January has been a black month for crowdlending investors. Bad start to 2020. Two platforms have disappeared overnight with the investors' money: Kuetzal and Envestio. I'm not going to go into details. Much has been written about it. There are initiatives to recover the money, but minimal chance of getting it back. First of all, my apologies if anyone was inspired to invest by my results.
I didn't have too much invested in them (1.8% of my crowd wallet). I reckon I'll have covered the losses in a month. I'm left with the positive part: the lessons learned. I hope they'll help me never fall back into the same mistakes. I now realize that both platforms operated with "excessive" punctuality in payments, no problematic projects, or setbacks of any kind. Looking back, it's now easy to say it was suspicious. Especially when on better established platforms with lower risk (and rather lower interest rates) delays and defaults are relatively common. See Estateguru, Flender, October, CrowdEstate...
Also BoldYield (in which I was not invested) has been affected and a few months after its release, the platform has decided to cease trading and return the money to investors. They had not yet managed to fully finance any project.
On a positive note, the surviving platforms have worked hard over the course of this month (and hopefully this new attitude will continue over time) to show signs of transparency, offering more information about internal processes and operation: Monethera, TFG Crowd, DoFinance, Grupeer, Viventor, Crowdestor, Peerberry... Overall, it's been a month with plenty of activity and updates from almost all platforms, with the aim mainly of appease the anxiety and uncertainty of investors.
From now on, I will remain particularly alert with the P2B platforms of similar profile to Kuetzal and Envestio; that is, very young platforms, with very high interests, headquarters in the Baltic countries and suspiciously punctual payments. I mean Monethera, Wisefund and TFG Crowd. I'm not too exposed in any of them (0.4-0.5% of my portfolio in each). I'm not going to increase my positions. Nor to decrease them – especially because they have disabled the option to sell shares. All we can do now really is cross our fingers and wait and see how they evolve.
I take this opportunity to clarify that my investment strategy, investing in 40 platforms, is mainly due to my blogger profile: I aim to test all main platforms so that I can analyze and compare them after investing in them. If I were an anonymous investor, I would limit myself to about ten platforms maximum.
In January, my investments have had a -5.28% monthly (annualized) return due to Envestio's losses versus December's +1.46% (which is when I've decided to account for Kuetzal losses). If it hadn't been for Envestio, the monthly return would have been 7.9%. Apart from the collapse in of the P2B Crowdlending platforms (-97.9%), this month, there was also a worse performance of P2P Crowdlending platforms (13.1% vs. 14.7% last month), and Real Estate Crowdfunding platforms (4.2% vs. 5.1%).
Table of Contents
Real Estate Crowdfunding
- Bit of Property
The main news of the month are:
- In line with my intention to invest more in solidarity, ethical or ecological projects, I have incorporated two platforms into my portfolio: Sun Exchange (investment in solar panels) and EthicHub (solidarity loans in Mexico), reaching 39 platforms (41 if I also considered Envestio and Kuetzal);
- In addition, I've opened accounts in Fundeen, (loans for the installation of solar panels) and GoParity, (loans to green projects), but I am waiting for them to offer projects (in the former) and to solve some tax withholding issues (in the later);
- I'm still second on the list of top-20 P2P Portfolios in terms of the invested amount (and first in terms of number of platforms). Besides, they've just included my blog in the list of Top 100 Peer-to-peer Lending Blogs (#49 position). In the passive income "race", almost all bloggers have experienced losses this month.
- This month's disappointment is undoubtedly Envestio, which has disappeared without a trace;
- As a positive surprise, Mintos. Yields have returned to their best returns (with loans at 15-16%) and a record monthly return thanks to the recent promotions of Finko and Sun Finance;
- ¡P2P Conference in Riga announced for June 2020! A unique 2-day event combining conference, exhibition, networking, and fun. Europe's Fintech elite meets for the second time to listen to and discuss with international speakers, extend their network and enjoy some incredibly good food and drinks in three handpicked locations. The event will take place in Riga, Latvia on June 19-20, 2020.
- I continue with my divestment on platforms that I'm not completely convinced about (Fellow Finance and Finbee), real estate in Spain (Housers and Privalore) and over-represented (Mintos and Fast Invest). I have increased my positions mainly on my most recent platforms.
- The best platforms in terms of XIRR are 1) real estate: Bricks & People (now operating through the SociosInversores.com platform) and CrowdEstate; 2) P2B: Wisefund and TFG Crowd; and 3) P2P: Finbee, Twino and Mintos.
- The best monthly returns were 1) real estate: Estateguru and Bulkestate; 2) P2B: Wisefund and TFG Crowd; and 3) P2P: Mintos, Twino and Viventor.
- To compare all platforms, check my Comparator.
- All interests are calculated before deducting taxes.
- For Mintos, I present the combined returns (all currencies, taking into account the exchange rate), as well as the return rate separately for each currency (without applying the exchange rate).
- The yellow shading shows that the returns will surely end up being lower because there are unpaid or delayed projects without a final decision.
- Gray figures for platforms that are still too fresh in my wallet to give a realistic idea of the XIRR.
- In Italic platforms on which I have not been invested for too long, so they have not yet reached their full potential.
Delays and defaults
- In CrowdEstate the number of delayed projects from went from 12 to 10 (19%). In some cases it's because of multiple tiers of the same project (before I stopped investing in multiple tiers).
- Flender 7.8% of delays and 1.7% defaults.
- The situation in Estateguru remains more or less stable with 7.2% of delays and 3.4% of defaults. On a positive note, Estateguru is showing very effective when it comes to recovering defaulted projects one by one: already 8 recovered (1 this month)...
- The situation in Housers the situation has worsened due to the stagnation of the housing market in Spain (17% of delays and 5% of defaults).
- Linked Finance worsens slightly to 0.4% delays and 2.9% defaults.
- The delays and defaults of Finbee are within the expected, being a platform without Buyback. And Fellow Finance a disaster... Luckily I didn't invest too much.
- To compare all platforms, check my Comparator.
*Variation in the number of active projects from last month; I only include platforms without Buyback; Green if the parameters (delays and defaults) have improved compared to last month and red if they have worsened.
Bit of Property
Bit of Propertyis a real estate investment platform where one can invest in properties from 50 Euro. The company is headquartered in Singapore and has a subsidiary in Estonia. Investing in properties is similar to buying stocks and shares in companies. The investor receives a share in the property and, as the beneficial owner, will receive rental income directly on his/her account (on a monthly basis). In addition, once the property is sold, investors will exit the property at market value along with any capital gains or losses. There is also a relatively active secondary market where you can quickly invest in all previous projects, but also selling them, thus providing some degree of liquidity.
Since December 2019, I have invested in the 3 projects offered (one with two tiers). It is easy to buy at a discount (49 EUR instead of 50 EUR). I had some minor issues when opening the platform that were resolved very quickly and efficiently. In January the platform did not offer any new project.
In Brickowner, since all the investments are long-term and paid in full at the end of the project, my profitability remains at zero (since I started operating with the platform in May 2018). Two projects delayed since April.
In December, Brickowner announced that, over the course of 2019, the Great George Street, Eastbourne and Abbeygate investments were realized while the platform saw a 63% increase in users compared with the same time last year as well as a repeat investor rate of 64%. They also launched a new website.
To convert from Euro to British Pound (GBP) and transfer the funds to a British account, I use my account with Revolut.
I opened my account with them in August 2019 and have invested in five projects. In January, there's been no new project.
Investors who use the code BRICKS during registration with this LINKwill get 15 EUR extra for investing and 0.5% cashback during 90 days. The code is valid until further notice.
In Bulkestate, being all investments long-term and paying in full at the end of the project, I saw no returns until December, when my first two projects ended. The return rates are excellent (14.4% so far from already ended projects) and historically there are 0% defaults, so my strategy my strategy is to continue investing in each new project (unfortunately not that many).
As of today, I have invested in 50 projects, 28 of them already completed. In February, it was announced that the owner of the borrower company of the "Saraiķi” project (due in February 2020) sadly passed away at the end of 2019. The legal procedures for the inheritance will likely delay the payment process.
In February, Bulkestate has completely revamped their interface, adding several really useful tools and graphics:
- Tax reports: A tool to create an overview of your income, investments, interests and withdrawals for any period of time.
- Investment summary: Shows a detailed overview of your active and past investments.
- Repayment schedule: Easy to track and export planned repayments.
- Investment planner: Calculate your potential profit according to Bulkestate's average interest rate.
You can read the technical sheet of Bulkestate here.
I invest with CrowdEstate since the March 2018 (102 projects in total). Until August 2019, all projects were paid promptly. From all payments being up to date, in August, 9 projects got delayed. In January, there are 10. Some are tiers of the same project (before it stopped investing in multiple tiers). Worrying, but can only wait to see how they resolve.
After the October peak due to the completion of several projects, monthly return rates returned to their usual values. The net annual yield offered by CrowdEstate, taking into account only already reimbursed projects (48), is 13.9%.
My strategy is to continue investing in each new project, except for those financed in several stages ("Multiple investing rounds"), as I believe it goes against my principles of diversification.
In December, following the Italian law, tax CrowdEstate began to withdraw taxes - a 26% - except in the case of double taxation agreements, which is my case. However, I'm still trying to find out how to avoid this since the tax residency verification option is not yet available. If not easily fixed, I'll stop investing in Italian options (thankfully not that many yet).
As of October 2019, CrowdEstate has 39,600 investors, 197 projects worth $ 80 million and an offers an average return rate of 17.6%.
You can read the technical sheet of CrowdEstate here.
In EstateGuru, the monthly returns obtained seem to follow an upward line since I started investing in the platform back in March 2018. Really satisfied. Estateguru remains a tremendously active platform. I have already managed to participate in 615 projects, of which 245 are already been completed. The situation remains more or less stable in terms of delays and defaults, 7.2% and 3.4%, respectively. In addition, Estateguru is proving very effective when it comes to recovering the defaulted projects one by one: already 8 recovered (1 this month).
In January, in view of all this, I have decided to double my investment per project (from 50 to 100 EUR). My strategy is still to invest in each new project, except in those funded through several tiers (in which I only I invest in one, usually the first, of the tiers).
EstateGuru in figures (August 2019): the volume of loans issued has been doubling every year, and EstateGuru has established itself in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Spain and Portugal, with more than 850 loans issued amounting to €133 million. EstateGuru has over 27 000 investors of varying profiles from 106 countries. You can access the report here.
I started investing in EVOEstate in August. EVOEstate allows to invest in projects from real estate companies across Europe, including many of the ones I already use: Brickstarter, Reinvest24, Inveslar, Bulkestate and Crowdestor. I plan to use it only to diversify into other platforms without having to open new accounts: Nordstreet, Bergfurst, Urbanitae, Norbalta or Re-Lender. There is a small section or category of projects with those in which EVOEstate has skin in the game, which are the ones they recommend. So far, the platform has offered projects in 10 countries (even in the USA), 6 to 60 months long and with annual returns between 6 and 16%.
In these first five months, I have already invested in 49 projects (3-4 in the secondary market), equivalent to 7 loans per month, which offers excellent chances to quickly diversify. The XIRR is slowly improving (4.1%). Basically, my strategy is to invest around 100 EUR in each project, except those from platforms on which I am already registered.
In January, the second project in my short story with EVOEstate got fully repaid.
In December, EVOEstate announced the addition of a new originator (Rendity – founded in 2015 and which has already financed over €25 Millions worth of loans with a primary target market in Austria). About 2-3 months ago, I explored the platform, but I ended up not investing in it due to the very high minimum investment (500 EUR). Through EVOEstate, the minimum drops to EUR 50.
My position at Housers, my first platform (September 2016) is widely overrepresented (33% of all my crowd investments). Since then I have invested in 202 projects (62 completed). So since August, I have changed my strategy: reduce my investments to 100 euros per project, and sell fractions of some projects (especially fixed-rate) in the secondary market to progressively reduce my positions.
The situation of Housers defaults and delays varies greatly depending on the type of project. Several of the fixed-rate projects with defaults have agreed on new payment schedules that include late interest and several have already resumed monthly payments. And virtually all of the savings or investment projects that used to be paid for even several months ahead of schedule, are now suffering delays – it's already 22! I attribute it to the cooling of the real estate market in Spain, especially in large cities such as Madrid, where Housers offers more than half of the projects.
After two years operating in the Portuguese market with a provisional license, Housers announced in February that they have obtained authorization from the Securities and Exchange Commission (CMVM) of Portugal, thus becoming the first international company registered as a Participatory Financing Platform (PFP) in Portugal.
In January, the platform launchedHousers Corporate, a new business line dedicated to the financing of business projects. Its first project has been the completion of version 1.0 of the Housers App, as well as the development of version 2.0, and the financing of the advertising campaign and promotion of the application in its two versions.
Housers in figures (February): projects in four countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland), 117,000 registered users from 155 different countries, 111 million EUR invested, and over 39 million EUR between yields and returns of principal.
In Inveslar, most projects are 12 months long or more, so the benefits are mainly due to rents. Since December 2016, I've invested in 28 projects, including 7 already finalized. For some months now, most are also marketed through EVOEstate.
The return rates are fluctuating greatly lately, as shown by the graphic, once projects started finalizing.
In January, Inveslar has reached 50 projects funded.
In February, Inveslar announced the signing of a collaboration agreement with a coliving agency. The coliving model offers the possibility of living in “prime” areas at an affordable price for of young workers and students of higher education. It offers the tenants, through a "flat rate", the opportunity to enjoy common areas with high quality equipment, weekly cleaning service, all supplies, an agency available 24/7, etc. This model appears in response to the substantial increase in rental prices, especially in the center of large cities, where on the other hand you find most of workplaces and educational centers. These types of projects will offer great returns in the Type-Fixed lending modality, where interest is paid monthly and capital amortization in the last installment.
Privalore confirmed in December 2019 what was already an open secret: that after 4 years offering direct crowdfunding campaigns, they have decided not to continue the crowdfunding. The platform had been without new projects since February. Privalore will not launch new crowdfunding campaigns and will focus on managing ongoing investments as usual, sending the corresponding reports and updates until the return projects completed and profits can e returned. As before.
So all I have to do is get my last three active investments refunded (all delayed over a year) and goodbye to Privalore. A real penalty, since Privalore represented the only direct real estate crowfunding option, unlike the indirect one, that is, that a Participatory Financing Platform (PFP) launches the campaigns by intermediating in the fundraising of funds for then give them to a real estate developer who will manage the project.
Privalore will continue to be active offering technologically based real estate services to individuals who need to sell or buy flats to reform.
Reinvest24 is a real estate crowdfunding platform, whose projects generate benefits for both rent and capital gains when selling (none yet).
It is soon to judge (I started investing in May 2019). Overall I'm satisfied. The projects are carefully selected. I have only managed to invest in 5, which are financed very slowly (2-3 months). To accelerate the process, the latest projects are also financing them through EVOEstate. Some projects start generating benefits from the time of investment, before the project is fully funded. There is not a great offer of new projects, although the platform has already financed 13 in its short history with estimated returns between 11 and 15% (6 of them completed). Another downside is the 2% commission charged when investing, so for the moment I have still slightly negative returns (-0.4%).
In Crowdestor, since April 2019, I have already invested in 58 projects, with very variable returns between 10.0% and 20.7% and periods of 2 to 24 months. In general, they are financed fairly quickly, between a few hours and a week – the higher the profitability, the faster financing. So far payments are timely – no delays or defaults so far. I'm very satisfied. In fact, I regret not starting to invest earlier. The only drawback perhaps is that their growing popularity causes projects to be financed in a few hours, which coupled with the lack of Autoinvest, means you may miss them if you're not ready. Luckily, many projects are financed in several tiers, so there are often second opportunities to invest.
In January, in response to the recent shake of the P2P markets by the unfortunate Kuetzal and Envestio events, Crowdestor announced they're taking a series of measures and has issued a statement to reassure customers of the legality of the platform. They are working on a detailed action/development plan to become more transparent, more open to investors, improve the standardization process, become more automated, etc. The action plan will be presented by the end of February, beginning of March 2020. The plan will include topics regarding:
- Transparency. To disclose as much information as possible in following areas: Borrowers. More financial information, info on management, contacts, registration documents.
- Partners. To show what partners they work on due diligence, legal, banks, KYC and all other possible partners.
- Team. To make it more public: on the website, with detailed CVs, experience and links to LinkedIn.
- Decision making. Presenting an understandable and transparent of the due diligence procedure.
- Technology. How to automate due diligence.
- Growth plan.
- Investors meeting. Through webinars with investors to answer their questions, plus Investors-Borrowers meetings in cities across Europe twice per year giving an opportunity for investors to meet Borrowers and Crowdestor face-to-face.
- Early exit option. In response to numerous such requests received, Crowdestor has agreed with several investors to consider to buy-out a part of other investors loans with a discount in projects. This will not be a buy-out made by Crowdestor, but by other investors, so with no profit for Crowdestor. Sounds like a secondary market, but the secondary market as such will take a bit longer.
EthicHub uses blockchain crowdlending technology to connect small producers in Mexico with no access to financial services, i.e. credit/loans, with investors. The difference with other crowdlending platforms is that EthicHub not only seeks profitability, but also aims to generate social impact in the Communities requesting loans. This social impact is generated since the loans have a lower interest for the farmers, so that they can get a greater margin when selling their coffee. Another important point is that EthicHub closes contracts with large companies and thus the repayment of loans by farmers is guaranteed. In exchange, investors get a 15% interest rate. EthicHub have received multiple prices along the way, both from economic and development institutions.
So far, EthicHub has financed more than 100 families of coffee-producing farmers in 5 communities through 49 loans (around EUR 5000 each), with 0% defaults. The loans are intended for pruning, clearing, treatment of plants, hiring of labor, collection, storage, export, etc. In return, the investor obtains a 15% return, in addition to the added value of knowing that the loans help these small communities in Mexico to develop the local economy in a sustainable way.
To be able to invest in the platform you will need to create or have a virtual wallet or wallet where your transactions will be carried out and reflected. You can create the wallet on the platform (what I did) or import it. The loans are for several months with principal payment plus interest at the end of the period (full bullet).
I have already invested in 4 projects that will still take several months to generate profits.
Flender confirmed last October its first two defaulted projects. We'll have to wait (probably) quite a few more months before we know how they resolve. Flender has started legal activities to recover them (estimated at a 35% probability). In November, there were 7 delayed projects and 2 defaults (7.8 y 1.7%, respectively). The monthly returns, October disaster aside, range from 7 to 10%, with some peaks for really generous punctual promotions.
In December, Flender announced that they won the Best Financial Services eCommerce Award at the 2019 eCommerce and Payment Awards at a ceremony held in Dublin in September.
Flender in numbers (December 2019): More than €12.5 million invested in 2019 for a historical total of €18m.
The Irish platform is the most active by far of all P2B platforms I use (with the Autoinvest I manage to invest in 25 new projects per month on average). The monthly returns are really regular, around 8%.
Linked Finance it's one of my favorite platforms. 18 non-payments (out of 630 projects) and 2 delays. My intention is to continue to invest in all new projects.
Monethera was a new addition to my August portfolio. It is a platform similar to Wisefund, TFG Crowd and Crowdestor in terms of operation and profitability. Its projects focus on four main areas: real estate, business growth, organic agriculture and green energy, logistics and technologies. They market projects with very attractive returns (18-21%) 3-12 months in duration.
I've have managed to invest in all but the first (20 in total). For now, projects are funded in a couple of weeks and payments are so far punctual.
The collapse of Kuetzal and Envestio has affected Monethera in several ways:
- The buyback option, by which Monethera would buy back loans from investors with a 5% penalty, has been suspended temporarily to avoid all customers to request it at the same time. To compensate for this, in February, Monethera announced that they'll launch a secondary market in late March.
- In January, Monethera published here some answers to the questions due to extra-scrutiny of their activities. It mostly relates to Richly Pacific International Limited, a Hong-Kong based company offering repayment guarantee for Monethera.
- And in February, Monethera has issued additional information on their internal processes in an exercise of transparency. You can read more here.
Despite these measures, investors appear to be being cautious and the latest projects are getting financed more slowly. It seems that Monethera is having problems with banks, which is somewhat disturbing if we consider that Kuetzal had a similar evolution before confirming its collapse. February 5, Monethera temporarily suspended deposits due to problems with Unicredit. After switching temporarily to Paysera, on 20 February, they announced that they were also experiencing issues with Paysera and that all withdrawals since 14 of February are still pending. As a result, they are also suspending all incoming deposits. It doesn't look good, but lets wait. We cannot do anything else anyway...
The AutoInvest option was launched in February (read more here) . Also in February 2020, Monethera will update the statistics in the “About Us” section so that the tracking record for 2019 will be available for users.
Register with thisLINK and you will receive a bonus of 5 EUR plus 0.5% of the amount invested during the first 180 days.
The big problem of October are the 8 projects in the process of judicial recovery (4.0% of the total), on top of two delayed ones. Monthly returns continue to fluctuate greatly from month to month depending on when the delays and defaults are calculated, and the return remains only marginally positive (0.1% TIR). As a positive point, to clarify that, unlike other platforms, October provisions 100% of the amount (since judicial recovery processes take a long time and the result is insecure). Provisions are potential losses and some or all of the amount due may be recovered over time. All other platforms do not consider such losses until the judicial recovery process is complete.
Since an Autoinvest function does not exist, one has to be very alert not to miss new projects, which get funded quickly. It is very useful to have the October App installed on the mobile to be able to react faster.
In February, October announced its first German project, although German regulations do not yet allow private investors to lend to these projects.
TFG Crowd joined my portfolio in early September. It is a platform similar to Envestio, Kuetzal, Monethera, Wisefund and Crowdestor in terms of operation and profitability, but with different (and broader) geographical approach: UK, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. TFG has been involved in commercial financing since 2015, but the TFG Crowd platform is still very young: 2019. In this short period, they have already financed 31 projects with very attractive returns (8-19%, almost all with returns of 17%), 6-24 months, and very informative descriptions of the projects. Three are over. And they offer buyback guarantee!
I have already invested in 14 projects. Payments are on time and I have already achieved an excellent 17.5% TIR.
In January, the borrower of the Indoor Karting Race Track and Indoor Playground for Kids projects failed to meet the requirements of the owner of the premises and the lease of the premises was terminated with them. The funds (the full amount of the loan including interest for the duration of the loan) were returned swiftly to my TFGcrowd account A perfect example of communication by a platform.
In February, in response to the shakes in the P2P markets, TFGcrowd informed investors about upcoming changes in the near future (read more here). Frankly quite impressive. If only a couple of them end up taking shape, it will be a considerable improvement. To stress:
- Moving to the UK jurisdiction (i.e. opening a company and applying for an FCA license for crowdfunding there), where there is a stronger regulation in the P2P lending market.
- Migrating European projects to German jurisdiction – Open also Germany based company (in view of Brexit) and apply for a crowdfunding license in Germany as well, in order to complement the UK regulated company.
- TFG euro IBAN accounts and TFG VISA cards.
- Launch a Secondary market.
- Launch an Auto-invest function.
- New and improved referral program.
- Business accounts with tax benefits
- Open a Dubai branch, where, since P2P lending is not allowed due to local regulations, investors will be offered the possibility to acquire shares in companies looking to raise funds.
- Insurance Market – They are currently developing an insurance option to replace the TFGcrowd’s Buyback Guarantee EXTRA currently provided (until 31 December 2020).
- Mobile App.
In February, TFGcrowd provided some additional information on how their Buyback Guarantee works:
- 2% of each project funded through the platform goes towards the TFG Buyback Guarantee Fund (143,748 EUR as of February). These funds are kept in a separate, segregated account, which was specifically opened for this purpose and will be used in case any of the borrowers of the projects open for investments on our platform default (meaning a borrower misses the repayment deadline of the particular loan by more than 60 days). In case of default, TFGcrowd will secure the repayment of the nominal value of the outstanding loan plus accrued interest income. All investors will be compensated proportionately to their investments in a particular project.
- Moreover, there are Un-listed Additional Guarantees: Not every company, especially a new one has sufficient assets that can serve as a collateral. In such cases, TFGcrowd takes into account the personal solvency of the owner of the company or the guarantor – their existing assets, such as movable and immovable property. Being a third-party guarantee, they cannot list it on the website, but the guarantee agreement is signed by the relevant parties, and the collateral exists.
- TFGcrowd also invests their own funds into projects.
- Finally, The Finance Group Limited also invests in the companies and projects. In such cases, The Finance Group Limited purchases shares in the relevant company or establishes a wholly-owned new company specifically designed for a particular project. This explains why the Finance Group Limited or its subsidiaries may appear as the whole or part owners of any of the projects/companies listed. The Finance Group Limited has recently increased its share capital from EUR 500,000 to EUR 700,000.
Trine is one of the latest additions to my portfolio (August). It’s probably one of the most original and exciting platform to invest in. It allows people to invest in solar energy in growing markets, i.e. the developing world. This allows you to earn a profit while making social and environmental impact. Trine partners with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA), which, to my eyes, adds much credibility to their proposal. Indeed, Trine, through its partnership with UNDP contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7- affordable and clean energy, and improve the quality of life in rural communities. Read more here.
Basically, you choose a loan to invest in, or set up Monthly Investments. Each loan is a bit different in terms of impact, location, size and risk. You decide how much to invest from €25 minimum. When the loan is fully funded, your money is transfered to the borrower, i.e. solar partners, who sell and distribute solar products to their customers. If the solar partner succeeds to repay the loan you'll get back your investment with interest. You can expect repayments approximately every three months. A big plus is that some loans are partly covered by Investment Protection in case it fails (provided by SIDA). So far, Trine has funded projects in 14 countries.
So far, I have invested in 11 projects in Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria, with interests up to 8% (or even higher when you invest over 1000 EUR). While the interests are not that high compare to other platforms, at least for me, that's compensated by far by the good feeling of investing your money in a good cause, while reducing my carbon footprint. In my case, my footprint will be reduced by 36.3 Tons of CO2 once the projects get operative! So far I've reduced 0.4 Tons and reached a XIRR of 4.8%.
Trine in numbers (December): In 2019, Trine funded €17m (more than in the entire history of Trine combined); 35 loans in 11 different countries were fully funded; 1.2 million people got access to clean electricity; More than half a million tons of CO2 is expected to be reduced over time; €5.4 million was repaid; 2 loans defaulted, resulting in a €400,000 loss to investors; More than 2,500 new people became Trine investors, resulting in over 10 000 investors in total; Trine's CEO received an Honorary award from the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav himself.
If interested, you will receive a discount of EUR 10 on your first investment when registering through this LINK.
I started investing in Wisefund in August. It is a platform similar to Monethera, TFGcrowd and Crowdestor in terms of the way it operates and profitability. It began operating in 2019 in Estonia. They market projects with very attractive returns (17.3-19.7%), some in more than one tier, 4-10 months in duration and Buyback. The platform will repurchase its projects with a penalty, although it has been temporarily suspended in response to the market shakes to prevent the massive withdrawal of funds by investors. Wisefund is one of the platforms under the magnifying glass of investors for its profile, so similar to Kuetzal and Envestio.
I have already invested in 12 projects. Payments so far have been very punctual. Although it's still early, Wisefund has become my best-performing platform by far: 20.9% (i). Even so, I will be cautious and i will not increase my positions in the coming months until it becomes clear that they are a professional and solvent platform.
In December, Wisefund fixed the problem they were having with deposits. In addition, they have announced a number of new features:
- Loan details will show Project name instead of loan company, that were confusing users before
- Account statement (any chosen date) download is available now, under ‘My account’
- Fixed bug with payment schedule, now it will show the correct payment schedule when there is more than one investment in a loan.
- Notifications and requests will now not only be sent in email but also will pop up in your Wisefund profile.
- Now you can disable interest payment emails in your profile.
Register with thisLINK and you will receive 0.5% of the amount invested during the first 180 days.
In October, I started investing in Bondora. It has taken me several years to decide it, but in the end I decided to try the most senior of P2P platforms. It is possibly one of the most controversial platforms, with vehement detractors and defenders. I understand that by investing time in analyzing the platform's numbers, you can achieve really attractive returns, above 20%. For now, I'm going to focus on Go&Grow. I think it is a very attractive option to obtain a fixed return of 6.76% and absolute liquidity. My idea is to use Go&Grow for those funds that I need to have quickly available for contingencies or investment opportunities.
In fact, in January I withdrew all my funds (without any problem) due to some cash needs I had, so my account is now zero. The return obtained so far has been 8.6% (annualized) thanks in part to the promotion of account opening. My intention is to continue using Go&Grow to get profitability while keeping cash readily available.
When registering with this LINK you will get 5 EUR.
In October, I started investing in Bondster, a P2P platform established in 2017 and based in Prague, Czech Republic. Bondster connects retail investors looking for alternative investments and microfinance institutions searching for flexible funding through an online marketplace. Bondster is the first marketplace of its kind in the Czech Republic that cooperates with microfinance institutions from all over the world. It has over 7,000 investors and 15 loan originators. The average annual return for investors has recently increased and amounted to 12,5 % on Euro short term investments and 8,5 % on Czech investments (most of them being secured by real estate). Bondster offers various diversification possibilities. You can invest into loans of different maturity, country of origin, type of loan, size and collateral. You can also benefit from a user-friendly autoinvest tool with various filters and diversification settings. Majority of loans are offered with a buyback guarantee that will be activated in case the borrower is past-due with the scheduled repayment for 30 or 60 days (you will also earn interest during this period). Bondster is the first platform to introduce the so called Smart Reserve that is a great option for those who want to invest for a short period of time with a possibility to exit from the investment any time and for free without a necessity of selling loan in the secondary market.
In January, I have already reached an XIRR of 11.9%. In addition, I had the great fortune that on November 21, Bondster announced new Stikcredit loans with a juicy 14% right the day after my transfer of new funds. Bondster calculates that I will get a XIRR of around 13.6%.
In January, the Polish provider Ascot Finance joined Bondster. Established in 2016, Ascot Finance focuses on secured business loans with an interest rate of 7,5 % p.a. and buyback guarantee. More here. There is a cashback promotion of 1% to all those who invest at least EUR 250 in loans from Ascot Finance until 16 March.
Bondster announced in December that the Russian provider Lime Zaim has recently joined the platform. The company was established in 2013 and it focuses on unsecured personal loans with an interest rate of 12 % p.a. You can learn more about the new originator here, where you can also find a presentation of the company. here, where you can also find a presentation from the company.
When registering with this LINKyou will get 1% from the increase of the volume of investments within the first 90 days since registration. The bonus will be calculated and paid out afer 30, 60 and 90 days.
DoFinance may not be the platform with the highest return rates, but it represents the maximum of simplicity to operate. Once the objective return rate and the term have been chosen, there is nothing left to do other than wait for the interests to arrive. In addition, monthly returns have followed an upward trend that started in January and, since October, they exceed 11% (11.1% XIRR).
Like many other platforms, DoFinance has issued a statement the Envestio and Kuetzal collapsesexplaining why their platform is secure, anc covering the following topics: Development of secure business model; How buy-back guarantee is secured; Who founded DoFinance; and Verification of DoFinance Investors. Read more here.
Dofinance's investors network has grown from 3473 to 4654 during 2019. In 2020, they are planning to launch new projects in Asia.
Fast Invest is one of my favorite platforms. The returns are maintained with great regularity, between 13 and 14%.
In February, FastInvest announced a new (Polish) loan originator: CAPITAL SERVICE SA. These loans will be available with up to 10-12% interest rate and will be secured by 3 guarantees: 1) BuyBack Guarantee (60 days): If the borrower will delay the payment by 60 days, the loan originators will buy back the whole outstanding principal amount and repay all of the accrued interest; 2) Repayment Guarantee (7 days): This is a new guarantee if the borrower is late on the scheduled payment by 7 days, the lender covers the late principal and the interest amount; and 3) All loans will be covered with the MoneyBack Guarantee - if you decide to terminate the loan agreement prematurely, you will receive the full principal back in a day.
Having a new known originator (and it's the third along with eCommerce and Kvivku), helps to improve the transparency of the platform and the confidence of investors, taking into account that the biggest reason for criticism faced by the platform has been precisely the absence of information about their originators.
Also in February, Fast Invest has announced that the platform is available in a new language: Portuguese.
Fast Invest in numbers (December 2019): Average interest rate of 12.04% (and 64.8% of investors received over 12%); 39K users (from 29K at the end of 2018; Investment grew from 11.4 to 42.5 million EUR... and 100% of investors were in profit.
You can read Fast Invest's technical sheet here.
Very disappointing result. Interest rates are really attractive (up to 55%!), but with no Buyback. My strategy was to invest only in loans with interest rates above 48% and always the minimal amount, which in the case of Fellow Finance is 25 euros. It is a complex platform and the customer service is not particularly good, so I still have many doubts about how the platform works precisely. At the end, too many defaults that don't get compensated with the higher returns offered. In fact, I've ended up with really negative returns (-17.5% XIRR). I must say that there are other less risky loans, which surely would have resulted in a better performance than my (so far) failed investment strategy.
Since May, I no longer invest in new loans with the idea of decreasing my position and eventually leave Fellow Finance. Since July, I've started withdrawing funds. I will still have to wait until early 2022 to completely empty my account.
You can read Fellow Finance's technical sheet here.
Although the yields obtained with FinBee are excellent at the moment (a 15.6% TIR selecting only loans above 18%), as it is a platform without Buyback I am still awaiting how the platform will evolve medium-long term once the (many) defaults stabilize. Delayed (0-90 days) and defaulted (>90 days) loans account for 19.6% and 15.1% of my portfolio, respectively.
The recovery rates of defaulted loans are 56.15% as of 2016 and 40.21% as of 2017. The collection process has not ended, so these indicators should continue to improve in the future. However, for investments after March 2019, FinBee announced that it will compensate 30% of the loans in arrears. Doing a quick calculation, this implies that profitability, once the defaults begin to realize, will be reduced considerably below what's currently offered by platforms with Buyback (up to 7-8%?), so since June 2019, I have stopped reinvesting profits and started withdrawing them from the platform.
In February, FinBee announced that they became profitable last year and saw 33% growth in loan portfolio value. FinBee issued individuals and legal entities almost 11 million euros last year, a 33% growth over 2018. The number of loans issued to businesses grew 46%. More than 3,500 loans were used, with 357 of these being to businesses. The joint sum of loans issued to businesses reached almost 3.4 million euros – 67% more than in 2018. 90% more company applications for loans were received than in 2018. From the start of its operations, FinBee has issued individuals and businesses 29 million euros in loans. The platform has more than 50 thousand registered users, of whom almost 9 thousand actively invested or borrowed last year.
You can read Finbee's technical sheet here.
Grupeer is one of my favorite platforms, with monthly returns always between 13 and 15%.
In December, Grupeer announced that monthly investments have increased three-fold during the past year and the number of clients increased from almost 4,000 to over 22,000. The long-awaited secondary market and some additional products are still to be launched.
In December and mid-January, several of Grupeer's originators have offered higher-profit campaigns (up to 14%). Also, CubeFunder offered 2,5% Cashback on all investments made till January 6th.
And in February, Grupeer celebrates its 3rd Birthday. Between 11th -26th of February, loan Originators have increased the interest rate offered in the marketplace to 14%.
LenderMarket is an Irish company established in June 2019. They offer personal loans in EUR issued in Poland, Spain, Finland, Estonia, Denmark and the Czech Republic at 12% interest rate for up to 90 days and with a Buyback guarantee that kicks in when they’re 60 days overdue (plus accrued interest income and late payment fees). Repayments are done monthly. LenderMarket is a sister company of Creditstar Group AS, which was founded in 2006. Creditstar may sound familiar to many of you as it’s one of the originators at Mintos, with a B rating for Mintos and a score of 79/100 in Explore P2P – the third best of all Mintos originators. This was for me an excellent indicator of trust.
Based on the above credentials I started investing on 11 December, and did another deposit on the 17th for a total of 5000 EUR. Money got all quickly invested with the Autoinvest. Still too early to report on the returns, but the functioning so far has been really smooth, intuitive and simple, with zero follow-up needed, so I’m confident about the platform.
With thisLINK, you will receive a bonus of 1% of net deposited funds for the first 60 days. You will receive this amount 5 days after the 60-day period.
To clarify that I invest mainly manually, both in the primary market as the secondary market. Partly because I find that the AutoInvest tool doesn't work too well... I also don't use Invest & Access.
When presenting my results, Mintos is more complicated than other platforms because I invest in six different currencies: Euro, British Pound (GBP), Georgian Lari (GEL), Kazakh Tenge (KAZ), Russian Rubles (RUB) and Mexican Pesos (MXN). The graph shows in black the combined results of the platform (converting each currency to EUR according to the exchange rate for each month). Monthly return is very susceptible to these exchange rate fluctuations.
The maximum returns offered for EUR loans fluctuate widely throughout the year, with originators adjusting to what the competition offers. Since January, they high interests are back, with maximum returns of 15.5-16%. One way to boast profitability is to be alert to specific offers by originators and continuously modify your investment strategy accordingly.
In February, Mintos announced that Dinero and Ukrpozyka, the two of Ukrainian Loan originatorswithin Finko group will offer a 0.5% cashback when you investing in their EUR loans on the Primary Market until 23 February. Same as with the last cashback offer, I'll try to take maximum advantage of the promotion by investing in really short loans so that I recover the principal within the promotion period, thus allowing me to reinvest the same cash again (hopefully 2 or 3 cycles).
In February, Mintos announced that Money and Ukrpozyka, the two Ukrainian loan originators within the Finko group, will offer a 0.5% cashback by investing in their EUR loans in the primary market until 23 February. As with Finko and Sun Finance's latest offering, I will try to make the most of the promotion by investing in really short loans (0-2 days) to recover the capital within the promotion period, so that I can reinvest the same cash again (with lucky 2 or 3 cycles). And another offer with a 1% cashback for Wowwo (until February 29).
The interests offered by loans in Tenges (KAZ) and rubles (RUB) fluctuate a bit between 16 and 20%. They are usually always available both in the primary and secondary markets.
Loans in Georgian lari (GEL) were scarce lately, both in both the primary and secondary markets, but 2-3 times a few would be offered, making the Cash Drag problem almost negligible. Unfortunately, at the beginning of January, there was an early repurchase by the originator of 90% of my GEL loans. From Mintos I am informed that there will be no new GEL loans available on the market in the near future. In addition, it is no longer possible to deposit GEL. So my experience with GEL is over. The result has been really positive: A 15.5% XIRR taking into account both GEL-EUR fluctuations and currency exchange fees.
For sterling pounds (GBP), there are no new loans since September, so Cash Drag is already a big problem. I reached 10% in December, which I converted to EUR, but it is increasing again.
The best XIRRs (at the moment) are my investments in Kazakh tenges and Russian rubles (17.4%-18.7%).
Good news in February. Mintos announced they've worked out an agreement with Aforti Finance that establishes a payment schedule. Aforti Finance will make daily payments of no less than EUR 150 000 per month, starting from February. The payments will be directed to cover the older debt first. It is expected that that investors will start receiving funds at the end of March 2020 and all accumulated debt towards investors should be cleared by February 2021. In my case, I don't have any loans with Aforti in Mintos (only in Viainvest). More here.
On 6 December, the Central Bank of Kosovo revoked the licences IuteCredit and Monego. Mintos suspended loans in the primary and secondary markets. Iutocredit has continued to repay the loans on time. Monego is a little more problematic. A third entity (Finitera) committed to cover payments to investors once borrowers' payments are delayed by 60 days (read more here). On 30 December, Mintos informed that the first transfer has been made to Mintos in the amount of EUR 293 985, and it is being directed to Mintos investors accounts. Also, Monego reportedly continues to discuss with the Central Bank of Kosovo and local authorities the review of the existing decision on Monego licence suspension before taking the case to court for an appeal. The work will continue after New Years’ holidays in Kosovo. In my case, the amount invested in Monego has very slowly decreased from 754 EUR when Minto suspended operations in the secondary market, to 683 EUR on 10 January, and 551 EUR on 3 February, with a few loans over 60 days late.
In December, there was a new agglutination of originators (as happened last month with Sun Finance). Money, Lendo, Metrokredit, Sebo, Varks and Ukrpozyka are now all together under Finko (more here). It can be problematic when programming AutoInvest (and even manual investment), since Finko includes originators with very different qualifications, from the C of Metrokredit to the B+ of Varks, in five countries (read more here).
Investments in loans issued by Ukrpozyka and Dinero - listed as Finko Ukraine on Mintos - have now a parent company guarantee. This is an additional risk mitigation factor: if a loan originating company cannot fulfil its contractual agreements towards an investor on Mintos, the parent company of that loan originator has to step in and meet the loan originating company’s obligations towards the investors.
New originators in February:
- TASCREDIT a secured car loan lender from Kazakhstan offering loans in euro and Kazakhstani tenge (KZT), with a B- Mintos Rating, expected annual returns of up to 11% (loans in EUR) and up to 17% (loans in KZT); Loan amounts: EUR 150 - 74 000; Loan terms: 12-24 months; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; and Buyback guarantee.
- GFM is a micro-loan lender in Kazakhstan offering net returns of up to 18% for Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) and up to 9% for EUR annually; Average loan amount of KZT 180,000 (EUR 426); Average term of 6 months; Skin in the game of 10%; Mintos Rating: B-; and Buyback guarantee.
- JULO offers instalment loans listed in EUR with expected annual returns of up to 12.5%; Loan amounts: EUR 90 - 515; Average loan amount: EUR 215; Loan terms: 14 - 180 days; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: B-; and Buyback guarantee.
- Pinjam Yuk, the fourth originator from Indonesia, was established in 2017, and is a part of a group company headquartered in Beijing, China, which has crossed EUR 27 billion in total transaction volume and grown the team to over 1000 employees across China, India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Loans' characteriastics: Expected annual returns of up to 13%; Loan amounts: EUR 18 - 13; Average loan amount: EUR 90; Loan terms: 30 days; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: B-
New originators in January:
- Mikro Leasing (part of Mikro Kapital, which offered already loans in Russia, Moldova and Romania) offers Belarus-issued business and car loans listed in EUR and RUB with expected returns of up to 10% (loans in €) and up to 16% (loans in RUB). Other characteristics: Mintos Rating B+; Loans with average amount of EUR 11 000; Loans with an average maturity of 30 months; Buyback guarantee; Skin in the game of 10%.
- Mogo, one of the largest used-car financing companies in Europe, extends the offer by adding loans at higher interest rate without buyback guarantee and introducing risk categories.
New originators in December:
- Ukrpozyka (now part of Finko group) joined Mintos offering personal loans issued in Ukraine with net annual returns of up to 13%; Buyback guarantee; Skin in the game of 10%; Loans listed in €; Mintos Rating: B-;
- Creditter offers short-term loans issued in EUR and RUB with a buyback guarantee; Net annual returns of up to 10% in EUR and 17% in RUB; Skin in the game of 10%; Loans listed in EUR ranging from EUR 30 to EUR 400; Loans issued in Russia; and Mintos Rating of C+;
- Mikro Kapital expanded its presence by offeringinvestment opportunities in Romania: Net annual returns of up to 10%; Buyback guarantee; Skin in the game of 10%; Loans listed in € ranging from € 420 to € 147,000; Mintos Rating of B+;
- Dinero begins paying interest on delayed loans.
From February, the calculations of the net annualized return (NAR) displayed in the overview page will include all other earnings an investor makes with Mintos, e.g. bonuses from Refer a Friend program, cashback campaign bonuses, earnings from affiliate programs, bonuses from activation campaigns, etc.
Since February, Mintos is also available in Dutch.
In early December, Mintos introduced a new functionality - Pending Payments, with an aim to increase transparency over transfers of borrower repayments from the loan originators to investors on the Mintos marketplace. Mintos reports that the new functionality has some bugs and, as a result, many investors saw much higher than normal amounts of money in pending status in their account overview. It should be available and fully functional soon.
Mintos in figures (November 2019): 4,080 million euros in investments (the largest market for investments in loans in Europe), reached 219,600 investors, and investors have distributed among themselves 71.6 million in interest. Statistics for the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 October 2019 (here). In 2019, Mintos tripled its team from 60 to 180 members in just 12 months. Below some key figures for 2019. More detailed information on Mintos' growth in 2019 in its annual review.
I'm not very satisfied with NEO Finance as anyone can deduct from the graph. After some really positive beginnings, the high number of defaulted loans has ended up causing negative returns in the last six months, and the XIRR in January is only marginally positive (0.4%).
My investment strategy has been so far to invest only in loans from the primary market 17% (and up to 27%) and no provision fund. Too many delayed loans that end up unpaid (after 90 days) and from which only a variable part is recovered that is usually around 30-50% depending on the return on the loan. The last few weeks of June I stopped reinvesting the profits. And since July, I've decided to try a new strategy using the provision fund (which is basically like paying for a buyback guarantee – Buyback). This provision fund must be paid in advance, when making the investment, which means starting with losses.
And since October, I have stopped using the repurchase option for unpaid loans after 90 days and rely on the recovery procedure of NEO Finance. According to its statistics, after 24 months, the lender will recover 53.6% and 73.8% after 33 months (statistics on slide 11 of the report). So, in theory, with some patience, it should work better than the 90-day buyback option. Looks like I won't be able to let you know if it works better as a strategy until two years time.
In January, the loans with provision fund increased to 27% (23% in December). I can see already a clear recovery in the return rates.
By registering with thisLINK, you will receive 25 EUR when opening an account.
In January, Aventus Group's Autofinance (BY) company joined PeerBerry offering lease loans of up to 13% annual repayment and repurchase guarantee. Autofinance (BY) is an auto leasing company launched in Belarus in June 2019. Find out more at https://autofinance.by/.
PeerBerry in figures: In January, Peerberry achieved a loan volume of 20.5 million (for a total of 212 million) and surpassed 18,400 investors from 64 countries who can invest in loans from 18 originators in 8 countries.
You can read the PeerBerry data sheet here.
Return rates have increased since April with the payment of interest on longer-term loans (180-365 days), which are charged at the end, so the XIRR does not reflect the real performance of the platform (which should be 12.0% in my case).
Robocash had overcome its problems with Cash Drag last summer and maintained a relative regularity. However, October was a strange month. On the one hand, Cash Drag problems of up to 10% emerged again. In addition, the payment of several of the long-term loans (bullet) caused a peak profitability of up to 30%, the highest monthly return by far since I use Robocash. In November and December, they returned to their usual values, and in January, a drop to 5.7% was recorded, which should be compensated next month.
In December, Robocash launched long-term commercial loans from Singapore. Loans will be issued for a period of up to 12 months, an annual return of up to 10% (11% until December 31, 2019), and buyback (more here).
In January, Robocash announced that, for its third anniversary (February 2020), there will be a Cashback Campaign of 0.5% for investments Singapore loans until the end of February. The bonus will be paid out 2 to 6 March. In order to invest in these loans, investors should update their settings: the minimum interest rate should be set at 10%, and the maximum repayment period at 365 days.
In December, Robocash suspended investment into the loans of Robocash Finance Corp following a press release from the Securities and Exchange Commission in Philippines (SEC), where prevented Robocash Finance Corp.’s (Company) authority to operate as a financing company for running several branches without the necessary license. Although the placement of new loans from the Philippines has been stopped, Robocash still guarantees all commitments on the sold loans of Robocash Finance Corp. All the invested funds including the earned interest will be paid back to investors in due course set by the existing assignment agreements.
Robo.cash in numbers: 3 years have passed since Robo.cash started operating. During these time, they have integrated new loan originators from Russia, Vietnam and Singapore (on top of Spain and Kazakhstan at the time of the launch). Today, Robo.cash is: 10,000 investors, 1.5 million funded loans for the total volume of 147 million EUR, and 5 loan originators.
You can read Robocash' technical sheet here.
In Swaper, Cash Drag has popped-up again staying usually at around 10%, and even reaching 20% some days.
It’s been 3 years since launching of Swaper (October 2016). Swaper in figures (November): Cumulative volume of loans = 91,9 million; Number of active investors = 3,360.
New investors who sign up by using my Affiliate LINK will get a Swaper Loyalty Bonus (+2%) on all investments made during the first three months. This means that instead of a 12%, investors will earn 14%! The bonus will be activated after the first successful payment. If the account value drops under 5k after three months, the bonus will be revoked.
You can read Swaper's technical sheet here.
I started investing in Twino somewhat reluctantly in November 2018, in view of the negative comments about Cash Drag and low yields. One year later, Twino has become one of my most profitable platforms (15.7%), thanks partly to the positive currency fluctuations in my investments in rubles.
News of February:
- Investments in real estate projects with collateral to be offered soon, which will be called TWINO Ventures.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) for increased account security (expected in February).
- Sponsoring Latvia’s emerging startup and technology scene by sponsoring TechChill conference. You can use a 20% discount code: techchillxtwino20, when getting your tickets here.
- Launching consumer lending operations in Vietnam in partnership with VIA SMS Group. They have entered into a joint venture on equal terms sharing 50% of business each.
Twino in figures (to February 1): 1) Loans funded in the last month: € 15,401,608; 2) Average interest: 10.72%; 3) € 632 million total funded; 4) XIRR to date: 10.59%; and 5) 19,825 investors.
Viainvest is a platform with excellent regularity, no Cash Drag, it requires a minimum follow-up and with return rates around 12-13% since January 2019. Unlike most other platforms Viainvest withhold taxes. I present tax-free results to facilitate comparison.
Vianinvest in figures (December 2019): 179 million funded 14,019 investors registered
You can read the Viainvest technical sheet here.
Viventor It is a platform with great regularity, almost no Cash Drag, which requires minimal monitoring and with clear rising monthly returns since January 2019, despite Aforti's setback. However, in January it suffered an unexplained drop (8.9%), which should be compensated next month.
In February, Aforti Finance and Aforti Factor announced they will resume transferring borrower repayments to ViVentor for distribution among investors. The oldest unpaid investments will be covered first. Aforti Factor will start making payments from the end of February to ViVentor. Payments have been divided into 5 equal monthly parts. The repayments to investors will start from 29 May. Aforti Finance will start making payments from the end of July and will be divided into 31 equal monthly parts. Repayments to investors won't start until 30 October. All in all it's good news, although the repayment process will take forever. At least, I understand that interest on delayed payments will also be paid. In view of the situation, when Mintos anounced their deal with Aforti, I decided to gamble a bit and invest a couple of hundreds in Aforti loans with a 30+% disccount in the secondary market. Lets wait and see...
In February, Viventor announced its first Loan Originator from Moldova. Forza.MD will offer up to 12,5% short term consumer loans issued by Credits 2 All SRL, with maturities from 7 days to 1 month, and loan amounts of EUR 50 to EUR 500.
Viventor was established in 2016. During the three-year period (as of February 2020), the platform has refinanced more than EUR 105 million worth loans, while accumulated paid interest to investors reached over EUR 1.3 million. Average return is 13.2%. ViVentor has 7,500 registered investors and its current portfolio exceeds EUR 15.5 million. ViVentor has increased its’ financial capital from EUR 2,800 to EUR 1,300,000. As a result of the significant growth of the platform, Viventor's revenue more than tripled from EUR 0.1 million in 2018 to EUR 0.31 million in 2019. The total loans funded on the platform in 2019 was over EUR 53.5 million. Out of these loans, more than 71% were consumer loans, 18% invoice financing and around 8% business loans.
You can read Viventor's technical sheet here. Invest with this LINKand Viventor will reward us both with 1% cashback of the amount invested during the first 30 days, which should be at the least 100 EUR (promotion valid until 29 February).
Sun Exchange is the world’s first peer-to-peer solar leasing platform. Through Sun Exchange, anyone, anywhere in the world, can own solar energy-producing cells and build wealth by leasing those cells to power businesses and organisations in South Africa, with installations and maintenance taken care of.
Sun Exchange was established in 2014 through $35k crowd-funding campaign and completed its first project in March 2016. As of today, they have funded 21 projects (schools, supermarkets, malls…). I've invested in 80 cells in 4 of them. Sun Exchange has investors in 150+ countries, and has generated 1,500,000 Kwh to date through 590,000 cells. In the future, they're planning to launch a secondary marketplace for trading operating solar cells.
The way it works is as follows. Sun Exchange identifies or is approached by a business or organisation that wants to go solar. Projects undergoing evaluation are listed as “Coming Soon”. Once accepted, the crowdsale of the solar cells starts through the marketplace and any individual or organisation, anywhere in the world, can purchase these solar cells for as little as ZAR 50 / USD 4 per cell, which are then leased to the project. Once all solar cells sell out (and they go quick!), the chosen local construction partner installs the solar cells and the rest of the solar equipment. This process typically takes 4-6 weeks, but can be longer for larger projects. The lease starts when the project goes live. The business or organisation pays to consume the electricity your cells produce. You automatically receive this as lease rental payments net of insurance and servicing fees on a monthly basis, over around 20 years, paid optionally in local currency or Bitcoin (BTC) into your online Sun Exchange wallet.
What to expect? You should expect a return of around 11% over 20 years. At the end of the 20 years, you remain the owner of the solar cells. Sun Exchange may arrange a sale of the cells to the consumer or a 3rd party on your behalf or renegotiate an extended lease agreement. An example of how it works, using the figures from the last project I invested in):
- Cost per cell (ZAR): 86.00 - I'm investing the equivalent of 100 EUR per project.
- Forecast first year production / cell (kWh): 7.51
- Year 1 lease rate (ZAR / kWh): 1.20
- Lease term (Years): 20
- Estimated 20 year rental income per cell (ZAR): 270.44
- Estimated IRR (%): 11.81.
Of course, you have to take into account the currency fluctuations ZAR:EUR. However, looks like at least for the last few years, it's remained relatively stable.
In short, for me, Sun Exchange, despite currency fluctuations, potential political stability, long-term investment (although there is asecondary market round the corner), etc. offers a series of really attractive points. On the one hand, the sun is not likely to stop shining in South Africa, but most importantly, it allows me to invest in green energy. The later is crucial for me, and fits perfectly with my objective to invest more and more in projects that are sustainable, ecological and/or solidadary. I strongly believe in my responsibility to the need reduce my carbon footprint. If I can do that while getting some solid returns at the same time... what else can I ask for?
Whiskey Invest Direct
WhiskyInvestDirect, a very novel platform that allows investment in Scotch whisky in the process of maturation. I started investing in March and have made two deposits to invest in thirteen different whiskeys. At the moment I am quite satisfied, with a XIRR of 6.6%.
To convert from Euro to British Pound (GBP) and transfer funds to a British account, I use my account at Revolut.
Register with thisLINK and you'll receive 1 liter of pure alcohol (1 LPA) and 2 pounds (GBP).
Still really satisfied with Indexa. My investments are at the fifth level of risk (5 of 10) are performing really great so far.
In January, I had to cut my position in half due to some cash needs. As soon as I can, I'll deposit money back in.
In December, Indexa turned 4 years old. The volume managed has multiplied by 2.3 this year, from 135 million EUR (12/15/2018) to over 312 m (12/15/2019), and more than 13,600 customers. In addition, Indexa has its own Skin in the game: between partners and Indexa team they have invested over 13 million Euro, 4% of the total money managed. More here, although only available in Spanish.
Indexa is the first profitable automated manager in Europe (and perhaps the world) and will lower the management fee from 0.45% to 0.43% for fund accounts from 10 to 100 thousand euros from January. In addition, Vanguard, the manager of most of the funds included in Indexa's portfolios, has again lowered its fund commissions. The average cost of funds in The Index portfolios low -0.04% (from 0.19% on average to 0.15%), which equates to 85 thousand euros of annual savings for Indexa customers.
You'll get € 10,000 free of management fees for 1 year by contributing more than € 1,000 to the fund portfolio or more than € 50 to the pension or EPSV account when registering with thisLINK.
Besides, I use N26 and Revolut for my bank transfers. These two online banks do not charge fees for transfers, charge minimum fees for payments in foreign currency, and allow you to open an account within minutes.
Evolution of my positions
As for the evolution of my positions since January 2018 depending on the type of investment, they've remained more or less constant until August, when I sold my most important investment fund for the purchase of an apartment.
And the evolution of my income from crowd investments (thanks to Eelis, the Wealthy Finn!) compared to other bloggers (a widespread disaster this month!):