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Tyme partners with JG Summit to launch digital bank in the Philippines

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Tyme, the leading digital banking network for emerging markets, announces its US$110 million Series B capital raise from its new Singapore headquarters, bringing foreign investment into South Africa for TymeBank and laying the foundation for Tyme’s expansion across ASEAN, starting with the Philippines.

The new investors in Tyme are Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners (“Apis”), and the Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings of the Philippines. Both these investors are experienced in financial services in emerging markets. Apis is a private equity asset manager that supports growth stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses. The Gokongwei family owns and operates one of the largest and best-known conglomerates in the Philippines, JG Summit Holdings, through which they have invested in Tyme.

The investment, which will be primarily deployed to grow TymeBank in South Africa, is one of the largest foreign investments any fintech company has secured in South Africa.  This investment, negotiated completely virtually, represents a strong endorsement for TymeBank as one of the world’s fastest growing digital banks and for the South Africa banking sector overall.   In less than two years from its launch in February 2019, TymeBank has attracted 2.8 million customers to the platform and is already rated the number two bank in the country by customers.

With the announcement of the new digital bank framework in the Philippines, JG Summit Holdings and Tyme will apply for a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to expand financial access to underbanked and under-served Filipinos, using Tyme’s unique high tech – high touch digital banking model that meets customer needs for affordable and widespread financial access.   The Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings is committed to democratizing services to meet the needs of all Filipinos and is joining with Tyme to bring greater financial empowerment to Filipinos.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr Patrice Motsepe, Chairman of African Rainbow Capital, which is the majority owner of Tyme, said:

“As the controlling shareholder in TymeBank, African Rainbow Capital is delighted to have our new co-investors onboard. Equally important, Apis Growth Fund II and the Gokongwei family invest in Tyme at a time when significant uncertainty reigns globally and in South Africa as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The invested amount of US$110m is no small feat – both in terms of drawing investment into South Africa’s financial services sector as well as investing into a fledgling part of the sector in our country. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Apis and the Gokongwei family.”

Mr Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of JG Summit Holdings commented:

“We see digital banking as the next growth area globally and increasingly in ASEAN and so we are excited to partner with global investment giants Apis and ARC in taking part in this global play by building further success for South Africa’s leading digital bank TymeBank.  The investment not only propels the Gokongwei Group to accelerate its foray into disruptive digital plays, it also allows us to learn more about TymeBank’s experiences that provide a good impetus for us in considering to apply their technology and success in the Philippines.”

“With the Philippines progressively going into digital banking to bring about better financial inclusion for a greater majority of its population, this augurs well to help us successfully deliver on our Purpose as a business – that of having an unrelenting commitment to provide our customers with better choices, creating shared success with our various stakeholders.”

Mr Matteo Stefanel, Managing Partner of Apis Partners commented:

“As an experienced investor in financial services, we are thrilled to partner with the team at TymeBank who have built an exceptional business in a competitive market such as South Africa. We are confident that this investment will accelerate TymeBank’s growth and already impressive onboarding figures.

Managing to source, evaluate and close this deal whilst Covid-19 uncertainty was still rife in the market is a testament to the strength of the teams at both Apis and TymeBank. We look forward to continuing this relationship over the coming years.”

Mr Udayan Goyal, Managing Partner of Apis Partners commented:

“As smart banking usage increases globally, TymeBank is well positioned to start this exciting new growth phase and we are delighted to support the outstanding team on their path to becoming a leading retail bank in South Africa. Financial inclusion is a core tenet of Apis’ approach; we are proud to share this vision with TymeBank and believe our shared goals will help build a market-leading organisation.”

Mr Coen Jonker, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Tyme commented:

“Internationally, digital banks are starting to take significant market share from traditional players.   More importantly, they are bringing industry transformation and helping more people participate in the economy.   Both Apis and JG Summit have already proven their commitment to this cause.   We can’t wait to work with them in South Africa, the Philippines and beyond.”

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