Tyme Bank, one of the fastest growing digital banking groups, has reported a successful pre-Series C capital raise. The group’s South African flagship, TymeBank, celebrated its 7 million customer milestone on12 May 2023.

Norrsken22 is an African focused tech growth fund. Blue Earth Capital, another backer, is an independent global impact investment firm. Meantime, Tencent has increased its shareholding to become Tyme’s third largest shareholder. The funds raised are intended to further operations in South Africa and the Philippines. Tyme is also planning for future expansion in Southeast Asia.

Tyme innovations include being the first bank in South Africa to be operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network. The bank says it is now possible to open a fully regulated bank account in less than five minutes. This can be done online or from a TymeBank kiosk. It also takes nine seconds to send money to any cellphone in South Africa using TymeBank’s SendMoney app.

Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme and TymeBank CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Norrsken22 and Blue Earth Capital to the group of high-calibre investors who have bought into Tyme’s growth story and its mission to democratise financial services by lowering cost and other barriers to access.”

Tyme USP’s: speed of growth, differentiated products, cross-segment appeal

Natalie Kolbe, Managing Partner, Norrsken22, added: “We are delighted to invest in Tyme. The company offers a unique product with huge customer appeal. This has led to fast and sustained growth. We have analysed a lot of fintechs from across the continent. Tyme set itself apart with its impressive growth, its differentiated product, and its unique ability to reach and serve new customer groups. The exceptional management team have already built one of the largest challenger banks in the world. We are looking forward to being part of the next phase of their journey.”

David Moore, Principal of Funds and Co-Investments at BlueEarth, said: “We invested in Tyme Group thanks to our long-standing partnership with Apis Partners who look to build on their mission to generate attractive commercial returns alongside key priorities of reduced inequalities and greater financial inclusion. BlueEarth is excited about backing Tyme’s innovative, retail partnership model. This enables affordable access to first-class banking products to all consumers, including those most vulnerable or living in remote locations.”

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Series C round slated for later in 2023

Work continues with interested investors. The Series C round is expected to close later in the year. Tyme completed its Series B in December 2021. Led by existing shareholders, the capital raise brought in a total of $180m. African Rainbow Capital (ARC) remains Tyme’s majority shareholder.

African Rainbow Capital (ARC) remains Tyme’s majority shareholder. Patrice Motsepe, founder and chair of ARC, said: “We remain excited and committed to further creating value in building a global digital banking portfolio with our fellow shareholders and partners. We welcome the new investors who have participated in this raise.”

Tyme reports a revenue run rate of over $100m per year. Across two markets, the bank is adding 300,000 new customers per month. It reports a 70%, 30-day account activity rate.

Tyme Bank: established partnerships, Philippines launch

The bank has well established partnerships with national retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer. It is working with leading fashion retailer The Foschini Group as well as the largest church in South Africa, the Zion Christian Church. In 2022 TymeBank acquired fintech, Retail Capital. This has already provided more than 43,000 business owners in South Africa with over ZAR5.5bn in working capital. This makes it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector.

GoTyme in the Philippines launched in October 2022 in partnership with the Gokongwei Group. The digital bank was modelled on South Africa’s TymeBank. The imported concept has progressed financial access as it offers Filipino consumers quality, affordable and accessible financial service solutions.