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.


Two Years of Investing in Property Development Loans at Estateguru

estateguru-logo-2016Estateguru is a p2p lending marketplace in Estonia focussed on bridge loans to property developers in Estonia. Since the launch in 2014 Estateguru has facilitated a loan volume of more than 10 million Euro in a total of 65 loans. The loans are secured by 1st or 2nd rank mortgages. Typical interest rates range from about 9% to about 12%. Some of the loans pay monthly interest, while for others the interest is paid at the end of the loan term. The minimum bid amount is 50 Euro.

Estateguru provides appraisal reports for the security. Estonia is highly advanced in digitization – this allows Estateguru to provide direct links to the official records in the land register for the plot.

Estateguru loan example
Example of an Estateguru loan listing (shortened, click to enlarge image). There is more information about the loan, the security and the borrower in the other tabs

I have invested in a couple of loans over the past years and the handling is smooth. Two loans are repaid (one early) and the other loans are running on schedule. Other investors report that there have been no defaults yet, only some loans where the payment came in late for a couple of days (or a few weeks at max.). Unlike other platforms, Estateguru sends no updates about the loans.

Many investors keep some cash in the Estateguru account in order not to miss out, when new loans appear. Smaller new loans usually fill within hours. Investors can opt for a notification email, that is sent when new loans arrive. However tiny loans (< 40,000 EUR) are sometimes 100% funded by the time the email arrives. There is no autoinvestment feature / prefunding facility. Estateguru does not have a secondary market, but many loans are only for 12 or 18 months term.

Estateguru is open for investors from all over Europe (actually the EEA). If you are inside the Eurozone investments are fast via SEPA transfers. If you live outside you should consider using Transferwise or Currencyfair to avoid high bank fees and get a better currency exchange rate.

Bonus: If you sign up using this link Estateguru will credit you 0.5% cashback on all investments you make in the first 90 days.

Estateguru homepage August 2016
Screenshot of the Estateguru homepage