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African Rainbow Capital (ARC)-controlled TymeBank has raised R1.1 billion ($70 million) from Chinese internet and technology giant Tencent and CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, to scale up operations.

The capital raised will fund and grow TymeBank in SA and also fund GOTyme in the Philippines, where it has secured a digital bank licence in partnership with the Gokongwei Group.

ARC, an investment holding company founded by Dr Patrice Motsepe and the digital bank’s majority shareholder, announced today that TymeBank completed its Series B capital raise with the introduction of Tencent and CDC Group as new shareholders.

The first part of Tyme’s Series B raise was concluded earlier this year when it secured $110 million from Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, and the Gokongwei family’s JG Summit Holdings.

“The capital raise amounts to approximately $70 million and sees Tencent, and CDC Group, being shareholders,” says ARC.

“The investment 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 investors’ capital and expertise will be used to strengthen Tyme’s ability to manage risk and support Tyme’s expansion into emerging markets.”

ARC says 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.

Motsepe, ARC founder and chairman, comments: “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 global competitiveness of Tyme’s value proposition, and its management. The success of TymeBank in South Africa is an example of our innovation in financial services, and this is evidenced in our business model. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Tencent and CDC.”

Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme, says: “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’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 200 engineers, and established strategy, business development, data, analytics and artificial intelligence functions in our global headquarters in Singapore.”

“This is a momentous event for TymeBank,” says TymeBank CEO Tauriq Keraan.

“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 investors and partners, ultimately to ensure added value for our customers.”

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