JG Summit invests in South African digital bank


Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings has expanded its fintech footprint by investing in South Africa-based digital bank Tyme, which is now looking at opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Through its corporate venture capital vehicle, JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), the Gokongwei group took part in an estimated P5.3-billion investment in Tyme, along with Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP and South African investment holdings company African Rainbow Capital (ARC). JG Summit itself invested $5 million, which translated to a minority stake in Time.

With Tyme in its portfolio of investments, JGDEV seeks to bring to the JG Summit ecosystem a deeper understanding of the success of digital banking in developing economies such as South Africa, with the aim of replicating it in a similar setting such as the Philippines. This is in support of the initiatives of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in bringing inclusive financial services further into its population.

“We see digital banking as the next growth area globally and increasingly in the Asean and 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,” JG Summit president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tyme, whose international management arm, TymeGlobal is headquartered in Singapore, is considered as one of the world’s leading digital banking network for emerging markets. It is majority owned by ARC.

JGDEV president Jojo Malolos said JGDEV would endeavor to use Tyme’s experience and success to create significant value to the core businesses of the Gokongwei group while leveraging on its ecosystem to further drive digital transformation for the conglomerate.

The capital raised by Tyme will be deployed mainly to grow its business in South Africa, which now has 2.8 million customers. INQ

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