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South African digital challenger TymeBank raises $109m; preps Philippines launch

South African digital challenger TymeBank raises $109m; preps Philippines launch

South African digital lender TymeBank has raised R1.6 billion (about $109 million) in a round joined by an Apis Partners fund and Philippines-based JG Summit.

The investment is being split into two parts, with R500 million already provided and a commitment to follow up with the other R1.1 billion over the next 12 to 15 months.

The new investors, along with majority shareholder African Rainbow Capital, have also agreed to launch a digital bank in the Philippines.

Part of the Singapore-headquartered Tyme group, TymeBank was launched two years ago and has already built up a customer base of 2.8 million. The bank is onboarding an average of 110,000 new customers per month, with the Covid-19 increasing demand.

Operated fully off a cloud-based infrastructure network, TymeBank offers a transactional bank account with no monthly fees and a savings product with a competitive interest rate. Most customers are on-boarded via physical kiosks located in Pick n Pay and Boxer stores across the country.

The investment will be used to roll out new banking products and grow the firm's lending portfolio in addition to boosting its work in insurance, credit cards, and other value-added services.

Coen Jonker, co-founder, Tyme, says: "Internationally, digital banks are starting to take significant market share from traditional players. More importantly, they are driving 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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