Emerging Markets Digital Banking Group Secures US$110M Capital Raise from Apis Growth Fund II and Gokongwei Family; Partners with JG Summit to Launch Digital Bank for the Philippines
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.”
Some aspects of the transaction remain subject to regulatory approvals.
TymeBank is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks as it on-boards between 110 000 and 120 000 clients per month.
The bank is designed to meet the needs of underserved and under serviced South African banking customers. The bank’s vision is to create a platform that stimulates economic participation and facilitates broader financial inclusion. TymeBank is majority owned by African Rainbow Capital (ARC) which was founded by Dr Patrice Motsepe, making it South Africa’s first majority black-owned bank.
TymeBank has formed a long-term strategic partnership with Pick n Pay and Boxer stores, allowing its customers to bank where they shop, at Pick n Pay and Boxer stores around the country.
The TymeBank EveryDay transactional account is quick and easy to open. Customers can open a fully FICA-compliant bank account and receive their personalised Visa debit card at a TymeBank kiosk in under five minutes, or they can open an account via the TymeBank website.
No documents are required to open an account – customers just need their South African ID number and cellphone. The FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) process is completed through the capture and verification of biometric and other data at the kiosk. Once the kiosk issues customers with their Visa debit card, they can transact straight away.
When signing up, customers can automatically join the Pick n Pay Smart Shopper programme and get all the benefits of one of the largest rewards programmes in the country. In a South African first, TymeBank customers earn Smart Shopper points everywhere they use their debit card, not just in Pick n Pay stores.
The TymeBank account comes with a unique savings tool called GoalSave. It attracts no fees or penalties and is simple to use. Customers can create individual savings goals, name them, and earn as much as 7% interest per annum.
For more information, please visit www.tymebank.co.za.
Tyme is a multi-country digital banking group, focused on bridging the digital divide in emerging markets, by integrating into physical retail ecosystems. Headquartered in Singapore with offices in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City, Tyme designs, builds, and commercializes digital banks for the mass market, with a particular expertise in serving under-served and under-banked populations. Tyme recognizes the unique challenges of emerging markets digital banking and builds financial education, a high tech – high touch approach, and efficient cash management solutions to meet the needs of the emerging mass market in these countries. Tyme is now launching operations in Asia, based on its successful experience in South Africa. Tyme powers its deployments through its loosely coupled microservice platform, with its design and engineering team based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
For more information, please visit www.tyme.com
African Rainbow Capital (ARC) is a black-owned and controlled investment holding company which focusses on the South African and African financial services industry and businesses that deliver exceptional returns on equity. The company is 100% owned by Ubuntu-Botho Investments, which was founded by Dr Patrice Motsepe in 2004, with the objective of building a world class financial services company. Ubuntu-Botho Investments became Sanlam’s anchor empowerment partner. In addition, another important objective of Ubuntu-Botho Investments, since its formation, was to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions and standards of living of poor, unemployed and marginalised South Africans.
ARC’s objective is to be a leading provider of financial services, covering the full spectrum of financial service needs, such as life insurance, healthcare, asset management, general financial services, short-term insurance, property and banking. This is achieved through building strategic partnerships, both in South Africa and further afield, by obtaining equity stakes in product providers.
For more information, please visit www.africanrainbowcapital.co.za
About Apis Partners LLP
Apis Partners LLP is an ESGI-native global private equity asset manager that supports growth stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses by providing them with catalytic growth equity capital. Apis Partners LLP, through its team of close to 30 professionals with deep industry expertise, manages total committed capital from investors (including drawn and invested capital) of ca. US$ 1bn.
Apis Partners LLP is highly conscious of the developmental impact that the provision of growth capital for financial services and financial infrastructure businesses in growth markets can achieve, and as such, financial inclusion is a core tenet of Apis Partners LLP’s approach and investment mandate.
Apis Partners LLP became a signatory to the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) upon inception of the firm in 2014.
For more information, please visit www.apis.pe
About JG Summit
JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGS) is a publicly listed company and is one of the largest and more diversified Filipino conglomerates engaged primarily in businesses that serve a growing middle class with rising disposable incomes in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Australasia. It is the holding company for a group of companies with substantial business interests in food manufacturing and agro-industrial and commodities (Universal Robina Corp.); real estate and hotel (Robinsons Land Corp.); air transportation (Cebu Pacific Air); banking (Robinsons Bank); and petrochemicals (JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation). The Company also has core investments in telecommunications and power generation and distribution. Visit www.jgsummit.com.ph.