Tyme Group, backed by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, plans to enter the Vietnamese market by 2024 having secured $78 million in pre-series C funding. The digital lending entity aims to tap into Vietnam's underserved market and leverage its advanced technological capabilities to provide digital banking services.
TymeBank – a multi-country digital banking group for emerging markets – is strategically considering this expansion as part of its ambitious growth plan following the recent injection of capital.
The decision to target Vietnam stems from a thorough evaluation and assessment of the market.
Coen Jonker, co-founder of Tyme and CEO of TymeBank, expressed confidence in Vietnam's potential, particularly as a market with limited access to digital banking services for small businesses. He believes Tyme Group's digital lending services could effectively meet the funding needs of these underserved firms.
Vietnam marks the second Asian market that Tyme Group – headquartered in Singapore – is entering to facilitate its growth, having launched its services in the Philippines last year. Jonker highlighted Vietnam's economic potential, with its rapidly expanding $366 billion economy and low unemployment rates, making it an attractive landscape for Tyme Group's market presence.
Interestingly, Tyme Group has had a presence in Vietnam for several years. The acquisition of CBA Digital Solutions in 2019 marked their entry into the country. CBA Digital Solutions, initially owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, was established in 2016. Tyme Group's website features a dedicated subdomain, Tyme Vietnam, which positions it as a core member responsible for technological and product development within the conglomerate.
During a mid-2022 interview, Tyme Vietnam's CEO Le Xuan Minh revealed that the tech hub initially had only 130 employees. However, over the course of a year, the workforce has more than doubled to approximately 270 individuals.
Minh stressed the team's advanced expertise in cloud computing technologies, microservices architecture, cloud-based banking systems, cross-border banking operations, and project management using the Scrum framework. Scrum, an agile software development methodology, streamlines processes to focus on essential elements that meet customer demands.
The successful pre-series C funding round that was initiated in January raised nearly $78 million. Of this amount, Tyme plans to allocate $65 million for market expansion while continuing operations in South Africa and the Philippines. Additionally, some funds will be used for share repurchases from initial investors. Notably, Tyme Bank gained two new backers, Norrsken22 and Blue Earth Capital, during this funding round.
Looking ahead, Tyme Group aims to secure an additional $40-80 million in the upcoming series C funding round, expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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