South African digital bank TymeBank raises $77.8 million in pre-Series C round to further expand its commercial banking business through the acquisition of Retail Capital

Irving Karonen
3 min readJun 1, 2023

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South African digital bank TymeBank recently announced the completion of a US$77.8 million pre-Series C round of funding from Africa-focused growth stage fund Norrsken22 and Swiss global impact investment firm Blue Earth Capital. The company said in a statement that it “expects to close its Series C round of funding later this year”.

The South African fintech company’s largest shareholder is now Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital. Holdings (JG Summit), African Fig Tree (AFT) and Ethos AI Fund.

TymeBank is a brand of Singapore-based holding company ‘Tyme Group’, which specialises in designing, building and operating digital banks for emerging markets. In addition to operating TymeBank in South Africa, the company also partnered with Gokongwei Group to launch GoTyme in the Philippine market in October last year.

Launched in February 2019, TymeBank uses a hybrid operating model of digital and physical banking. The platform offers transactional bank accounts and savings products with zero or low monthly fees to customers, including national retailers Pick n Pay and Boxer, fashion retailer The Foschini Group (TFG), and one of South Africa’s largest churches, Zion Christian Church.

The startup, founded by Coen Jonker, has attracted seven million customers in South Africa as of early February 2021. The company acquired Retail Capital last year to expand its commercial banking business, which has provided more than ZAR5 billion in working capital to more than 43,000 business owners in South Africa.

The company claims to be “currently growing its business in South Africa and the Philippines at a rate of 300,000 new customers per month, with an annual revenue run rate of over US$100 million”. The company emphasises that the exponential growth in customer numbers proves that TymeBank is truly meeting the needs of consumers and will act as an industry disruptor as an alternative solution to traditional banks.

Notably, the fintech company had closed a US$70 million Series B funding round in December 2021, led by Tencent. After this pre-C round raise, Tencent has become the company’s third largest shareholder. To date, the company has raised a cumulative total of more than US$260 million.

In a statement, the company said, TymeBank continues to drive the evolution of the banking industry. As South Africa’s first digital bank based entirely on a cloud-based infrastructure network, TymeBank makes it possible to open a regulatory compliant bank account in less than five minutes. In addition, sending money to any mobile phone in South Africa using our SendMoney app also takes just 9 seconds.

TymeBank plans to use this new funding to further expand its business in South Africa and the Philippines, with future expansion in the South East Asian market. The company has set up a product development and engineering centre in Vietnam and business units to lead strategy, business development, data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) at its headquarters in Singapore. The company’s competitors include online banks such as Bank Zero and Lula.

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Irving Karonen

Web3 enthusiast, Entrepreneur, Scientist, and Financial Engineer. Sharing Frontlines of Innovation and Investments. Biz: irving.karonen@gmail.com