TymeBank wants R2.8 billion before stock exchange listing

TymeBank, a South African digital bank backed by China’s Tencent, is raising $150 million (R2.79 billion) to build scale as it prepares for an initial public offering, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Coenraad Jonker said.

“We are currently valued at close to $1 billion and busy with our series D capital raise at unicorn valuation,” Jonker said in an interview in Johannesburg.

“Our target is to list TymeBank in New York by 2028, and we will most likely also do a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for our South African shareholders.”

The digital bank controlled by African billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital expects to complete the round by the fourth quarter, to fund expansion plans, such as TymeBank’s move into Indonesia by year-end, said Jonker.

TymeBank is now one of the fastest-growing digital banks in Africa, said Jonker, and follows a similar business model to Brazil’s Nu, that also counts Tencent as a shareholder, and listed in New York in 2021.

The digital bank started in South Africa in 2019 and now controls 10% of the primary bank market share in Africa’s most developed economy.

TymeBank has gone head on with incumbent banks in the country, such as Africa’s biggest bank Standard Bank, and FirstRand’s First National Bank, and is now the third largest and fastest growing lender by customer numbers, said Jonker.

From its home base in South Africa, which became profitable for the bank in 2023, Jonker said he plans to focus on expanding its markets in fast-growing Asian countries and already has operations in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Jonker wants to reach profitability in the Philippines in the next 18 months and provide a full retail-banking proposition in Vietnam by next year, he said.