Interview with Grupeer

Interview with Alla Kisika, founder and Vladislav Filimonovs, COO of Grupeer

What is Grupeer about?

Alla Kisika: Grupeer is all about people! We have created the platform which is based on 3 pillars:

  • Security (protection)
  • Technologies (efficiency)
  • Benefit (profitability)

Our platform is not just the bridge connecting the borrower and the investors, Grupeer is a transparent environment in which the investors can feel safe, receiving fast and clear high profit, using the latest technologies.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

Vladislav Filimonov: As mentioned, the financial safety of our investors is our main priority. First of all, the number of outstanding or default transactions it is equal to zero. This indicator is reached only to our rigid scoring which eliminates nearly 75% of the loan originators interested to place the projects on our platform. The reverse side of the coin is lack of variety of the projects.

Secondly, we give a unique opportunity to diversify the portfolio, investing in business loans or in development projects within one platform.

And last but not least, all of our loan originators provide BuyBack guarantees for each project. Besides, our investors get access to all financial information of the borrower of the project. To convince of our advantages, we offer the minimum sum of the contribution of 10 EUR, we are sure that after the first experience, the investors will become our loyal customer!

As for development projects, in many scenarios, the management members of Grupeer are acting as a shareholder to have a full control towards successful implementation of it.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

Alla Kisika: To clarify, Grupeer doesn’t issue the credits and we are working with legal entities only.

“Fuel for your business.” The borrower has a possibility of refinancing due to the services of our platform, and it means that, the company will get the financial resources or as we call it – fuel to grow the company at the velocity of the rocket.

The size doesn’t matter. We consider borrowers of all sizes. And experience has shown that size doesn’t matter. Even if the borrower is small, but with good financial history, we are ready to provide favorable credit rates, fast result and high-quality services to grow together!

Great Customer Experience. We are sure that services and the ideas can be copied but what really distinguishes is the way the service is provided. Customer satisfaction is our Top priority. We practice the individual approach to each partner from the beginning to the very end.

What ROI can investors expect?

Alla Kisika: We can proudly say that now the average net annual return of Grupeer is 14.25% and it is the highest annual average rate on the market. Most of our projects have the stable interest rate of 14%, some of them, for example, the most loved by German investors- Finsputnik Platforma SIA projects have 15% interest rate.

It should be mentioned that there is no correlation between a high interest rate and the increased risk. Such high-interest rate is stipulated by company’s policy and marketing strategy which makes our platform attractive to check the mechanism of return of percent and principal.

Grupeer offers a wide variety of loans from several countries. How do you succeed in sourcing and checking these loans?

Vladislav Filimonov: As mentioned above, we don’t offer a wide range of the loans from the different countries but considering that we could critically improve our scoring system that pays off for 100% (we would like to remind that the number of expired and default transactions is equal to zero). Besides, our sales team started to work on attracting the new projects therefore soon we will please our investors with many new projects.

How did you get the idea to launch a p2p lending marketplace?

Alla Kisika: Life gave the idea of the platform development. In due time, the founders of the platform had a very serious project regarding the construction and commissioning of the Thermal power plant. At some point, when a large amount of financial means has been already invested and very little remained before the end of the project, the need of additional 3 million euros has appeared. Founders have faced a problem of the full amount as someone wanted to invest only 500’000 EUR, someone 1’500’000 EUR and these people were not friendly with each other therefore a certain sum of money hasn’t been collected till the deadline and the project was closed. And the conclusion was obvious –  human relationship shouldn’t influence implementation of the projects and that it is necessary to develop the platform which will provide such an opportunity. And Grupeer platform has been developed for this purpose.

Can you please tell us a bit about your background and the team’s background?

Vladislav Filimonov: Force and success of our company is our employees. From myself, I have gained a massive experience in leading Large Group of Multinational Teams as a Vice-President of Mastercard and while working in Pay Pal. This experience is now spread across all functions of Grupeer to make it even more investors-oriented platform.

Below you can meet some of our team members:

CEO – Andrey Kisiks is the professional developer with 20+ years of experience in European Union. Fields of activity: construction, residential real estate projects development, construction and operational commissioning of complex technical objects (Power Supply), Finance and Peer-to-Peer.

CMO – Leonid Tenkaluk is experienced Digital Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and sales industry. Skilled in Team Management, Marketing Management, Negotiation, E-commerce and Entrepreneurship.

We very thoroughly select our employees, as our loan originators. In April of this year, several strong experts joined our team, and, in a few months, we are planning to double the number of our teammates to boost our team and to be able to go from “good” to “great.”

Is the technical platform self-developed?

Vladislav Filimonov: Yes, our technical platform is 100% self-developed without using some “ready-to-use” software products. Besides that, we did not use any outsourcing services. The basic part of the platform is developed, but we continue to improve it on daily basis. We are planning to add several innovative solutions for the more convenient use of our platform in near future.

How is the company financed? Is it profitable?

Alla Kisika: The company is self-financed. As we have only started to conquer financial oceans, we didn’t manage to generate profit yet, but we are planning to reach a break-even already in the next year.

What were the main challenges when launching your platform?

Alla Kisika: As in any innovative field under that is not regulated by law we have faced several the bureaucratic issues which we are solving successfully. Secondly, we have spent a lot of time on development of the reliable scoring system to minimize any investor’s risks. And the main challenge today is to get our values over to the audience and to earn its trust.

Is Grupeer open to international investors?

Vladislav Filimonov: Yes, we are. Now, we work with investors who are EU residents. Soon, we will certainly expand our geography.

Where do you see Grupeer in 3 years?

Vladislav Filimonov: Our main objective in following 3 yeas is to become a leader service provider of the alternative investment market in EU. We don’t want to open plans prematurely, but we are planning to become the conductor to unique products in this market. To prove ourselves as the most innovative, safe and favourable platform.

You have one wish, that the regulator will fulfil. What is your wish?

Vladislav Filimonov: As they say – be careful what you wish for, you may receive it. Our sole ambition is the liberal relation to this field as P2P business is very perspective alternative for World economy.

P2P-Banking.com thanks Alla Kisika and Vladislav Filimonov for the interview.

International P2P Lending Volumes May 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. With the most recent Funding Circle figures not available at the moment, Zopa leads before Mintos. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms.
This month I added Grupeer.

Milestones achieved this month (overall volume since launch):

  • Linked Finance reached 50M EUR
  • Ratesetter reached 2.5 billion GBP

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

P2P lending Statistic June 2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in May 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.
*Prosper and Lending Club no longer publish origination data for the most recent month.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

Bondora Go & Grow – Bondora Rolling Out New Product

Bondora has been rolling out a new product called Bondora Go & Grow to select users since March. It will be officially launched in June, but existing users can contact support and ask for the product to be made selectable in their accounts.

Go & Grow is designed for the passive investors as hands off p2p lending. One of the main advantages is that Bondora says it is tax optimised.

The Bondora Go & Grow product features a target interest rate of 6.75% which will accrue daily. It runs completly on autoinvest. The investor just needs to join it and pay money into the Go & Grow account (or transfer it from the normal Bondora account). The Go & Grow account promises daily liquidity. There is a 1 EUR withdrawal fee making small withdrawals expensive but for portfolios of 1000 EUR or more and usual investment horizons this fee is negligible.

Bondora Go & Grow

How does Bondora Go & Grow work?

Simplified it is an autoinvest tool where Bondora invests the deposited money in loans on the Bondora marketplace (the investor does not see the individual loans). The investor automatically sells any claims for repayments and interests from these loans to Bondora which in return agrees to pay the 6.75% interest to the investor. Note that the 6.75% are not guaranteed but Bondora is very confident (based on their over 10 years experience) that they can achieve this yield. So basically Bondora invests the money on the market’s interest rates which are higher than 6.75 and the results influenced by defaults, late payments and cash drag, but Bondora is confident they are higher than 6.75%. Bondora pays the 6.75% to the investor and uses the surplus as reserve, which will be kept separate from Bondora’s funds.

What does tax optimized mean?

Bondora mentions two advantages:

  1. The product is net of any defaults. This can be advantageous for investors in countries where it is not possible to offset default losses againts interest earned for tax purposes.
  2. Interest accrues and is only credited at (final) withdrawal. This delays the point in time where interest is taxable according to Bondora.

So is this better than the ‘traditional’ Bondora product?

In my opinion this product is only the better choice, if the investor really does not want to be bothered with making minimal choices the Portfolio Pro requires and some monitoring. As described Bondora invests the money in the very same loans that are available in the traditional product and expects a higher yield than 6.75%.

For that very same reason I would caution investors to carefully consider, if they do want to take up the offered option to sell out their existing ‘traditional’ portfolio when opening/funding a  Bondora Go & Grow account. I assume that investors are very likely better off keeping that portfolio than selling it to Bondora at the price Bondora offers. However for an investor that really wants to sell an exitsing portfolio completly this offers a way to cash out (edit: see reader comment below) as the cash is than in the Bondora Go & Grow account and can be withdrawn instantly.

One caveat of course is that according to the T&C the liquidity for Bondora Go & Grow is subject to market conditions and not guaranteed. It reads a bit like the ‘normal market conditions’ wording that Assetz Capital uses for its Quick Access Account.

A lively discussion on the advantages and risks of the new Bondora Go & Grow product is running on the German form with around 100 posts on the subject.

EDIT: An earlier version of the article contained wrong information and has been corrected.

Bondora Go & Grow
Despite being in prelaunch (select investors only), Bondora Go & Grow already made up 5% of new investments in April (source Bondora blog)

 

International P2P Lending Volumes April 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. With the most recent Funding Circle figures not availableat the moment, Zopa leads before Mintos. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms.

Milestones achieved this month (overall volume since launch):

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

p2p lending volume 04 2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in April 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.
*Prosper and Lending Club no longer publish origination data for the most recent month.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

German Varengold Bank Provides Credit Line to Estateguru

Estonian property p2p lending marketplace Estateguru announced that it has secured its first institutional investor.

In March 2018, Estateguru signed the firm’s first institutional credit line to be invested in loans originated in the Baltic market with Germany based Varengold Bank AG.

Varengold Bank AG is a German private bank, headquartered in Hamburg. Founded in 1995 as an asset management boutique seeking to offer individual and high-performing financial products for private and institutional clients. In 2013, Varengold was granted a commercial banking license when it transformed into to fully fledged commercial bank.

Estateguru CEO and co-founder Marek Pärtel comments: “Establishing the EstateGuru – Varengold cooperation is a proof of having found a mutually beneficial cooperation model between a traditional financial institution and a fintech company. This is a clear sign that building a diversified portfolio of property backed loans is a very appealing instrument for institutional investors. Our Pan-European retail investor base is still the main source of capital. …”

Estateguru COO Mihkel Stamm adds: “Establishing a cooperation with Varengold Bank is an unprecedented assurance of the quality of EstateGuru’s business processes. The due diligence process was thorough and lengthy, during which Varengold’s representatives were convinced of EstateGuru’s product, procedures and the people behind the business.“

Since the establishment in 2014 Estateguru’s investor base of over 11 000 investors have funded in excess of 50 million EUR of secured property loans in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Spain. With the recent developments, including entering 2 new markets in 2018 Q1, establishing an institutional credit line and an ongoing equity round, the firm is setting goals for the next European markets, to establish its Pan-European reach in coming years.

 

Brief: Crowdestate Opens Secondary Market

Crowdestate is an Estonian p2p lending market place focussing on property. It is somewhat compareable to Estateguru or Lendy, the difference is that Crowdestate has a wider mix of offers, including unsecured debts or equity. I published an interview with the Crowdestate CEO last year.

The projects usually come with a term of 1 to 2 years, occassionally a bit long or shorter. There were not that many projects in the past . Often only 1 or 2 a month. Recently the pace has been picking up. Investor demand strongly outweights supply. Often the autoinvest bids fill a new offer instantly, if not then it is often filled within a hour of coming on the plattform. There are no fees for investors. Only a few offers pay interest during term, with most accruing interest to be paid at the end of the term. There are no fees for investors.

I only invested in a handful of projects to gain some experience. Today Crowdestate launched a new look for the website. This is how my small Crowdestate portfolio is displayed:

Crowdestate Portfolio
My Crowdestate portfolio – click for larger view.

Crowdestate secondary market

Today Crowdestate launched a secondary market. There is a “Sell Shares” button besides each of my active investments. To test it, I just offered one of my loans at a markup. The marketplace allows sellers to set markups or discounts.

 

 

International P2P Lending Volumes March 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. Funding Circle leads ahead of Zopa and Mintos, which is in the top 3 for the first time. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 599 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms.

Milestones achieved this month (overall volume since launch):

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

P2P Lending Statistic March 2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in March 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.
*Prosper and Lending Club no longer publish origination data for the most recent month.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

International P2P Lending Volumes February 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. Funding Circle leads ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 454 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms.

This month I added Nexoos.

Mintos reached 500M EUR originated since launch. Twino reached 250M EUR originated since launch.

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

P2P Lending Statistic February 2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in February 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.
*Prosper and Lending Club no longer publish origination data for the most recent month.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

International P2P Lending Volumes January 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. Funding Circle leads ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter. The total volume for the reported marketplaces adds up to 564 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms.

This month I added Linked Finance.

Zopa crossed the milestone of 3 billion GBP originated since launch.

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

P2P Lending Volume 01/2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in January 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.
*Prosper and Lending Club no longer publish origination data for the most recent month.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

Investing on the Mintos Secondary Market – Hint 2 – Buying overdue loans at discount

On the p2p lending marketplace Mintos there is a very large and active secondary market. In my previous article I described that the YTM calculation shown on the secondary market is based on the assumption that the buyer holds the loan part till regular end of term and the buyer will achieve a higher yield, if he buys at discount and the loan is repaid prematurily.

In the article I will look into a possible strategy on the Mintos secondary market: buying overdue loans at discount.

In a first step I sort/filter the buyback loans to only have those at discount that are very late (31-60 days overdue).

Mintos Screenshot
Click on image for larger view

I get a result of 349 loans with various discounts and an YTM of up to 14%. Not surprising for me, many of the loans listed at the top are Mogo loans. These are less attractive for buyers with this strategy. Why? Because they actually have a lower probability of defaulting. The paradox of this strategy is that the buying investor actually wants a high probability that the loans he buys default because that will boost his yield.

So in the next step I sort/filter to exclude Mogo loans. I also exclude loans that have a low YTM. This, because there is a chance that they do payup and then the buyer might be stuck with the loans for longer than 30 days.

Mintos Secondary Market
Click for larger view

Finally let’s change the filter to require a minimum discount of 0.3% and there are 21 results:

Mintos Secondary Market Strategy
Click for larger image

What would a buyer get?

If these loans do pay up and then run till regular maturity date, then he recieves a yield of 12.4% to 13.8%. Decent, but not very high compared to other Mintos loans.

However there is a chance of at least 50% that these loans will default and are bought back within the next 30 days. If that happens to a loan, that a buyer bought at 0.3% discount, it will boost his yield very roughly by more 3.6% (0.3% for 30 days multiplied by 12 to get annual effect). Likely it is more because the next payment date will be less than 30 days away. But even taking 3.6% the yield will be around 17%.

Looking at it, it is obvious that discounts as high as possible are preferable. The loan with the 0.6% discount would mean a boost of very rougly 7.2% yield on top (0.6*12). So that could lead to about 20% yield.

I have taken the screenshots for this article just at a random point in time. Higher discounts do happen and discounts of around 1% are not a rarity.

This is certainly not a strategy for a beginner at Mintos and it requires time and monitoring, but it is a frequently used strategy when investing on the Mintos secondary market.

Not yet investing on Mintos? Get cashback!

Mintos is offering 1% cashback on all investments made in the first 90 days after registration if you use this link to signup: Mintos registration. Currently there is an additional cashback offer for new and existing investors of 4-5% cashback on Mogo loans with loan durations of 48 month or more. Need to enroll once (click banner in dashboard after you finished registration). Expires Feb. 16th. The 4-5% roughly equals 1% increased yield.

More cashback offers are listed on the P2P-Banking p2p lending cashback list.