Digital banking group Tyme, the parent company of Philippines-based digital bank GoTyme Bank, has announced raising $77.8 million in a pre-Series C funding round backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings.
The latest funding round was co-led by Africa-focused growth-stage startup fund Norrsken22 and Swiss global impact investment firm Blue Earth Capital. The firm said it plans to close its Series C fundraising later this year.
The fresh capital will be used to boost Tyme’s operations in South Africa and the Philippines and to expand in future into other Southeast Asian markets. Part of the fresh funding will also be used for a partial share buyback, Tyme said in a statement.
The pre-Series C funding comes less than two years after the company completed its Series B funding round that raised a total of $180 million.
Tyme, whose international management arm TymeGlobal is headquartered in Singapore, is considered one of the world’s leading digital banking networks for emerging markets. It is majority-owned by South African investment holdings company African Rainbow Capital (ARC), which will remain Tyme’s majority shareholder.
“We remain excited and committed to further creating value in building a global digital banking portfolio with our fellow shareholders and partners and we welcome the new investors who have participated in this raise,” said ARC founder and chairman Dr Patrice Motsepe.
Tyme operates TymeBank in South Africa and GoTyme Bank in the Philippines. The company said TymeBank now serves over 7 million customers since its launch in February 2019 – with a current acquisition rate of 200,000 customers per month and a 70% 30-day account activity rate.
GoTyme Bank launched in the Philippines in October 2022 in partnership with listed conglomerate JG Summit Holdings of the Gokongwei Group. JG Summit participated in the $10 million funding in Tyme to bring the bank into the country.
GoTyme is one of the six digital banks that received licences in the Philippines. Digital banks in the country have a three-year window to operate after they get the licence, according to the BSP.
The first bank to obtain the licence was Overseas Filipino Bank, a subsidiary of the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines.
The others that have secured digital banking licences are Tonik Digital Bank Inc (Philippines), whose holding company is Singapore-based Tonik Financial; UNObank, which is backed by Singapore-based fintech company DigibankASIA; and Aboitiz-led Union Digital Bank.