TymeBank is SA's first fully digital bank. Picture: MASI LOSI
TymeBank is SA's first fully digital bank. Picture: MASI LOSI

TymeBank is on track to have 500,000 clients within the next three weeks, according to parent company African Rainbow Capital Investments (ARC Investments).

The digital bank, which was launched in February and operates via kiosks at Pick n Pay and Boxer Stores, has signed up more than 400,000 clients to date, Patrice Motsepe’s ARC Investments said on Monday.

The bank “is aiming to get to 500,000 clients by July 2019”, and to two-million clients within three years, including 200,000 customers who use the platform as their primary bank account.

“Potential strategic partners are engaged with the aim of establishing partnerships that could assist in meeting the bank’s growth objectives,” ARC Investments said.

The Ethos Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fund had agreed to invest R200m in TymeBank for an 8% stake, the company said.

At the same time, ARC Financial Services would invest R100m into the Ethos AI Fund, which was launched in October 2018 and has a target size of R1bn.

ARC Investments said mobile operator Rain, which it partly owns, would pilot the distribution of its SIM cards via TymeBank kiosks.

“Rain is making good progress with the rollout of its strategy of establishing a data network,” the investment company said.

By the end of April, Rain had 3,074 live sites. The network operator plans to launch an ultra-fast 5G network by the end of 2019, which would make SA one of the first countries in the world to have a 5G network.

In the first five months of 2019, the ARC Fund made net investments of R348m, and had cash of about R700m available for future investments, ARC Investments said.

The group said its new international investment business, Arch Emerging Markets Partners, was focused on establishing a renewable energy fund, a “cold-chain solutions East Africa fund”, a credit fund and a resources fund.

The Arch Africa Renewable Power Fund achieved a first close at $105m in February 2019, and was targeting a final close of $250m.

The fund aims to launch between 10 and 15 renewable energy projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The ARC fund would invest $30m in the fund, which had also received capital from the African Development Bank Group and the European Investment Bank.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za