Tyme, a Singapore-based digital banking firm, has successfully secured investments from China-based internet and technology company Tencent and UK’s development finance institution and impact investor CDC to complete its $180 million Series B capital raise.

The investment from Tencent and CDC is pegged at an additional $70 million, Tyme said in a statement.

Tyme, which has its roots in South Africa, is using the funding to grow TymeBank in South Africa and GOTyme in the Philippines, where it has secured a digital bank licence in partnership with the Filipino conglomerate the Gokongwei Group, with the possibility of further international expansion.

According to the statement, 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 said that the investments will enable Tyme to use its digital infrastructure to accelerate the rollout of financial services to TymeBank’s historic mass market customer base.

The two investor’s capital and expertise will also be used to improve Tyme’s ability to manage risk and support its expansion into markets where CDC has a presence, it added.

It is also noted that CDC’s investment in Tyme in South Africa is part of its strategy to support businesses that provide vital infrastructure, such as digital financial services, to traditionally underserved groups.

African Rainbow Capital also remains Tyme’s majority shareholder.

“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,” said Coen Jonker, Co-Founder of Tyme.

“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 (AI) functions in our global headquarters in Singapore,” he added.

According to the statement, the investment by Tencent and CDC represents a strong endorsement for both TymeBank – as one of the world’s fastest growing digital banks – and for South Africa’s banking sector overall.

TymeBank is fully regulated and held to the same standards of safety and security as all other banks in South Africa. It is the first bank in South Africa to be operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network. It was also the first bank to be granted a commercial banking licence since 1999.

“This is a momentous event for TymeBank. We look forward to continuing to demonstrate our strong strategic and execution capabilities to all our investors and to benefit from the deep global expertise that Tencent and CDC have accumulated through a multitude of investments in digital businesses,

“We are equally excited about the opportunity to pursue the synergies that exist between all our investors and partners, ultimately to ensure added value for our customers,” said TymeBank Chief Executive Officer Tauriq Keraan.

According to the statement, in the Philippines, GOTyme was successfully awarded one of six digital banking licences 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. This is particularly important in a country with an unbanked population of over 70 percent. The build-phase is currently underway in the Philippines, and Tyme is on track to launch in the third quarter of 2022. It is aiming to leverage its partnership with JG Summit and its retail ecosystem.

“We are delighted to welcome Tencent and CDC as our new co-investors in Tyme. The ability to attract investors of this calibre is a testament to the strength of Tyme’s value proposition, and its management,

“The success of TymeBank in South Africa is an example of the innovation of Tyme’s financial services offering as evidenced in our business model. We look forward to a long, successful relationship with Tencent and CDC,” said Patrice Motsepe, Chairman of African Rainbow Capital.

Tyme is a multi-country digital banking group, focused on bridging the digital divide in emerging markets, by integrating into physical retail ecosystems. Headquartered in Singapore with offices in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City, Tyme designs, builds, and commercializes digital banks for the mass market, with a particular expertise in serving under-served and under-banked populations. The company recognizes the unique challenges of digital banking in emerging markets and builds financial education, a high tech – high touch approach, and efficient cash management solutions to meet the needs of the emerging mass market in these countries.

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