British International Investment

Tyme Group Holdings PTE

Southern AfricaFinancial services

Tyme is South Africa’s leading digital bank, catering to the underbanked and underserved segments through a unique mix of physical and digital distribution channels via local retail partnerships.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Our investment will support the bank to grow its customer base and scale its lending book.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.


  • Improved standard of living through consumption smoothing and additional liquidity via increased access to a more affordable and relevant set of financial products (SDG 8.10, 10.1).
  • Improved economic opportunities via increased access to a more affordable and relevant set of financial products (SDG 8.3).



Our investment in Tyme has supported the bank in forging new distribution partnerships with local retail partners in South Africa, enhancing the reach of its suite of financial products to underbanked and underserved customers.

Beyond the original impact thesis to improve accessibility and affordability of financial services to Tyme’s customers, the access-to-lending capabilities through the acquisition of Retail Capital will provide customers a better credit offering (e.g. buy-now-pay-later, credit cards and personal unsecured term loans). This can help customers smooth out or delay their expenditure to afford more goods and be more resilient during financial shocks. In addition, the acquisition will allow Tyme to become profitable sooner, allowing it to increase its impact through additional reach and affordability sooner.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics

South Africa

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration


Tyme and Retail Capital’s business models and combined cost structure allows it to offer lower fees, higher savings rates and lower interest rates to customers, compared to other banks


  • Value additionality: We will support Tyme by tapping into our in-country networks across Africa and Asia, supporting on governance, as well as bringing our experience with banking to underbanked and new-to-credit customers.


Alignment Risk
  • Tyme may shift its target customers, though based on Tyme’s value proposition and competitor response, we expect the majority of Tyme’s customers to be from lower-income / underserved segments.
Unexpected Impact Risk
  • as Tyme expands to new credit products, strong customer protection principles will be critical to prevent and minimise negative impacts.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an ESAP focused on updates to their HR policies and to incorporate BII’s Exclusion List into future lending activities.

Environmental and social risk


Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    Southern Africa

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    September 2022
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    Fully qualified

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $2.46m Southern Africa Financial services April 2023 Active

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