TymeBank announces Retail Capital buyout

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TymeBank CEO and co-founder Coen Jonker.
TymeBank CEO and co-founder Coen Jonker.

TymeBank has reached an agreement with Retail Capital and its shareholders to acquire 100% of the fintech SME funder’s shares, subject to regulatory approval.

Making the announcement at a media briefing this morning, TymeBank CEO Coen Jonker said the acquisition will see Retail Capital become a division of TymeBank and the foundation of the bank’s expanded business banking offering.

Jonker believes the intended acquisition is an important step in addressing the gap in the digital-only bank’s proposition to customers.

This gap, he noted, is providing businesses with working capital solutions and the ability to buy the stock and resources they need to keep growing and developing their business. “This is where Retail Capital fills that gap for us uniquely.”

Commenting on why Retail Capital is the right fit for TymeBank, the CEO noted three main reasons: the SME funder’s products, its team of people and the potential to reach international audiences.

He explained: “We believe owner-managed businesses and small businesses are probably the most chronically, most underserved and under-capitalised segment of the South African economy. We think Retail Capital has a unique set of capabilities that will allow us to accelerate our business banking proposition.

“This acquisition will enable TymeBank to expand its offering to entrepreneurs to include working capital finance. Retail Capital has acquired significant risk management experience over the past decade and through different economic cycles. They have an experienced team in place and their risk models and operational processes have been battle-tested and optimised to a significant degree for small-business funding.

“Together, we look forward to providing access to innovative solutions to ensure business owners can fuel their growth, drive job creation and contribute to the broader economy.”

Retail Capital is a South African provider of alternative business funding to small and medium businesses.

Its aim is to lower the barriers to funding for SMEs through a three-step online application process, and it has provided more than 43 000 business owners in SA with over R5.5 billion in working capital in the last 10 years.

Karl Westvig, Retail Capital CEO, described the acquisition as a natural progression of the business, adding it marks the move towards providing a more holistic proposition to companies in SA.

“Retail Capital has a long history of supporting SMEs by enabling them to access affordable funding that helps their businesses grow. Now, through this acquisition by TymeBank, we will be able to scale the offering, giving SMEs the opportunity to expand through funding that works on their terms.

“Retail Capital already powers many industry-leading partners in the acquiring, retail and payments space to support their SME customers, and the tie-up with TymeBank will further enhance this offering to our partners’ customers.

“Both Retail Capital and TymeBank have the customer front of mind, and we see the strategic move as a positive one that will greatly assist all business owners in South Africa.”

New offerings

According to Jonker, the three-year-old TymeBank has already amassed five million customers, and over 100 000 small businesses, entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, with growth at a pace of around 150 000 new customers a month.

TymeBank customers have access to transactional banking, savings, insurance and high-frequency lending offerings. The bank notes SME customers have access to an “affordable” SME bank account.

In addition to the acquisition, the digital-only bank announced new SME offerings, in the form of TymePOS and TymeTrybe.

TymePOS is a mobile point-of-sale app that turns an NFC-enabled cellphone into a tap-and-go payment device. The app is available for download on the Google Play Store. Once a TymeBank business banking customer on-boards the app, they will then receive a merchant ID to start processing card payments within 24 hours.

TymeTrybe is a financial community platform that equips business owners with a range of business tools, accredited courses and other educational services, as well as access to networking opportunities.

The platform was designed by global fintech company Tribe Fintech. It has secured partnerships with high-profile organisations − including Meta, Wits Business School, BrownSense and SMEasy − as contributors to the platform.

Also in the pipeline for TymeBank is a web-based e-commerce app that makes it easy for small merchants to sell their wares on Facebook and Instagram, it announced.

A delivery service will be included as part of the offering, named SellOnSocial.

“The small business sector in this country is vital to economic development and job creation, and deserves all the help it can get, particularly given the immense hardship of the last few years. We believe our revitalised business banking offering is what small business owners want, need and deserve,” Jonker concluded.

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13 Aug
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