Tyme raises $77.8m to fuel global expansion

Tyme, one of the fastest growing digital banking groups in the world, has successfully raised $77.8m from Norrsken22 and Blue Earth Capital. The two new investors have come on-board as part of its pre-Series C capital raise. This comes as the group’s South African flagship, TymeBank, celebrates its 7 million customer milestone this month (12 May 2023). 

Along with the two new shareholders – Norrsken22, an  African focused tech growth fund, and Blue Earth Capital (“BlueEarth”), an independent global impact investment firm – Tyme’s shareholders have invested a total of US$77.8m, with Tencent increasing its shareholding to become Tyme’s third largest shareholder. The funds being raised are intended to further operations in South Africa and the Philippines as well as for future expansion in Southeast Asia. 

Tyme has continually pushed forward the evolution of banking. Tyme was the first bank in South Africa to be operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network, and now makes it possible to open a fully regulated bank account in less than five minutes, which 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, commented: “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.”  

Natalie Kolbe, Managing Partner at Norrsken22, said:We are  delighted to invest in Tyme. The company offers a unique product with huge customer appeal, which has led to fast and sustained growth. We have analysed a lot of fintechs from across the continent,  and 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, and we are looking forward to being part of the next phase  of their journey.” 

David Moore, Principal of Funds and Co-Investments at BlueEarth, stated: “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 which enables affordable access to first-class banking products to all consumers, including those most vulnerable or living in remote locations.”

Work continues with interested investors, with Series C 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 $180 million. African Rainbow Capital (ARC) remains Tyme’s majority shareholder. 

African Rainbow Capital (ARC) remains Tyme’s majority shareholder. Dr Patrice Motsepe, Founder and  Chairman 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 and we welcome the new investors  who have participated in this raise.” 

An attractive investment proposition 

Tyme has a revenue run rate of over $100m per annum. The business [across the two markets] is  growing at a pace of 300,000 new customers a month as it works to provide consumers with  exceptional customer experience, and affordable, high quality financial services.  

TymeBank now serves over 7 million customers since its launch in February 2019 – with a current  acquisition rate of 200,000 customers per month and a 70% 30-day account activity rate. TymeBank’s  exponential growth in customer numbers is evidence of how the bank is truly serving consumers’  needs. Having entered as a disruptor in the industry, it is now entrenched as the credible alternative  to legacy banks in the country.

TymeBank’s hybrid model of digital banking and physical service has made banking accessible to South  Africans across the economic spectrum. The bank has well established partnerships with national  retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer, leading fashion retailer TFG (The Foschini Group), as well as the largest  church in South Africa, the Zion Christian Church. In 2022 TymeBank acquired award-winning fintech,  Retail Capital, which has already provided more than 43 000 business owners in South Africa with over  R5.5 billion in working capital, making it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector. TymeBank continues to make a real difference in the lives of consumers with its low-cost banking offering, high  levels of customer satisfaction, and the successful introduction of several products and services. 

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

The group’s global footprint includes a product development and engineering hub in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which employs a team of skilled people, including over three hundred engineers. Tyme’s global headquarters in Singapore house leads its strategy, business development, data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) functions.  

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