Robocash – my experiences with this new p2p platform (with buyback)

The wave of new p2p platforms doesn’t seem to tear off. After exploring Grupeer I have found a brand new p2p lending service: Robocash. The platform advertises it’s buyback loans with 17% yield (in Euro of course). I couldn’t let this opportunity slip 😉 Therefor I opened an investor account, and look at this, I am within the first 5 investors ;). The registration process was quick and easy. During the sign up procedure you are asked to upload an identity document and you are promised to be verified within one business day (but you can send the money on it’s journey before you are verified). I was lucky and got verified one hour after signing up. My money was credited to my account on the next working day.

Who stands behind Robocash?

Robocash is part of the russian Loan Originator Zaymer, which was founded six years ago by Sergey Sedov. Zaymer is operating its services in Kazakhstan, Russia and Spain. The Robocash platform is located in Riga, Lavia, but is operated out of Russia. Therefor we must be aware of the time difference and local holidays when contacting the support team.

Which types of loans are offered?

For the most part short term payday loans are offered, which are secured with buyback. Buyback intervenes when a loan is overdue for 30 days and covers the principal as well as the accrued interest.

Only autoinvest available

There is no possiblity to invest manually at robocash, you can only use the autoinvest. You can configure several autoinvests (portfolios) which can operate parallel to each other. At the right hand side you can see my settings. You can set the interest rate, define the max portfolio value and choose the maximal weight of a loan in your portfolio.

 

Conclusion

The people behind Robocash put in a big effort to provide a functioning platform. In my opinion they are succeeding in this aspect, as I did not notice any big shortcomings . This really surprised me considering this is a very new platform. It looks like there was time taken to correct errors before launch. What bothers me is that there are 16 percent loans advertised and then there are none of these available. At the moment there are 14%ers “only”, which is not surprising, as we don’t get more at other platforms. In my opinion it would have been better to advertise with 14% then to  disappoint the investors. But I will get over it 😉 Clarification: Robocash is not a p2p platform in the classic sense. The investors are funding the loan originator Zaymer which offers more loans through his balance sheet.

 

 

 

 

Grupeer – a new p2p platform with buyback

Again I have a brand new platform for you: Grupeer, which is based in Riga, Latvia. From the design and the functionality it reminds me somewhat of Mintos and Viventor (before the big update). Concerning the available loans we are off to a little different territory as there are business loans (with buyback) in contrast to what we are used to: payday loans.  The same thing is valid for these loans: the buyback is only as strong as the loan originators financial strength. At the moment interest rates vary from attractive 13 to 14 percent with short durations of up to 12 months.

Beginning of March 1st a secondary market will be offered. More interesting to me is the fact, that soon there will be Real Estate projects on the platform. Investors then can purchase shares from that project und participate at the generated rental income. At the moment there is one Real Estate project (with buyback). Within this project investors are creditors, not shareholders. This is another possibility which will be offered in future. Therefore Grupeer can be considered a hybrid between p2p and und equity crowdfunding.

How does buyback work?

Buyback will step in 60 days after a payment is overdue. The buyback covers the residual value of the principal plus accrued interest.

Further information

Below I have added a screenshot from the primary market (minimal investment 10 Euro). There you can see the creditor (loan originator) and can view the details (where you see the buyback)

At the moment the english version is not very well translated (I pointed them to this and they are fixing it). Let’s hope it will get better fast 😉

An auto invest functionality is in planning and will be added in the coming weeks.

Conclusion

The platform uses a known path regarding the p2p lending, which is a good thing. If you invested with Mintos, Viventor or Twino you will be familiar with Groupeer very fast. I don’t know what to expect from the equity crowdfunding, but it will be interesting in any case. I am looking forward to exploring this possibility. Finally we mustn’t forget that Grupeer is a very new platform. At this stage it is hard to assess the risks involved. After I made my first investments I will report back and give an update with probably more information.

 

 

Taking a closer look at viainvest

Today I am going to take a deeper look at Vianivest, as at the moment it is hard to overlook this platform. The sheer number of loans (with the option of getting further countries) is to big to be ignored.

Via SMS Group

Behind the Viainvest platform stands the mother Company Via SMS Group, which was founded 2009 in Latvia. You can see here a timeline of milestones achieved. Next to the expansion in other countries I found something interesting: 2014 Twinero bought the Spanish subsidiary of Via SMS, which only in 2011 was founded. Twinero is the master loan lriginator behind the  p2p platform Viventor. Via Conto Sweden is financing at the moment through Viventor. Funnily Via SMS founded in February 2015 (just months after seling the old subsidiary) the spanish Loan Originator Via Conto Spain and therefor kept a foot in the spanish market. Concerning the Swedish market there are two companies active: Via Conto and Via Spar. Why that? Well Via Conto is a loan originator, while Via Spar provides the opporunity for investors to deposit money on savings accounts with interest rates. This money is used to finance Via SMS Group’s further expansion. What I find really interesting is the fact, that Via SMS Group and Twinero/Viventor have more in commong then I thought.

Borrowing through the capital market

Via SMS Group emitted an outstanding bond at Nasdaq OMX Baltic. It has a coupon of 12.5 percent and a nominal value of above 6 Million Euro. The money was incorporated in may 2016 for a duration of three years.  The business report per 30.06.2016 are also available on the Nasdaq Baltic Website.

Without conducting a detailled balance sheet analysis, I can say that the results don’t look bad. Via SMS Group is profitable. It is always hard to value the strenght of the numbers. We have to look at them in context to the circumstances. The Company is expanding and this can become very quickly expensive. Furthermore we had no deep recession or crisis sine the inception of the company in 2009.  If we should see a recession (and we will, it is only a question of time) we will be able to see how good Via SMS will perform. During good times when the borrowers (hopefully) have jobs, the loans are easily to redeem. We will see how high the default rates will be when a lot of their clients loose their jobs from one day to build reserves. For us investors it is good to know that Via SMS Group is geographically broadly diversified with subsidiaries in Sweden, Latvia, UK and so on. A renewed (financial) crisis will not occur at the same time in all countries and will not hit all countries  equally hard.

Conclusion

The Via SMS Group therefor Viainvest as well is on a good track. I will watch the platform closely and give updates from time to time.

 

Lenndy – my experience and further information

After I published my first article about Lenndy, I was able in the meantime to charge my account with some Euros and invest them my first projects.  Gladly I share my further experiences.

Overview

As I described earlier the identification procedure is outsourced to the payment service provider Paysera. I recommend firstly to open a paysera account (at least level 3) and afterwards to link it with your Lenndy Account. To fund your account klick on your name in the logged in area und you will see “top up account” and klick on it.  Next you will be connected with paysera and can define the amount which you want to pay in to your account. Then you will see the payment details and can create a wirement to paysera in your ebanking. Your money should be in your Lenndy account the next working day the latest (you won’t get notified by email).

What types of loans are available and what about interest rates?

Below diagram shows nicely that there are four loan types available at Lenndy at the moment: Invoice Finaning, Car Loans, Mortgages and Business Loans. The latter did not come to my attention on the platform so far.  The most popular and most available loans seem to be Invoices and secured Car Loans.

Types of loans and functionality of Lenndy

A closer look on the stats shows that Lenndy is a real young platform. There were loans brokered in the amount of approximately 740’000 Euro and 104 projects funded (figure subject to change daily):

Some basic figures

Somewhat astonishing seems the number of 1’115 investors to date, which is rather high in my understanding. Probably most of them just registered and check the platform out and watch from the sidelines.

My first investments

I was able to invest in some of the projects so far. I invested in Invoices to get a feeling about them. With the Invoices I find two things interesting 1) the duration of 10 months and  2) there are monthly interest payments. I haven’t seen that before.

Onward I have invested in secured car loans with buyback. At the moment there are durations from 5 to 60 months available and the interest rates vary from 12 to 14 percent. I don’t dread longer durations as I guess that there will be some defaults and the loans will be bought back before maturity. Buyback will be executed after 90 days of non payment by the borrower, but during this period the monthly installements are repaid by the loan originator on the due date. This is nice, as we for sure know when the cash flows occur. After 90 days the residual of the loan and the accrued interest is bought back by the loan originator.

There are detailled information (especially for the car loans) available for th e projects. You can see a picture of the car and get at detailed description of the borrower and a lot more.

After a project was funded 100 percent, the money will be transferred to the loan originator. You will be notified by email about this event. After the payment to the loan originator your money is earning interest. During bidding no interest is accrued.

Conclusion

Personally I like Lenndy really good to date. Time will tell how the platform developes. I am also eager to see how the default rates from loans without buyback will be. The identification process through paysera is annoying to some extent, but manageable. Furthermore maybe I can use paysera for other purposes as for wirement and foreign exchanges. They offer a cheap visa credit card (45 cent a month only).

 

 

 

 

A short interview with swaper CEO Iveta Bruvele

I was lucky and had the chance to get some answers directly from Swaper CEO Iveta Bruvele. Have a look at the questions and the interesting answers.

1) Iveta, Swaper was launched during October 2016. Did you meet your expectations until end of 2016? Could you let me know some milestones?We have actually reached results, which were higher than our expectations – at the end of 2016 we already had 742 347 Euros of investments and a cumulative offered portfolio of 982 000 Euros on Swaper.
Originations were also strong – only in December we have issued 1.3 million Euros in loans and this trend is continuing in 2017 – we expect total origination in January 2017 to be at least ~ 1.5 million Euros.

2) What would you describe as the biggest challenge in setting up Swaper?
When we were building the platform, our main goal was to make it accordingly to the needs of investors. We were collecting opinions and feedback of experienced investors opinion and feedback and very soon we realized

Iveta Bruvele, Swaper CEO

that instead of focusing on the web platform, we should be building the mobile application. What we heard from investors, is that they need an easy and online access to the current situation with their investments, clear and understandable overviews, possibility to have configurable push notifications, so the investor would have the possibility to decide what kind of information he needs and how often.
We launched the website version of the platform and after a short while we were the first P2P marketplace who launched the Mobile application.
Now we are completely redesigning our mobile application, again – based on feedback from our investors. You can expect an announcement from Swaper by the end of January, so stay tuned.
So to summarize our biggest challenge was to offer a product according to the needs of investors. And it’s still our challenge.

3) Will we see new countries added in 2017?
Yes, we are planning to launch 2-3 new countries in 2017.

4) Are there any major or minor updates/features we can expect?
Until the end of January – we are planning to launch a new version of the Mobile application. We have collected feedback from investors after we launched the Mobile App and improved it accordingly, so it will be more “investor friendly” for sure.
As I mentioned before, in 2017 we are planning to start issuing loans in additional 2-3 more countries. It will give our investors wider choice of investment possibilities on our platform. You can also expect different products, besides short term loans.
And by taking into consideration that the main part of our investors comes from such countries as Germany, Denmark, Estonia etc., we are planning to add possibility to make the investments in 3 more currencies besides EURos as well as to provide localization for our main markets, including support in native languages of our investors. We already have new German speaking colleague colleague in our team, so very soon our German speaking customers will feel it.
And many more new improvements will follow…

5) What are your goals for 2017?
From a financial perspective, our goal is to attract total Swaper platform investments of 12 million Euros and accordingly grow our lending business in our core markets accordingly. From a product perspective, we want Swaper to become something more than a platform for consistent income, we want to create a platform which would offer several financial solutions for our investors.

6) What about (expected) legislation changes in Poland and Georgia?
Now we comply with the new regulations and in the future we plan to diversify the portfolio of loan issuing countries to decrease the group’s reliability on regulatory stability in Poland and Georgia.
If we compare the process of how new regulations are implemented within the EU countries and Georgia – the difference is drastic. In Georgia new legislation comes into force within few days and practically with no time to make necessary adjustments. It makes it harder to react and adapt, but it is not impossible.

7) Is there anything else what you want my readers to be aware of?
I would like to thank all our investors who shared their feedback with us and had encouraged everyone to do so! We really do appreciate any comments and feedback, because it helps us to grow and learn new things.
And on 25th & 26th of January Swaper will be in Paris for the Paris FinTech Forum and on February 7 we will be in London for Finovate Europe 2017. If you are in town, come to visit us at our stand so we can have a chat.

 

Lenndy – a new and interesting platform with buyback

Today I am going to introduce Lenndy to you, a lithunian p2p platform which offers buyback on most loans. Lenndy has been developped since spring 2015 and went live in September 2016 with the first loan offer. The process to open an investor account is somewhat different then what we are used to. Therefor I will describe the procedure below a little bit closer.

Identification process through Paysera

The opening of a Lenndy account is quick and easy, but then it is not finished. The Lenndy account needs to be linked with your paysera account as paysera is fullfilling the identification process for Lenndy. Paysera is a currency forwarding and exchange service and to some extent comparable to Currenyfair and Transferwise. You can create the link and the paysera registration directly in your Lenndy account, just hit the activate account button. Or you first create directly a paysera account and link it when it is confirmed. I suggest doing it directly at the paysera website, as my browser hung up itself a few times when I was trying it through my Lenndy account. The login area at Lenndy can be seen on below picture (at that stage you are refered to as anynomous user).

Account view before paysera activation

With a click on the orange activate button you can link your Lenndy account with paysera. I suggest doing that only after you registered directly with paysera. You will need at least a level 3 verified account at paysera in order to activate your Lenndy investor account. Follow this link to create a paysera account and choose in the settings to authenticate a level 3 account. For that you will need to verify your mobile phone number (you will be sent a sms code) and upload an idendification document. This will be photographed out of the browser, you don’t have the possibility to upload something from your personal computer. This step contains also to make a selfie of your face holding the ID document. To finalize you have to fill out a short KYC questionnaire, this takes only a minute or two. It does not matter in which order you perform the steps (see below). You just need to finish them all to get verified.

Steps to Level 3 at paysera

After that paysera verfieds the documents and enables level 3 if everything is okay. Otherwise you will be informed what did not match the criterias. I received the answer that my selfie was not ok, that it is a different person holding my document into the camera. I contacted the support and explained that this is me and they rechecked and gave green light. I uploaded everything in the evening, and in the next morning at 10 o’clock I was able to proceed and link my accounts.

Enough administrative and let’s take a look at buyback

Lots of loans are equipped with buyback (and up to 14% interest). You can see if there is a buyback when you look at the picture on the right side (black Garantija stamp). The buyback works as following: If a monthly installement is not paid on due date by the borrower, the loan originator will pay the same day. The loan originator will pay two monthly installements and after 90 days (given the borrower did not meet his obligations in the meantime) the residual principal plus accrued interest will be bought back. So there is no need to wait 60 days or so as on other platforms to get your loan bought back. I like this way of handling it and you exactly know when you are going to get paid. On the other hand it makes it difficult to impossible to figure out if the borrower paid or the loan originator.

conclusion

My first impression of the platform and the support staff is positive (I will ignore the detour through paysera). The interest rate level is appealing and I like how the buyback is equipped and handled. I will give an update in the coming days as I then already should have made my first investments.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me through posting or search for the contact form in the header.