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South Africa's TymeBank Eyes Unicorn Status with $150 Million Series D Funding

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Johannesburg’s digital bank, TymeBank, is close to securing $150 million in a Series D funding round, aiming to solidify its position as Africa’s fastest-growing player.

CEO Coenraad Jonker revealed the bank’s ambitions, hinting at a future Initial Public Offering (IPO) and international expansion plans.

With a valuation nearing $1 billion, Jonker targets completion of the Series D round by the fourth quarter of 2024.

This significant raise, nearly double last year’s $77.8 million, signifies strong investor confidence and fuels the bank’s aggressive growth strategy.

TymeBank’s global aspirations include a primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by 2028, with a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). This strategy emphasizes the bank’s desire for international recognition while staying rooted in South Africa.

Funds from the Series D round will propel TymeBank’s expansion into new markets, with a specific focus on entering Indonesia by the end of 2024.

This follows successful ventures in Vietnam and the Philippines, where profitability is anticipated within the next 18 months.

TymeBank achieved profitability in December 2023, a remarkable feat for a young digital bank.

Partnerships with industry giants like Pick n Pay, Boxer, The Foschini Group, and the Zion Christian Church have been instrumental in driving TymeBank’s growth. With over 8.5 million customers, 1,000 kiosks, and 15,000 retail points nationwide, these collaborations have significantly improved accessibility and fostered customer loyalty.

The bank’s lending portfolio has seen impressive 30% year-on-year growth, fueled by products like Merchant Cash Advance.

This program has benefitted over 50,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), contributing positively to South Africa’s economic development. Reports indicate that TymeBank is currently the fastest-growing bank in the country.

“Our goal is to be among the top three banks in terms of customer base and return on equity,” Jonker told Bloomberg. “Positive initial discussions with investors have encouraged us to consider raising a larger amount to pursue even more exciting opportunities in the industry.”

TymeBank’s remarkable journey, from its 2019 launch to achieving profitability and rapid digital banking expansion, demonstrates the bank’s resilience and foresight.

The upcoming Series D funding, preparations for an IPO, and international expansion plans underscore TymeBank’s unwavering commitment to growth and its vision of becoming a top-tier retail bank in South Africa.

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