Peace time didn’t last long after almost simultaneous falls of Kuetzal and Envestio in January. After a rather calm February, the COVID-19 crises has hit the crowdfunding and crowlending sectors very hard (and everything else, really), and in less than a month has already helped bring to light two new scams: Monethera and Grupeer. Besides, practically every platform and originator is having to adapt to new national regulations, the inability of many borrowers to pay the installments, and the panic of investors, who are trying to get out as soon as possible.
There is little doubt that when this crisis ends (and everything seems to indicate that it will last long), the list of failed platforms and originators will be longer. The positive side is that at the end of the tunnel, once the weaker and fraudulent platforms have fallen, we should have (perhaps) a more healthy and regulated P2P sector. At least that’s my hope. Besides, investors’ panic offers excellent profit opportunities, especially on platforms where there is a secondary market that allows selling at a discount.
My strategy during these two last months (and in the coming weeks, maybe months) is to reduce my exposure to crowdfunding / crowdlending, divesting in some platforms, while reinvesting on discounted loans and increasing the available cash in my portfolio, until the global situation calms down and becomes a bit clearer. In practice, I have made the following decisions:
- Stop reinvesting on P2B platforms (company loans), which I think are going to be hit hardest, especially since they don’t offer any kind of Buyback. I have stopped investing in new projects in Crowdestor, Flender, Linked Finance, October, TFG Crowd and Wisefund. I only continue to invest in new projects in Trine and Ethichub. The first invests in solar energy in Africa and the second in coffee production projects in Mexico. My impression is that these sectors should not be too affected, apart from the fact that I want to continue to support these platforms because of their ecological and solidarity component.
- Reduce my position on P2P platforms without secondary market, i.e. Bondora, Bondster, Dofinance, Fast Invest, LenderMarket, Peerberry, Robocash, Swaper and Twino. In Iuvo, Viventor and especially Mintos I reinvest only in discounted loans. Finbee and Neofinance have secondary market, but at the moment there are no big deals.
- I continue to reinvest in new real estate crowdfunding projects, including some discounted projects in the secondary market (EVOEstate and Brickstarter).
Because of the circumstances in these last two months, platforms have flooded us with information: offers to attract more clients and funds, increased interest rates, reassuring emails with the measures being taken, and above all … problems (delays, defaults, new regulations, etc.). I will try to summarize it the best I can, but it will not be easy. Expect a long update…
In April, my investments have had an excellent monthly (annualized) return of 12.1%, the best by far since I started investing in crowd platforms over two years ago, and quite opposite from the March debacle (-48.2% losses due to Monethera and Grupeer). It’s explained mostly thanks to the amazing profitability in P2P Crowdlending platforms (23.7%) Mintos (and its secondary market) in particular (28%), being much more moderate for P2B Crowdlending platforms (5.5%) and Real Estate Crowdfunding platforms (4.4%).
The conversion of the ruble (RUB) against the Euro has plummeted since 1 March (-10.2%), affecting the profitability of my two platforms with exposure to the ruble: Twino and Mintos. Almost identical patterns in Mexican peso (-21.4%; exposure in Mintos), Kazakh Tenge (-10.7%; Mintos) and South African Rand (-16.4%; Sun Exchange), and to a lesser extent sterling (-1.1%; Mintos and WhiskeyInvestDirect).
Table of Contents
Real Estate Crowdfunding
- Bit of Property
The main developments of March-April can be summarized in:
- I’ve started investing in Iuvo, my 38th platform;
- I’m still second on the list of top-20 P2P Portfolios in terms of volume invested (and the first in terms of number of platforms). My blog goes down from #49 to #53 on the list of Top 100 Peer-to-peer Lending Blogs, and I continue second in the passive income “race”.
- The disappointment of these two months is twofold: Grupeer and Monethera. Both have turned out to be scams;
- As a positive surprise, maybe Iuvo, which thanks to its secondary market has allowed me to almost triple the “normal” profitability of the platform both months;
- I continue reducing my positions on platforms that I’m not completely convinced about (Fellow Finance), over-represented (Housers), to which I have added over the last two months almost all P2P platforms, except those with a secondary market. I have also stopped investing in new projects on P2B platforms.
- I have increased my positions mainly on the real estate crowdfunding platforms that inspire me more confidence (Estateguru, EVOEstate, Bulkestate and Inveslar) in addition to my investments in renewable energy Trine and Sun Exchange.
- The best platforms in terms of XIRR are 1) real estate: Estateguru and Bulkestate; 2) P2B: Wisefund and TFG Crowd; and 3) P2P: Iuvo, Mintos And.Finbee.
- The best monthly returns were 1) real estate: Bulkestate and CrowdEstate; 2) P2B: Wisefund and Monethera; and 3) P2P: LenderMarket, Viventor and Fast Invest.
- 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.
Delays and defaults
- The situation in terms of delays is disastrous for some platforms. Note that in some cases (Linked Finance, Wisefund and Crowdestor), is due to agreements to freeze payments for a few months until the worst of the crisis is behind.
- To highlight (negatively) CrowdEstate and Housers with 36 and 49% of the delayed projects, respectively.
*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. 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 of them with two tiers). It is easy to buy at a small 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 and February the platform did not offer any new projects, and the one marketed in March did not raise enough funds due to the general reluctance to invest in these times of crisis.
Return rates are so far extremely regular.
When you sign up, you will receive EUR 5 if you use thisLINK.
In Brickowner, being all projects long-term investments paid in full at the end of the project, my profitability remains at zero (since I started trading the platform in May 2018). Two delayed projects.
I opened my account in August 2019 and have invested in 10 projects. Very irregular returns so far: a peak in March for discounted investments in the secondary market, and nothing in April due to Covid-19.
Unfortunately, short-term rentals are being very affected by the quarantine and most reservations have been canceled. In April, Brickstarter reported that all properties maintain a positive cash flow (as most of the reserves are prepaid), and all properties have a contingency security fund, which means that operations are guaranteed even in worst case scenario. However, they have adapted the strategy to the current situation. Specifically: 1) Management fees will not be paid; and 2) The payment of interest to investors will be stopped. In addition, during the next few days, Brickstarter will launch its new booking portal, which will help increase opportunity revenue, since no OTA (Airbnb, Homeway, Booking.com, etc.) will be paid commissions.
On a positive note, Brickstarter has also reported that they have already received some bookings for August and, hopefully, the situation with COVID-19 will improve and the properties will generate revenue again. In addition, all important local festivals such as the Fallas (Valencian festival) or Easter are postponed, so they hope to recover some of the missing bookings later this year. Finally, Brickstarter would consider medium-term rentals if the tourism sector does not recover.
In March, Brickstarter announced the launch of a secondary market, which for the first few weeks will be available only to beta testers. I’ve taken the opportunity to invest in three discounted projects that I didn’t have in my portfolio.
In February, Brickstarter moved to Estonia. Since 1 January, they will no longer withhold taxes to non-residents, due to the double tax agreement between Spain and Estonia. You need to make sure your address is set up correctly in your profile. Taxes withheld to non-residents in 2019 will be paid back to investors shortly. Withheld taxes in 2019 and paid in 2020, will be considered as 2020 interests.
Investors who use the code BRICKS during registration with this LINK will 1.5% cashback during 90 days.
In Bulkestate, being all long-term investments and paid in full at the end of the project, I did not have returns until December 2018, when my first two projects were completed. The returns offered are excellent (14.4% obtained by the 31 projects already completed) and 0% defaults historically, so my strategy is to keep investing in all new projects (which unfortunately aren’t that many).
After many months, the platform’s XIRR (8.7%) has finally reached a similar value to that of similar real estate platforms (EstateGuru and CrowdEstate)… and without any default after over two years and only one delayed project (since February).
To this day, I have invested in 58 projects, 31 of them already completed.
You can read the technical sheet of Bulkestate here.
I invest with CrowdEstate since March 2018 (113 projects in total). The problem with delays has worsened rapidly over the past few months: 36% in April. Some are different tiers of the same project (before it stopped investing in multiple tiers). Worrying, but we’ll have to wait and see how they work out.
The month-to-month return is very variable, and the net annual return offered by CrowdEstate, taking into account only the returns of already repaid projects (54) is 13.7%.
My strategy is to continue investing in each new project, except for those financed in several tiers (“Multiple investing rounds”), as it goes against my principles of diversification.
CrowdEstate announced that, as of May 4, all transactions on the secondary market will be subject to a 2% transaction fee.
According to the Romanian tax regulation, non-resident investors need to provide certificates of tax residence in original, with notarized translation into the Romanian language, for each investment opportunity. Since this is unfeasible, non-resident investors in Romanian projects (27 Lebedei str., Avantgarden3, Brasov I & II and Splaiul Independentei 294) will have a 16% tax withholding to be applied, retroactively and from now on. For the next projects in Romania, Crowdestor will try to come up with a more tax-efficient structure.
In March, CrowdEstate communicated about the following news:
- Good practices: Crowdestate has been recognized as a trusted crowdfunding platform and honoured with a “Good practices” certificate issued by FinanceEstonia.
- Improved statistics page: new data about marketplace trading and investors, you can also download the annual reports.
- Updated terms and conditions: the information published on the Crowdestate platform is protected by copyright.
CrowdEstate in figures (April 2020): 47,197 investors, 234 projects worth 90 million and an average return rate of 17.2%.
You can read the technical sheet of CrowdEstate here.
In EstateGuru, the monthly return obtained seems to follow an upward line since I started investing in March 2018. Really satisfied. Estateguru remains a tremendously active platform. I have already participated in 691 projects, of which 296 have already been completed. The situation remains more or less stable in terms of delays and defaults, 10.2% and 3.0%, respectively. In addition, Estateguru is proving very effective when it comes to recovering them one by one: there are already 12 recovered projects.
Since January, I have doubled my investment per project (from 50 to 100 EUR). My strategy remains to invest in each new project, except those that are financed in several tiers (in which I only invest in one of the tiers, the first if possible).
In April, EstateGuru opened up a crowdfunding opportunity in Seedrs. I’ve invested.
EstateGuru in figures (April 2020): 1392 loans issued in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Spain and Portugal worth EUR 200 million; 44,000 investors from different profiles from 106 countries, of which 621 loans exceeding the amount of €96,3M have been repaid. There are 17 unique projects (and 40 defaulted loans in different loan stages) to the value of €6,0M in EstateGuru’s portfolio. The Estonian portfolio has the greatest number of defaulted loans, followed by Latvia and this hasn’t changed over the years as these are our two biggest markets.
I started investing in EVOEstate August 2019. EVOEstate allows you to invest in loans and capital projects from real estate companies across Europe, including many of the ones I already use: Brickstarter, Reinvest24, Inveslar, Housers, Bulkestate and Crowdestor. I use it only to diversify into additional platforms without having to open a new accounts.
I have already invested in 78 projects (5 already completed), both in the primary and secondary markets, which represents a volume of 8 loans per month. Basically my strategy is to invest around 100 EUR in each project, except those of platforms on which I am already registered.
In April, EVOEstate announced that during the first quarter of 2020, 8 projects were repaid, out of which 7 had full principal repayment and 1 partial. Projects in Q1 yielded 10.34% XIRR, while the historical XIRR, currently stands at 13.11% across 13 projects spread across 4 countries. The current active projects portfolio consists of 108 projects located in 11 countries, with the largest market in Spain with (50%), followed by Lithuania (15%) and Germany (10%). Out of all of these projects, there is only a single project that is late for principal repayment (by 4 months), plus two late interest payments which exceed 7 days late period.
Since April, it is possible to track all investments and their status in the updated originators page, which includes a EvoEstate Rating, which assigns risk ratings for the originators on a scale from “A+” to “D”. The rating does not analyse individual investment opportunities, but the environment in which the investments are structured. The rating is based on factual data, and the assessment methodology is divided into three main classes: operating environment, risk appetite and financial profile. The EvoEstate Rating will be updated on a biannual basis, with the next update scheduled for October 2020.
My position at Housers, my first platform (September 2016), is widely overrepresented: 32% of all my crowd investments. Since then I have invested in 208 projects (69 completed). So since August 2019, I have reduced my investments to 100 euros per project, and I have sold fractions of some projects (especially fixed rate) on the secondary market to progressively reduce my positions.
The situation of Housers delays is frankly disastrous (49%) due to the cooling the real estate market in Spain, especially in large cities such as Madrid, where Housers offers more than half of its projects. Several fixed-rate projects with defaults have agreed on new payment schedules that include late interest and several have already resumed monthly payments. Virtually all savings or investment projects, which used to be paid even months earlier than planned, are now experiencing systematic delays.
Today, I do not recommend the platform: too many delays, lack of information and frozen funds…
In April, Housers released its app (to invest) on Google Play (Android) and the Apple Store (iOS).
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 interests generated and returns of principal.
In Inveslar, I have invested since December 2016 in 35 projects (12 already completed). For a few months now, most have also been marketed through EVOEstate. Lately, returns are fluctuating enormously as shown in the chart once projects have started to sell and thanks to some profitable operations I’ve made on the secondary market.
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 in the crowdfunding business for good. So all what’s left to do is to wait for the refund of my last three active investments (all delayed over a year) and goodbye to Privalore.
Reinvest24 is a real estate crowdfunding platform, whose projects generate profits from both rent and capital gains when selling.
I started investing in May 2019. Overall satisfied. Projects are carefully selected: I’ve only managed to invest in 5 and they’re financed very slowly (several months). To speed up the process, the latest projects are also being funded through EVOEstate. Some start generating profits from the time of investment, before it is fully financed. The platform has financed 13 projects with returns between 11 and 15% (6 of them completed). Another drawback is the 2% commission charged when investing, so after all these months the returns are only marginally positive (1.2%).
Register with this LINK and you’ll get 10 EUR gift.
In Crowdestor, since April 2019, I have already invested in 66 projects, with very variable returns between 10.0% and 26% and periods of 2 to 24 months. In general, they are financed fairly quickly, within a few hours to a week. Until now payments were punctual (perhaps too much) – neither delays nor defaults. But with COVID-19, all payments except for 7 projects have been frozen, representing 89% of temporarily delayed projects. I have stopped investing new funds until the situation is resolved.
To address the crisis, the initial strategy of Crowdestor for a long-term solution was a recovery period during which all capital and interest payments would be suspended. However, because of investor pressure, they decided to make a more democratic decision and allow us to vote on how to calculate the approximate interest rate with borrowers for the recovery period. After a survey, it was voted that CrowdEstor will generate a differentiated interest repayment model on each project taking into account the actual situation of the borrower.
Also, in March, Crowdestor offered an Early Departure option for several projects. This will not be a buy-out by third party investors, but by the Borrowers themselves, who will also be the ones determining the amount of funds meant for the buy-out and the Discount Rate.
Unlike most other platforms being cautious in these time of crisis, in March, Crowdestor announced their ambistious future plans (to be reflected soon in a 50-page whitepaper), which include 1) Automatization of solutions as implementation of financial data aggregation, OCR technologies, automated scoring and full automation of underwriting processes; 2) Hiring additional country managers in target countries, expanding its operations to 5 new EU countries in 2020, and another 5-7 countries in 2021. To finance this growth, Crowdestor will be launching an Equity Campaign where investors can become shareholders, with a guaranteed minimum return of 26% per year, potentially multiplying capital x30 during 4-5 years. More information on 10 April. So far, in April, Crowdestor announced the appointment of Artur Geisari as a new Head of SME.
When registering with this LINK, you will receive 1% cashback of your investment during the first 180 days.
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 invested in 15 projects (3 already completed) since January.
Started investing in Flender in March 2018. Since then I have invested in 129 projects, 29 already completed.
Flender confirmed in October the first two defaults, followed by two more in March, for a total of 9 delayed projects and 4 defaults (9.4 and 3.1%, respectively) in April. Well have to wait (probably) quite a few months before we know how they are resolved. Flender has started legal activities to recover them (which estimate a 35% probability). Monthly returns, apart from the October bust, range from 7 to 10%, with some spikes for really generous one-off promotions.
As with other P2B platforms, I have stopped investing in new projects until the worst of the crisis is behind.
The Irish platform is the most active by far of all P2B platforms I use (with Autoinvest I get to invest in 25 new projects per month on average). Returns are really constant at about 8%. Linked Finance is one of my favorite platforms. Only 19 defaults (out of 672 projects).
In March, in response to the crisis and to easy things for companies, Linked Finance has frozen the payment of 259 loans, which has resulted in a reduction in April profitability by half (4.2%). This reaffirms me in my strategy of stopping investing in P2B platforms until the crisis passes.
Linked Finance in figures (February 2020): 129 million and 2,513 loans; 1.28% of non-payments; 24,400 users; average loan size in the last 6 months: EUR 80,700.
You can read the technical sheet of the platform here.
Monethera is (or was) a platform similar to Wisefund, TFG Crowd and Crowdestor in terms of the way it operated and its performance, with very attractive returns (18-21%) and 3-12 months long projects. I started investing in August 2019, on all (but the first) first loans (20 in total). On 27 March, they announced the complete cessation of activities under the excuse of COVID-19. Before that they had already suspended the repurchase option (for which Monethera repurchased investor loans with a 5% penalty) and had had to switch banks two or three times.
Being such a new platform, I was cautious, investing 100 euros per project, so the losses (not counting possibly imaginary interest) has been 1530 euros. There is already a group in Telegram preparing a lawsuit against Monethera. If you are affected by the situation and want to join the lawsuit, fill in your details here.
I started investing in March 2018. The big problem with October are the 8 projects in the process of judicial recovery (3.6% of the total), plus 9 delayed. Monthly returns continue to fluctuate greatly from month to month depending on when delays and defaults are written off. As a plus, to clarify that, unlike other platforms, October provisions 100% of the amount (since judicial recovery processes take a long time and the result is uncertain). Provisions are potential losses, meaning that some or all of the amount due may eventually be recovered. All other platforms do not consider such losses until the judicial recovery process is complete.
After over two years, the return is only marginally positive (0.5% XIRR). Between that and COVID-19, I have decided to stop investing in new projects. I’ve given October already enough chances to perform. Projects are generally long-term, so I’ll have time to follow October’s evolution for a few more years.
In April, 98% of investors voted in favor of offering eligible Italian companies for a public or private guarantee to return their current October loan and obtain a new one, increasing their current outstanding capital and extending the term of expiration. To take advantage of these guarantees, the new loan will have to be financed exclusively by the institutional investors of the October Fund. Please note that it cannot be ensured that all eligible companies accept the proposal.
In March, October reached 400 million euros borrowed. In 5 years, private and institutional investors have financed more than 800 projects.
TFG Crowd is a platform similar to Wisefund and Crowdestor in terms of the way it operates and profitability, but with different (and broader) geographical approach: United Kingdom, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, 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 more than 30 projects with very attractive returns (8-22%) 6-24 months. Three are now finished. The most striking feature is that they offer buyback guarantee. In April, the Buyback will be put to test, as TFG Crowd informed about the first defaulted project and the fact that the guarantee should kick in in 60 days
Since September, I have invested in 15 projects (3 already completed). Payments are on time and I have already reached an excellent 17.5% XIRR. Despite that, as with other P2B platforms, I have decided to reduce my exposure and stop reinvesting in new projects.
Trine joined my portfolio in August. It is probably one of the most original and exciting platforms to invest in. It makes it possible for anyone to invest in solar energy in developing economies. This allows you to make a profit while having a social and environmental impact. Trine partners with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swedish Agency for International Cooperation (AIDS), which I believe adds a great deal of credibility to its proposal. In fact, Trine, through its partnership with UNDP, contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7- clean and affordable energy, and improves the quality of life in rural communities. Read more here.
Basically, you can 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 fund are transferred 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 19 projects Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria, with interest of up to 8% (which can be more when you invest over 1000 EUR). While interest is not as high as in other platforms, at least for me, that is well compensated by the good feeling of investing in a good cause, while narrowing my carbon footprint. In my case, my footprint will be 41.5 tons of CO2 less once the projects are operational. So far, I’ve reduced 0.65 tons of CO2 and reached a 4.5% XIRR.
Trine informed in March that the loan to Solynta is having some problems in their business (since they are in the process of raising funds) that translated in the repayment due on February to become delayed.
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 you are interested, you will receive a discount of 10 EUR on your first investment when you sign up through this LINK.
Wisefund is a platform similar to TFGcrowd and Crowdestor in terms of the way it operates and return rates offered. It began operations in 2019 in Estonia. They market projects with very attractive returns (17.3-19.7%), some in more than one tier. The platform repurchases its projects with a penalty, although it has been temporarily suspended in response to the shock of markets to prevent massive withdrawal of funds by investors. Wisefund is one of the platforms under the spotlight of investors for its profile so similar to Kuetzal and Envestio.
Since August, I have invested in 13 projects (2 already completed) and Wisefund has become my platform with the best profitability: 18.7%. Still, I’ve stopped increasing my positions until the crisis passes. In fact, COVID-19 has already taken its toll, with four projects delayed.
In April, Wisefund shared the results of their survey on how to deal with Covid19. Over 60% of investors submitted their replies, and 93.3% of those supported actions to extend the maturity of the loans, while 91.8% voted to support the relief on interest payments during this time with majority voting on the option of distributing the accrued interest through the payment schedule after the relief period.
Wisefund announced in March that they will start new loans to support businesses during the crises: Those businesses who have seen significant sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for loans from 10,000 € up to 250,000 € to help mitigate losses in profit.
In March, Wisefund released its Secondary Market. Currently, it will allow to sell loans only at a lower price than the loan value, although the intention is to change this later on.
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, one 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) to deal with some payments. The XIRR obtained so far has been 8.6% thanks partly to the promotion when opening an account. I keep a minimum (250 EUR) to continue checking.
When registering with this LINK you will receive 5 EUR.
In October, I started investing in Bondster. I haven’t had much time to test it before COVID-19 arrived. So far, the platform is not reacting to the crisis very well, with most of payments late, some for more than 60 days due to problems with the originators. The first effect has been the decline in my monthly returns to a sad 6.6% in April. And my reaction, to stop reinvesting and withdrawing funds until the crisis passes.
In April, Bondster has put together a very informative article on the governmental measures in each country their providers are operating (, i.e. Poland, Russia, Philippines, Mexico, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and South Africa – read more here). They have also summarized news from particular providers, mostly on their negotiations due to late payments, i.e. Polish providers Mikrokasa and Net Gotówka, and the the Russian provider Kviku, but also on their interviews and statements (available on the website).
When registering with this LINKyou will get 1% cashback for your investments within the first 90 days since registration. The bonus will be calculated and paid out after 30, 60 and 90 days.
In DoFinance, the maximum return is 11% for packages of minimum six month. DoFinance represents the maximum of simplicity for the user. Once the objective profitability and deadline are chosen, there is nothing left to do but wait.
Dofinance works with two of the most exposed countries when it comes to P2P: Poland and Indonesia. In response, they have discontinued the possibility of early exit. What it’s stranger, is that the platform doesn’t allow new investments. They also mention the existence of individuals trying to convince others to withdraw all funds and accusing Dofinance of being a scam. Strange since I haven’t read anything about this anywhere, and worrying since the “conspiracy theory” sounds too similar those made by Envestio or Monethera just before disappearing. More here. The worst thing is that they are not processing withdrawals from the platform – I have a pending withdrawal for a couple of weeks already.
You can read Dofinance’s technical sheet here.
Fast Invest maintains an amazing regularity, with monthly returns between 13 and 14%. As with most other P2P platforms, I have stopped reinvesting and I am reducing my position. This has allowed me to verify the unnerving slowness with which Fast Invest processes withdrawals of funds (9 days in theory, usually longer).
In April, Fast Invest opened a secondary market. You can read more here.
In February, Fast Invest announced a new Polish loan originator: Capital Service SA. Having a new known originator (and there are already three together with eCommerce and Kviku), helps to improve the transparency of the platform and the confidence of investors, taking into account that the main reason for criticism of the platform has been precisely the absence of information about their originators.
Fast Invest in numbers (March): 61,24% of investors earned 12% or more interest rates and 100% of investors were in profit. 41K registered users, top 5 investing countries (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), 70K loand published, 55.8 million EUR invested.
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 (-20.3% 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.
For almost one year (May 2019), I no longer invest in new loans with the idea of 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 so far are excellent (XIRR of 15.0% selecting only loans above 18%), being a platform without Buyback, I am still monitoring how the platform evolves in the medium-long term once the (numerous) defaults stabilize. Delayed loans (0-90 days) and defaults (> 90 days), in continuous increase, already represent 14.4% and 16.7% 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 April, I decided to reinvest in the secondary market again. Let’s see how it goes…
In April, Finbee announced they’ve become the first crowdfunding platform in Lithuania to provide access to state COVID-19 loans. They’ve signed the first agreement with the state-owned Investicijų ir Verslo Garantijos UAB (INVEGA) for “Loans to the businesses most affected by COVID-19”.
Also in April, Finbee informed that they have received 53 deferrals, representing only 0.9% of all active loans. 6 applications were approved and payments were deferred for 1-3 months period.
On March 27, Finbee and state-run business support agency “Invega” signed an amendment to the “Aviete” program, which allows “Aviete” to invest up to EUR 25 000 and finance up to 100% of SME loans originated by FinBee. These changes will help to speed up the financing process. Finbee will add “Aviete” funds the next day after the loan is offered to regular investors. Also in March, in response to the current business situation in Lithuania, Finbee reduced their fees by 30%. For consumer loans, interest rates will increase by 1-2% depending on the credit rating and loan term.
You can read Finbee’s technical sheet here.
GrupeerGrupeer was one of my favorite platforms, with monthly returns always between 13 and 15%. Just when I started my divestment from P2P platforms, they issued their surprising statement that they were no longer operating. Even stranger is that they have continued to publish updates almost every week (all here). A lot has been written about it already, so I won’t go into more detail, other than that there is a process underway to get the money back (the fourth already – more info on telegram).
Iuvo is a platform founded in 2016, similar to Mintos or Viventor, with loans from various originators. Iuvo is characterized by an average return rate of 9,2%, 16-60 Buyback guarantee, and its most attractive feature: the biggest skin-in-the-game on the market with 30%, which provides in my eyes an extra level of reassurance, particularly in these crazy days.
I started investing in March 2020, just in time to take advantage of the discounts on the secondary market. Iuvo is together with Mintos and Viventor one of the platforms in which instead of reducing positions, I have decided to reinvest in discounted loans. This has lead to monthly returns of 27.3 and 25.8% in March and April, respectively. Things calmed down in May and it looks like there will be no more big discounts.
In April, Iuvo produced a highly informative article on government measures in each country in which its originators operate (i.e. Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Latvia; read more here). They have also published the official statements of Iuvo originators in relation to the pandemic (here).
In April, Iuvo decided to suspend KFP from trading on the primary and secondary markets due to delays of covering settlements to investors and fees to the platform (until the issue has been resolved). Following negotiations, it was decided to extend the loan period up to 3 months, with principal gratis for 3 months from the date of the last payment. KFP will be paying interest in the form of “late fee payments” on every 25th of the month.
In April, Kviku, an originator from Russia who also works with Mintos, Bondster, Viventor … joined Iuvo offering loans in EUR with interest from 9 to 13% and RUB up to 18% for classes C and D (more here).
And a month earlier, in March, the tenth originator of Iuvo – Monify, a Latvian company offering commercial loans of classes A and B in Euro, 10 to 13%, 60-day Buyback and 30% skin in the game. In May, Monify has already run into troubles. The company will give its clients the opportunity to renegotiate some of the listed loans on Iuvo, including 1-3 months full grace period on principal and interest or grace period covering only the principal. At least, during the extension, Monify will be paying interest to the investors in the form of “late fee payments” on every 25th of the month.
LenderMarket is an Irish company, sister to Creditstar Group AS, one of the Mintos originators with a B rating on Mintos and 79/100 rating on Explore P2P.
I started investing in December last year. Things started well with a staggering 22.6% in February, but with the COVID-19, returns have plummeted to a poor 1.8%, as almost all loans are behind schedule. Next month, when the Buyback triggers, return rates should bounce back.
Since March, the interest rate for loans is 14% (from 12%). Also, Lendermarket released on the platform new investment offerings from Creditstar Sweden and Creditstar Denmark.
With thisLINK, you will receive a bonus of 1% of the funds deposited within the first 60 days. You will receive this amount within 5 business days, after the 60 days period.
To mention that I invest mainly manually, both in the primary and secondary markets. Partly because the AutoInvest tool doesn’t work too well… I don’t use Invest & Access either.
When presenting my results, Mintos it is more complicated because I invest in five different currencies: Euro, British Pound (GBP), Kazakh tenge (KAZ), Russian rubles (RUB) and Mexican pesos (MXN). The graph shows the combined results of the platform in black (converting each currency to EUR according to the exchange rate of each month). Monthly profitability is very susceptible to changes in exchange rates.
The maximum returns offered by loans in EUR fluctuate widely throughout the year, with originators adjusting to the competition’s offer. With the coronavirus crisis, returns are at its all-time highs, with multiple originators offering returns well over 20%. In April, more than 32% of loans on the primary market had rates of 15% or more.
Still, for the last two months I have invested almost exclusively in discounted loans in the secondary market from the best rated originators. This strategy has allowed me to boost monthly return rates to 33.7 and 28.0% in March and April, respectively. It remains to be seen whether it will compensate for the problems faced by most originators with the crisis, with several of them already suspended from the primary and secondary markets.
As for my other currencies, the best XIRRs (at the moment) are my investments in Kazakh tenges and Russian rubles (17.4%-18.7%). In March-April, my investments in non-euro currency have suffered from the drop in exchange rates against the Euro for the ruble (-10.2%), Mexican peso (-21.4%), Kazakh Tenge (-10.7%) and, to a lesser extent, sterling pounds (-1.1%). I have tried to compensate this by investing in discounted loans in the secondary market, even though in the primary market, returns have reached up to 27%.
With Sterling pounds (GBP), the lack of new loans since September and the consequent problems of Cash Drag have been suddenly fixed with the crisis and are now always available on the secondary market, even with some moderate discounts.
Since March, Mintos shares a monthly update on the status of suspended originators and the recovery of funds, as well as a weekly update on the main outstanding payments. Pending payments represent money that is in the process of being credited to the investor’s account. To improve communication about outstanding payments, Mintos will share a weekly update with the most important statistics for each loan company (April 17). Mintos has also compiled statements released by originators about the COVID crisis-19, how it’s affecting them and the measures taken by the various governments.
On 6 December, the Central Bank of Kosovo revoked the licences to IuteCredit and Monego. Mintos suspended their loans in the primary and secondary markets. Iutecredit continued to pay off the loans on time. Monego is becoming a little more problematic. A third entity (Finitera) has committed to cover payments to investors once borrowers’ payments are delayed by 60 days (read more here). In my case, the amount invested in Monego has gradually decreased from EUR 754 when Mintos suspended operations on the secondary market to EUR 309 on 14 April.
In March, more troubles with Mintos originators: Peachy decided to discontinue business operation in the UK. They will start a sustainable wind down of the company, administered by Smith & Williamson LLP. Mintos has already initiated the work to engage a legal counsel in the UK, meaning that, at this point, investors do not have to take any steps individually. Investors on Mintos are first priority creditors and their claims should be satisfied in full. Payouts to investors on Mintos are intended to happen on a regular basis without a significant difference to the payouts while the company was fully operational. Hence the investors on Mintos are expected to continue to receive payouts without having to wait for the final stage of the wind down process. In light of the possible wind down, the management team of Peachy has taken prior steps to facilitate a secure change and gradually decreased the amount of the outstanding investment for investors at Mintos, from EUR 6 829 112 at the beginning of this year to a current outstanding investment amount of EUR 1 655 173. The Mintos Rating for Peachy will be changed from B to C and Peachy will be removed from the Mintos marketplace once the wind down is complete.
Also in March, Varks, one of my most trusted originators (one-month loans with a B+ rating) joined the list of troubles when they got their license to operate in Armenia withdrawn. On 26 March, the Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia (CBA) announces Vark’s revocation of license . Varks is a profitable company and have announced the progressive and orderly repayment of loans from mid-April. Varks had just announced (13/03) a novel product, Forward Flow, a commitment to invest in a set of pre-agreed underlying loans, at a predetermined rate for a set period of time. At least, the affected Forward Flow loans have been repaid because they had not been disbursed yet on the date the company went into liquidation. You can follow the latest Vark evolutions here.
At the end of April, Mintos decided to suspend the loans originated by ExpressCredit Zambia on both the Primary and Secondary Markets. Their loans in Botswana and Namibia remain operating despite this (more here). Also GetBucks Botswana and GetBucks Zambia were removed from primary and secondary markets (more here).
Other April news:
- Peachy made a refund of £200,000. More here.
- Mintos lifts the suspension of IuteCredit Kosovo on the secondary market. More here.
- April 30 update: Status of the defaulted lending companies and the recovery of invested funds. Read here.
- Mogo Finance reports strong financial results and shares a recording of their earnings call. Read more here.
- Follow-up announcements for investors from the lending companies on Mintos. Read more here.
- AlexCredit Mintos’ rating changed to D. More here.
- April 30 update: IuteCredit has prolonged the discounts and offer validity for the buyback. Read more here.
Changes in rating of originators according to decisions made before the COVID-19 pandemic: Aforti Finance, ITF Group, Kredit 24, Mozipo Group, Monego and Peachy.
IuteCredit announced in April that they will buy back loans from the Secondary Market which have a discount of a 15% until 27 April 2020 (more details on the conditions here). And Mozipo followed with a similar announcement in May (more here).
New originators in March:
- Revo Technologies is a fintech player, specialized in providing Buy Now Pay Later services in online and offline stores in Russia, Poland, and Romania. Conditions: Annual returns of up to 10% (loans in EUR) and up to 14% (loans in RUB); Loan amounts up to EUR 1 400; Loan terms up to 24 months; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: B+.
- Mwananchi offers to invest in car loans. Conditions: Annual returns of up to 12% for its loans listed in Euros; Loan amounts: EUR 450 – 222 000; Average loan amount: EUR 5 800; Loan terms: 1 – 48 months; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: B.
- Swiss Capital KZ offers to invest in car loans issued in Kazakhstan: Expected annual returns up to 11.5%; Loan amounts: EUR 1000 – 15000; Average loan amount: EUR 5000; Loan terms: 3 -12 months; Skin in the game: 10%; Buyback; Mintos Rating: B.
- Kiva is a new loan originator from Russia offering its short-term loans for investment in Euro (EUR). Kiva’s loans will be listed on Mintos under the name of Finko Russia: Expected net annual returns: up to 13%; Loan amounts: 43 EUR to 430 EUR; Average loan amount: 110 EUR; Loan terms: 16-30 days; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: C+.
- DanaRupiah is amongst the top 5 fintech companies in providing quick and secure financial solutions to over 500,000 customers in Indonesia: Net annual returns of up to 13%; Buyback guarantee; Skin-in-the-game of 10%; Loans listed in EUR with an average loan size of € 133; Mintos Rating: B-.
- Moneda, the first loan originator from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a micro-crediting company offering to invest in euro loans with interest rates of up to 16%; Loan amounts: EUR 25 – 200; Average loan amount: EUR 129; Loan terms: up to 30 days; Skin-in-the-game: 10%; Mintos Rating: C+.
- Other news from originators in March: 1) Kredit Pintar launches loans from the Philippines on Mintos; 2) Loan originating brands Kredo and Tigo are uniting under a single alternative lending company, Finitera; 3) Capitalia expands its offering to Mintos investors by placing business loans backed by car stock on the marketplace; 4) Within the Mintos platform two brands – Banknote and Vizia have been put under the DelfinGroup umbrella brand; 5) Mogo Group now offers to invest in car loans from Kazakhstan; 6) Finko Group’s 2019 Financial Results and Business Update; 7) IuteCredit Group reports strong 2019; 8) ID Finance splits operations into two groups – ID Finance and IDF Eurasia; and 9) A detailed description of recent MyBucks legal changes.
- In April, Mintos announced an update on the maximum number of extension periods and days that are being implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- From April 13, Mintos will introduce a fee of 0.85% for the sale of loans on the secondary market.
- Since March, investors will earn interest on pending payments that are behind the schedule. The interest will be 1.2x the interest of the loan and investors can expect to receive the interest weekly, once it’s been paid by the respective originator.
- Since March, the Mintos app version V1.0.2. is already available for downloads and updates on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The app is now available in Dutch and Spanish, in addition to English, German, Czech, Russian, Latvian, and Polish.
Mintos in figures (February 2020): EUR 5.040 billion in investments (Europe’s largest market for loan investments); 276,000 investors. In 2019, Mintos tripled their team from 60 to 180 members in just 12 months. Below some key figures fore 2019. More detailed info about Mintos’s growth in 2019 in their annual review.
After a few disastrous months, things are gradually improving at NEO Finance , as can be deduced from the graph. The high number of defaults caused very negative returns from May to September 2019. Although a recovery has started, culminating in a surprising 36.5% in April, the XIRR still remains only marginally positive (2.5%).
As with other P2P platforms, I have stopped reinvesting since March. I didn’t withdrawn funds hoping to buy some bargains in the secondary market, but so far I have not found nothing.
My investment strategy has been so far to invest only in loans from the primary market above 17% (and up to 27%) and without a 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 interest 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 of 2019, I have stopped using the repurchase option for unpaid loans After 90 days and trust 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.
By registering with thisLINK, you will receive 25 EUR when opening an account.
Without offering spectacular returns, Peerberry makes up for it with astonishing regularity, minimal follow-up and zero Cash Drag. The COVID-19 crisis has had the opposite effect on Peerberry than in other platforms. Instead of increasing delayed loans, suddenly all lenders are up to date, so, unlike for other platforms, I’ve barely been able to reduce my position in two months. And I remember that wasn’t the case in the past. I don’t quite know how to explain this…
In April, Peerberry updated their website, by adding new pages about Statistics and Loan originators.
In April, Peerberry announced an offer for a + 1.5% higher interest rate to all current balances and new investments in April, fixing this profitability for 1 year.
Peerberry activities in March:
- An additional warranty from the Group.
- Additional information about risk management.
- New adjustments to ensure investor protection.
- Key performance figures from Peerberry’s business partners.
PeerBerry in figures: In February, Peerberry managed a loan volume of 19.5 million (for a total of 232 million; what makes them the second platform in continental Europe in terms of loans financed) and exceeded 19,400 investors from 64 countries that can invest in loans from 18 originators in 8 countries.
In Robo.cash, return rates are really variable because of the longer-term loans (180-365 days, which pay in full at the end). For this reason, the XIRR does not reflect the actual returns of the platform (12.3%, compared to 10.6%).
Robocash announced in April that the audit of the group is being carried out now by KPMG. The financial statements covering 2017 to 2019 are expected to be finalized and published in July 2020. Other updates to expect:
- A secondary market will be introduced in May for 1-year-loans.
- A raise of €10,000 investment limit is coming soon.
- Website redesign and interface renewal is in development, both shall be rolled out this year.
- Currently considering introducing multi-currency options.
In March, Robo.cash informed that, due to recent changes in the legislation of Kazakhstan concerning microfinance activity, operations of the loan originator LLP Z-Finance are suspended. From now on, lending services in the country will be provided by LLP MFI Tez Finance (a licensed microfinance institution listed in the register of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan). Since 2015, the group has issued 117 mln EUR of loans and served 785,000 customers in Kazakhstan. Its main product is PDL loans of up to 330 euro with the maturity period of up to 45 days. The conditions for investors remain the same. All loans will be listed in EUR and secured with a 100%-buyback guarantee from the lender. The expected net annual return for investors will be up to 12%. All the current loans issued by LLP Z Finance will be served until they are closed.
You can read Robocash’ technical sheet here.
In Swaper, returns are still excellent (14.0% XIRR). The COVID-19 crisis has wiped out Cash Drag’s persistent problems “thanks” to the stampede of investors (including me) and despite the fact that in March, Swaper has raised the regular interest rate on all loans to 14% and for Loyalty Investors to 16% (with account value above 5000 EUR).
As with all other P2P platforms, I have stopped reinvesting and started to reduce positions. With Swaper, the process has been the fastest by far and I’ve halved my position in just two months. I have to say that I am extremely satisfied with Swaper and as soon as things calm down, I will increase my investments again.
In March, Swaper reported a surprising improvement in performance despite the Covid-19 crisis. They used FPD5 (First payment default, in this case, on the 5th day after repayment date) as an indicator for loans issued in February: FPD5 for Poland have dropped by 1,02% comparing to January. And the result of February is better than the average of year 2019 by 6,71%. In Spain, the FPD5 stands of February is lower by 1,77% if comparing with January of this year and lower by 5,09% than the average for year 2019.
Also in March, Swaper announced a series of temporary measures taken to improve liquidity:
- Improve internal processes to achieve savings of up to 35% of the total. The reduced costs are primarily related to marketing and promotional activities.
- Decrease up to 40% of monthly personnel related expenditures.
- Reduce external IT and database costs by up to 50%.
- Place all of new products and market expansion plans on hold.
New investors who sign up by using my Affiliate LINK get a Swaper Loyalty Bonus (+2%) in all investments made during the first three months, i.e. up to 16% provided that the value of the investor’s account remains above EUR 5,000.
You can read Swaper’s technical sheet here.
I started investing in Twino in November 2018. From being one of my most profitable platforms thanks to the positive fluctuations of my investments in rubles, the drop experienced by the Russian currency against the euro in the last two months has translated into negative returns that have left the XIRR at a sad 5.7% (compared to the 15.7% that it reached in its peak back in January).
In April, Twino announced a 1% cashback campaign from 15 to 21 April (included) for loans from the Primary market invested with the Auto-invest tool.
Twino announced in April that they will soon finalize the Standalone Audited Financial Statements of SIA TWINO for 2019. THere was an unaudited net profit of nearly €4 million, which is slightly more than 2018.
In April, a new status for Polish loans has been introduced to better represent the actual loan status. It will be called Refinanced and it will be triggered if the borrower refinances the initial loan. Any given loan cannot be refinanced more than 6 times, similarly as it is in the case with the loan extensions.
In April, Twino announced their registration as TWINO Investments, a new legal entity, at the Register of Enterprises. This company will become a licensed investment broker company after it receives the appropriate license from the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC). On the successful completion of the licensing process, the new legal entity will be taking over the responsibilities of the TWINO Investment Platform which is currently part of SIA TWINO.
Since March, Twino offers through TWINO Ventures a new investment offering in real estate.
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.
Even though it’s one of the platforms that inspires me more confidence, I’ve stopped reinvesting to reduce my positions, as with most other P2P platforms, until things calm down a bit.
In March, Vianivest listed a new loan originator: Romanian VIACONTO.ro is a daughter company of VIA SMS Group and is issuing credit lines up to 4000 RON to private individuals in Romania. Loans are offered in EUR with a 12% annual interest rate.
In March, considering the official stance of the Financial and Capital Market Commission of the Republic of Latvia, VIAINVEST intends to become a participant of a regulated financial and capital market by obtaining an investment brokerage firm (IBF) licence.
You can read the Viainvest technical sheet here.
Viventor is a platform with excellent regularity, no Cash Drag, which requires minimal monitoring and with clearly rising monthly returns since January 2019. Everything can change radically if Aforti’s losses are finally confirmed (read more below). The last 2 months I am almost exclusively re-investing in discounted loans in the secondary market, which has been reflected in returns above 18%.
In April, ViVentor added a LOAN EXTENDED functionality to ease dealing with investment extensions during COVID-19 period. Until now, the platform did not have this functionality to show the prolonged payment term and some loans were shown as delayed although they waren’t. From now on, ViVentor Platform will allow the loan originators to extend a loan for no longer than three months and all our investors will see actual loan situation. This is in response to debt moratoria announced by countries like Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Macedonia, Russia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In February, Aforti Finance and Aforti Factor had announced they will resume transferring borrower repayments to ViVentor for distribution among investors. Payments would be divided into 5 equal monthly parts. Aforti Factor were planning to start making payments from the end of February to ViVentor in 5 monthly instalments. However, in March Viventor announced that the first payment was not made. And Mintos has already begun to take legal action. It is time to accept that I have lost the 688 EUR I invested.
You can read Viventor’s technical sheet here.
I have already invested in nine projects since January and three of them are already producing, although with losses at the moment due to the currency exchange and the fees for credit card payment. Next time, I will try to make a bank transfer with Revolut.
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.
I expect a return of about 11% in 20 years. By the end of the 20 years, you’re still the owner of solar cells. Sun Exchange may arrange a sale of cells to the consumer or a third party on their 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, one has to take into account ZAR: EUR currency fluctuations that are not too favorable lately.
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?
Sun Exchange announced in April that allthough South Africa is currently under some of the strictest COVID-19 lock-down conditions in the world, fortunately, the delivery of solar energy is deemed an essential service so Sun Exchange and their installation partners are able to continue getting solar cells installed pretty much as normal, with some limitations.
When registering with this LINK, you will receive a free solar cell.
Whiskey Invest Direct
WhiskyInvestDirectis a very novel platform that allows investing in Scotch whiskey in the process of maturation. I started in March 2019 and have made already two deposits to invest in thirteen different whiskeys.
With the COVID-19 crisis and investors’ panic, the whiskey value abruptly dropped. It seems that in April things are gradually returning back to normal, although the platform XIRR has dropped to 2.6%.
To convert from Euro to British Pound (GBP) and make a transfer to a British account, I use my account at Revolut.
Register with thisLINK and you will receive 1 liter of pure alcohol (1 LPA) and 2 pounds (GBP).
Indexa is the first profitable fully automated manager in Europe (and perhaps the world). I’m still very happy with Indexa. My investments are at the fifth risk level (5 out of 10). April has been an excellent month, after the COVID-19 crash in March.
In December, Indexa turned 4 years old. The volume managed has multiplied by 2.3 to 312 million during 2019. In addition, Indexa has its own money invested (Skin-in-the-game): between partners and Indexa team they have invested more than 13 million Euro, 4% of the total money managed. More here, although only available in Spanish. Despite concerns about COVID-19, Indexa’s clients have continued to make deposits to their portfolios in March (+13 million euros of net contributions in March), and more new accounts have been opened in March than in February (more than 1,500 new accounts,for a total of over 19,600 customers).
In April, Indexa managed to get the custodian bank (Inversis Banco) to lower its custody fee to 0.12% per year including VAT (instead of 0.18% so far) for accounts of 1,000 to 1 million euros with effect since last 04/01/2020. With this, the total cost of an account with Indexa drops to just 0.68% per year: 0.43% Indexa management fee (with the first € 20,000 without fees) + 0.12% custody fee of Inversis Banco + 0.13% average commission of the funds in your portfolio. This is the ninth reduction in commissions since 2015.
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.
I use N26 and Revolut for my transfers. The two online banks do not charge fees for making transfers, minimum fees for payments in foreign currency, and allow you to open an account in a matter of minutes. Also Transferwise.
Evolution of my positions
As for the distribution of my positions since January 2018 according to the type of investment, it remained more or less constant until August 2019, when I sold my most important investment fund for the purchase of an apartment. In March-April you can see the effect of Grupeer scam in P2P investments.
And below the evolution of my income from crowd investments (thanks to Eelis, the Wealthy Finn!) compared to other bloggers: