TymeBank asserts itself as first digital bank in Africa to achieve profitability after reporting $45 million loss 6 months ago

South African neobank, TymeBank, has undergone a remarkable transformation, rebounding from a substantial R858 million (~$45 million) loss reported six months ago to achieving its first month of profitability in December 2023.

While the exact profit figure was not disclosed, this shift marks a significant milestone for the digital bank.

Background and Launch:

Launched in February 2019, TymeBank asserts itself as the first digital bank in Africa to achieve profitability.

This achievement is attributed to its growing customer base, which currently stands at 8.5 million users.

The financials for the year ending June 30, 2023, revealed cumulative losses of R6.8 billion ($359 million) with R1.6 billion ($85 million) in cash.

At that time, the losses were primarily associated with the establishment and build costs of the bank, raising concerns about its ability to continue beyond October 2024.

Strategic Partnerships and Growth Drivers:

TymeBank’s shift to profitability is credited to strategic partnerships with key entities such as Pick n Pay, Boxer, The Foschini Group (TFG), and the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).

Additionally, a noteworthy driver has been the approximately 30% year-on-year growth of its lending portfolio.

The bank also highlighted the importance of combining digital channels and in-store channels for customer acquisition.

Acknowledging the role of venture capital backers, TymeBank expressed gratitude for their support in this turnaround.

CEO’s Perspective and Global Standing:

Coenraad Jonker, CEO of TymeBank, expressed pride in the achievement, emphasizing that globally, less than half of the top 100 digital banks are profitable.

This underscores the significance of TymeBank’s successful pivot to profitability. The CEO highlighted the instrumental role played by strategic partnerships and the growth of their lending portfolio.

Financial Backing and Future Plans:

In May 2023, TymeBank secured a $77.8 million pre-Series C round led by Norrsken22 and Blue Earth Capital, bringing its total funding to $260 million.

With a current valuation of $965 million, TymeBank aims to raise an additional $100 million in the coming year, targeting a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

The funds will fuel the bank’s expansion into Southeast Asia, with a planned entry into the Vietnamese market.

Conclusion:

TymeBank’s swift turnaround from substantial losses to profitability reflects a strategic approach, robust partnerships, and a growing customer base.

The bank’s future endeavors, including expansion into new markets, position it as a notable player in the evolving landscape of digital banking.