Tyme raises $180 million from Tencent, CDC

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Tyme, a Singapore-based digital banking company, has secured investments from Tencent and CDC to complete its $180 million fund raising activity to bankroll the company’s digital bank partnership with the Gokongwei Group in the Philippines.

Aside from funding GOTyme, which secured a digital banking license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), proceeds of the fund raising activity will be used to fund and grow TymeBank in South Africa.

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.

It secured an additional $70 million from Tencent, a world-leading internet and technology company based in China, as well as CDC Group – a development finance institution and impact investor in United Kingdom.

The investments will allow Tyme to use its digital infrastructure to accelerate the rollout of financial services to TymeBank’s historic mass-market customer base.

“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 co-founder Coen Jonker said.

TymeBank has acquired four million customers in South Africa 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.

It has well-established partnerships with national retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer as well as the largest church in South Africa, the Zion Christian Church. It also recently partnered with leading fashion retailer The Foschini Group to diversify its customer base into higher income segments and to provide a viable pathway to responsible consumer lending.

TymeBank has continued to expand its offering, having recently launched its buy-now pay-later product, MoreTyme; a number of value-added services including the ability of customers to be paid their salaries a day early and various off-balance sheet products such as insurance.  It has maintained high levels of customer satisfaction as well as high levels of price and savings rate competitiveness throughout its growth trajectory.

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 functions in our global headquarters in Singapore,” he said.

In the Philippines, GOTyme was successfully awarded one of six digital banking licenses in August this year. Tyme’s strategy is to embed banking in people’s everyday lives, making it an integral part of shopping and business experiences.

The build-phase is currently underway in the Philippines, and Tyme is on track to launch in the third quarter of 2022. The finalization of the investments is subject to conditions precedent and regulatory approvals.


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