TymeBank, one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks, has announced plans to acquire Retail Capital, a leading fintech funder of SMEs, for an undisclosed sum as part of its strategy to expand its financial services footprint.
TymeBank is owned in part by African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Financial Services Holding, a Black-owned and -controlled company that operates under Ubuntu-Botho Investments (UBI), a holding company founded by South African billionaire mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe.
The planned acquisition of Cape Town-based Retail Capital comes nearly five months after the Motsepe-linked ARC-FSH disclosed that it had pumped an additional R257 million ($15.25 million) into TymeBank and TymeGlobal in 2021 as part of the bank’s scheduled capital requirements.
According to a press release obtained by Billionaires.Africa, the proposed transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will support TymeBank’s offerings to its business banking clients. Retail Capital will become one of its operating divisions and lay the groundwork to broaden its already robust business banking offerings.
According to the proposed deal’s key agreement, Retail Capital’s lending expertise will combine with TymeBank’s deposit base and operations to serve a larger customer base.
In the last 10 years, Retail Capital has been able to lower the barriers to funding for SMEs through an easy, three-step online application process, and has provided funding totaling more than R5.5 billion ($326.3 million) to over 43,000 South African businessowners, making it the largest SME funder of its kind in the sector.
TymeBank’s acquisition of the fintech funder comes after one of its competitors in the digital banking industry, Discovery Bank, a digital-only bank affiliated with South African businessman Adrian Gore, reached 1 million accounts just two years after launch.
TymeBank received a $70-million capital commitment from the Chinese technology behemoth Tencent and UK-based CDC Group toward the end of 2021 in an effort to accelerate the rollout of its financial services to the mass-market customer base.