Business Maverick

BANKING

Tyme Group eyes Southeast Asia and local expansion with $77.8m in its pocket

Tyme Group eyes Southeast Asia and local expansion with $77.8m in its pocket

Digital banking group Tyme is set on future expansion into Southeast Asia, further expansion in the South African and Philippines markets and a partial share buyback.

These are just some of the initiatives management is eyeing after securing two new international investors as part of its pre-series C capital raise launched in January, and clinching a total shareholder investment of $77.8-million. 

Coen Jonker, TymeBank CEO and co-founder of Tyme, says work continues with interested investors, with Series C expected to close later in the year. Management has identified Vietnam as a potential market in Southeast Asia and Jonker says the Tyme group already has a presence there in the form of a product development and engineering hub in Ho Chi Minh City.

The two new shareholders are Norrsken22, an Africa-focused tech growth fund, and BlueEarth Capital, an independent global impact investment firm.

David Moore, principal of funds and co-investments at BlueEarth, says the Tyme Group investment was part of an overall 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,” he says.

Natalie Kolbe, managing partner at Norrsken22, says Tyme 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,” she says.

The growth she refers to is impressive. Tyme has a revenue run rate of more than $100-million a year and is seeing growth of 300,000 new customers a month across the South African and Philippines markets.

Jonker says about US$12-million of the capital raise will go towards a partial share buyback to help early investors in the group – specifically venture capital funds approaching the exit of their investment period. 

TymeBank currently boasts more than seven million customers, with a current acquisition rate of 200,000 customers a month and a 70% 30-day account activity rate, even though it launched as recently as February 2019.

Last year, TymeBank expanded its horizons with the acquisition of fintech, Retail Capital, which has already provided more than 43,000 business owners in South Africa with more than R5.5-billion in working capital, making it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector.

On the Philippines’ shores, GoTyme launched in October 2022 in partnership with the Gokongwei Group. The digital bank is modelled on South Africa’s TymeBank, and Jonker says the group will be using the same recipe with different implementations in markets that it feels are appropriate. DM

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  • - Matt says:

    Interested by this. My experience is it was easy to open the online account but getting the card, close to impossible. We went to I think 7 supermarkets and retail stores in the Western Cape. Every single one of their machines was empty, wasn’t working, etc. Call to the contact centre and 3 unanswered emails and I called it quits.

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