Bondora* has announced that the p2p lending marketplace platform is now accessible in 24 European languages. Bondora says it already has more than 42,000 investors from 85+ countries worldwide, that have invested more than 150 million EUR in the consumer loans listed on the Bondora marketplace. Bondora gives investors the choice of different investment products: Bondora Go&Grow, Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Pro and API Investment.
The popular Go&Grow product carries a yield of 6.75% and offers high liquidity.
Now the Bondora website can be used in 24 languages ranging from Bulgarian to Swedish. Bondora says they have taken this step, because they want to open their doors to Europe and make the platform accessible for all. Investors feel much more comfortable using a site which is in their native language.
Use this link to sign up at Bondora*, and the normal signup bonus will be doubled for you, meaning, if you invest, you get 10 EUR bonus that you can use for investing. This is a limited time special promotion (after which the signup bonus will be 5 EUR again).
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.
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:
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.
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 aÂ 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.
Wow, 5 years have passed since I first started to invest into p2p lending at Bondora in October 2012. I periodically review my experiences in this blog – you can read my last update here. Over the total time I did deposit 14,000 Euro and withdrew 17,800 Euro.Â So over time I withdrew more than I ever deposited, meaning 3,800 Euro realized profit. Even better: I still have 604 loans in my Bondora portfolio with an outstanding principal of 7,467 Euro at an average interest rate of 23.78%. Of these 2,746 Euro are in current loans, 778 Euro in overdue loans and 3,941 Euro in 60+ days overdue loans. Some of this very overdue loans do in fact make very regular monthly payments, albeit smaller than the planned payments in the original payment schedule – it will take much longer for the loan to be repaid. And of course many of my red loans are duds, which haven’t made a single repayment and it is unlikely any recovery will be achieved. There is 43 Euro cash in the account.
Bondora shows a net return of 19.0% for my portfolio. In my own calculations, using XIRR in Excel, assuming that 30% of my 60+days overdue and 15% of my overdue loans will not be recovered, my ROI calculations result in 17.2% return. Even if I assume total loss on all outstanding loans that are 60+days overdue my ROI calculation results in 15.6%
Let’s look how my remaining portfolio is distributed by several criteria
Chart 1: My portfolio by country; majority in Estonian loans, remainder in Finnish loans
Chart 2: My portfolio by rating: more than half of the amount in B and C rated loans, large portions also in A and D ratings
Current situation at Bondora
New investors cannot expect to achieve similar yields. Interest rates are much lower now than when I started and I achieved a portion of my profit by trading loans on the secondary market at premium. If you want to start on theÂ Bondora p2p lending marketplace now, consider using the Portfolio Pro autoinvest set to Estonian loans only with AA to B (or C) credit grades. Maybe try some Finnish loans with better credit grades too.
Bondora originates roughly 3 million Euro new loans per month. There is no cash drag, usually available amounts get invested very fast.
Chart 3: Cumulative all time development of my portfolio by credit grades 2012-2017. Remember I only deposited 14,000 Euro. The high 76,698 Euro given as total investment is a result of reinvestments and active buying and selling of loans.
Estonian p2p lending marketplace Bondora will open a new European office in Germany, saying that post brexit London is no longer attractive as a Fintech hub. Bondora formerly planned to move to London but stopped the plan after the brexit vote. ‘There is too much uncertainty, the UK lost its attractiveness as a fintech hub’ explains Bondora CEO PÃ¤rtel Tomberg the decision. Now he has Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich on the short-list. The head office will stay in Tallinn
For the Bondora business model very good access to the European market is crucial says Tomberg. He sees uncertainty how long London might be able to provide this.
After informal tals with German regulator Bafin, Bondora CFO Rein Ojavere got a positive view on the perspective for fintechs in Germany: ‘German’s regulators open up more and more to innvations in the financial sector to attract fintechs and seminal start-ups.’. Continue reading →
P2P lending marketplace Bondora announced that it will pull the primary marketplace from the user interface effective November 1st. This removes the chance for investors to manually invest on selected loans, leaving the options to either use the automated portfolio manager or to use the API.
Earlier this week Bondora provided this statistic showing that the majority of investments is done through the portfolio manager. This is another of the many changes the Bondora marketplace underwent in the past years.
The announcement email sent today, reads:
On November 1, 2016 we will remove the Primary Market view from the user interface.
What does this mean?
In recent months it has become clear that the Portfolio Manager offers greater efficiency through automation compared to manually investing. The increasing benefits of Portfolio Manager are the result of recent updates to the funding process, which optimize speed. Moving forward we will continue to focus efforts on further improving Portfolio Manager, Bondora API, Secondary Market and the reporting features available on the platform.
Why is Bondora removing the Primary Market from the user interface?
Bondora is removing the Primary Market from the UI because the speed of our popular automated option meets the investing and borrowing needs before manual investing can take effect. Our process improvements have created an environment where almost all loans are funded before they become visible in the UI. As a result, the Primary Market is most of the time empty.
This scarcity is due to the fact that when a loan enters the market it is open to bids for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes expire the loan is closed. Our internal analysis and reporting shows that almost 100% of loans are funded within this brief window of time. Therefore, there is little reason to hold loans open any longer, as doing so would create unnecessary delays.
What should API users do?
Removing the primary market from the user interface does not change anything for Bondora API users. However, API users should review their settings for polling loans from primary market and reconfigure their settings to match the changes to the current funding process. We recommend that the polling of new loans be set to once a minute. Our API allows for speeds up to one query per second, however such rapid polling is also not recommended.
In October 2012 I started to invest into p2p lending at Bondora. I periodically blog about my experiences – you can read my update from Dec. 2015 here. Over the total time I did deposit 14,000 Euro and withdrew 13,380 Euro.Â So as you see I cashed out an amount almost equal to the amounts I deposited. The good news is that I still own 705 loan parts with an outstanding principal of 10,362 Euro at an average interest rate of 23.74%. Of these 6,355 Euro are in current loans, 1,004 Euro in overdue loans and 3,003 Euro in 60+ days overdue loans. The reason that I still have such a large loan book despite cashing out nearly as much as I paid in, is that I reinvested nearly all interest and principal repayments from 2012 till 2015.
Bondora shows a net return of 24.6% for my portfolio. In my own calculations, using XIRR in Excel, assuming that 30% of my 60+days overdue and 15% of my overdue loans will not be recovered, my ROI calculations result in 17.0% return.
Let’s look how my remaining portfolio is distributed by several criteria
Chart 1: My portfolio by country
Chart 2: My portfolio by rating
Chart 3: My portfolio by loan purpose
A lot has changed in the past four months. With the introduction of new regulation in Estonia, Bondora now prefunds all loans and also keeps a stake in the loans (‘skin in the game‘). Manual bidding on loans is not as straightforward as previously because now investors can make bids, which are not binding until allocation happens. This leads to situations were say 155% of the loan amount has been bid for, but the allocation has not happened yet, because some of the bidding investors have not enough cash in their account to match their bids and those bids that are sufficiently funded don’t add up to 100%. Furthermore Bondora gives bid preference to bids with larger amounts. If at allocation time bids with enough cash add up to more than 100%, then the bids for higher amounts will succeed, while the smaller amount bids will be rejected.