBank is ready for fierce competition with traditional banks. In a record-breaking deal for an early-stage fintech startup in Africa, the bank has announced it has raised $110m in private capital and that it has also teamed up with JG Summit, one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines, to apply for a local digital bank license.
“We believe that the future of digital banking in emerging markets is multi-country, to actually build a banking group where there is enough critical mass of customers,” said Coen Jonker, co-founder and executive chairman of Tyme.
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- The latest funding came mainly from private equity fund Apis Partners, with participation from JG Summit.
- TymeBank plans to use the latest funding to expand its services across South Africa.
- It also plans to use part of the investment to finance JG Summit’s launch of digital banking operations in the Philippines. Last November, the Philippines’ central bank approved a set of new rules permitting digital banks to set up.
“For us, Philippines represents the best fit in terms of our business and operating model to expand, and JG Summit the best partner in terms of the retail capacity that they have and their loyalty programs,” said Jonker.
- Tyme also plans to fund its digital banking license as well as expansion to Malaysia which recently announced plans to issue up to five digital banking licenses after it issued a policy framework for online-only banks.
- Following the new investment, the stake of South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe who is a majority owner in TymeBank (and who invested through his investment vehicle African Rainbow Capital) has been diluted, although he still remains the startup’s biggest investor.
A Look At What TymeBank Does
Launched in 2019 by founders Coen Jonker, Rolf Eichweber, Tjaart van der Waalt, TymeBank is South Africa’s first digital bank. In February 2019, the bank launched its EveryDay transactional account bundled with a savings tool called GoalSave, its MoneyTransfer solution, and its TymeCoach App, which gives consumers free access to their credit report, supported by tips on how to make better decisions about the money.
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