TymeBank nears unicorn status – a $1-billion valuation


Patrice Motsepe. Image: World Economic Forum

Tyme Group, a digital lender controlled by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, could raise as much as US$100-million (R1.9-billion) in funding this year, propelling it into unicorn status.

The bank, which started almost five years ago, is valued at $965-million (R18.2-billion), CEO Coen Jonker said in an interview. “We believe that it is very likely that we cross the $1-billion mark if we meet the $100-million funding target,” he said.

Tyme will spend some of the fresh funding during the second quarter on entry into Vietnam — a fast-growing, $470-billion economy with a young population and relatively low unemployment, he said.

Million a month

Majority-owned by Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital, Tyme operates in South Africa, where it has racked up more than 8.5 million customers in five years. It’s also in the Philippines as a joint venture with the local Gokongwei Group and has netted 2.3 million users. The lender is adding a million clients a month across the two markets, Jonker said.

Read: TymeBank has turned its first profit

“We will be launching additional functionality, improving our virtual-card proposition and expanding our personal lending proposition with a view to becoming more attractive to wealthier customers,” Jonker said. “This is an important part of our progression to becoming a top-three bank.”  — (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP

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