JG Summit and Tyme intend to seek a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the new digital bank in the Philippines


Tyme plans to launch digital bank in the Philippines. (Credit: Capri23auto from Pixabay.)

South African digital banking start-up Tyme has secured $110m in a Series B funding round to begin expansion across the ASEAN region and partnered with JG Summit to launch a digital bank in the Philippines.

The new investors Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, and the Philippines-based JG Summit participated in the funding round.

Both Apis and JG Summit are experienced investors in emerging markets, which support growth-stage financial services and financial infrastructure businesses, and the Gokongwei family owns and operates JG Summit as a large-scale conglomerate in the Philippines.

JG Summit Holdings president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said: “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.”

The investment is expected to help the company to expand the digital banking start-up in South Africa and is the largest foreign investments any South Africa fintech has ever received.

Being completely negotiated virtually, the investment represents a strong endorsement for TymeBank as one of the fastest-growing digital banks, said the company.

Established in February 2019, TymeBank has attracted 2.8 million customers to the platform and was rated the number two bank in the country by customers.

With the new digital bank in the Philippines, JG Summit and Tyme intend to seek a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to expand financial access to underbanked and under-served Filipinos.

Tyme is expected to leverage its unique high tech – high touch digital banking model to address customer needs, and JG Summit Holdings would offer democratising services to enhance financial empowerment to Filipinos.

Tyme co-founder and executive chairman Coen Jonker said: “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.”