UK crowdlending with TFGCrowd – Interview and review

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Hello to another blog post on Invest diversified blog EN. After my interview and short review of Boldyield* I checked my watchlist and stumpled again over the crowdlending platform TFGCrowd*. The platform is around some time and there are plenty of projects available. That triggered me and I created an account on the platform and invested 100€ in my first project. That’s the minimum investment needed.


Platform

TFGCrowd* was founded in Estonia in June 2017 (registration number 14278391) and is part of the TFG conglomerate (The Financial Group Limited) which offers also other branches like the FCA regulated TFG Pay service. The platform is registered under the Estonian regulator authority.

Registration & Identification

In general the registration is like on other platforms. As investor you have to give your personal information, address etc. and verify this information with an id card. So no big deal!

Dashboard

At my first login I expected to see a dashboard right away. But instead the platform displayed the current open project. The Overview, how the dashboard is called at TFGCrowd*, is hidden in a menu under the investor’s name. It shows rudimentary numbers. The only available language is English.

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Under My investements you can find more information like the scheduled payment plan. Here you can see also the expected monthly payments. The one with the green color is the first payment I received. Also the loan agreement is attached in this section.

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Projects

Of course the interesting part of a crowdlending platform like TFGCrowd* are the projects the platform offers. The newest project for example is a business loan for a cosmeceuticals company from Switzerland. Most of the projects have a 6 to 12 months term. I prefer to invest in the ‘short-term’ ones because everything is getting more predictable. Interests are paid monthly.

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The investors are called Backers which sounds somehow weird even if the word itself is correct. Like on some other platforms there is a minimum investment target and also a deadline.

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Inside a project there is of course a project description and some more information like the purpose of a loan, images of e.g. a product. Also interesting are the documents attached to the description. My first project I invested in was the Indoor playground for kids and here you can find a business plan.

That’s it for a short impression. If time goes by and I decide to stay for a longer period on a platform and invest more of my money I’ll doing a longer review next year.


Interview
First of all thank you for the interview. Let’s start with a introduction of TFGCrowd. Can you say some word about the platform, the business model and the history?

TFGcrowd* is the business crowdlending branch of TFG (The Financial Group Limited), which has a number of companies dedicated to providing specific services in the conglomerate, the best known being TFG Pay a credit company authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority of United Kingdom (FCA).

Despite being registered since 2017, TFGcrowd recently opened its operations at the beginning of 2019 to any European investor interested in participating. We were inspired by belief in entrepreneurs that dream big and were motivated to make equity investment accessible, so businesses could harness the belief they get from customers, investors and friends to fuel a more wonderful tomorrow.

Could you introduce yourself and a the team for the readers?

Emil Kerimov – Founder and Executive President
Emil is an ambitious and audacious entrepreneur who has more than a decade of experience in financial institutions, during which he has successfully created and managed different startups across Europe.

Natalja Nikitina – Commercial Director
Natalja is a successful specialist in Business Management who puts all her experience and talent at the service of TFGcrowd in order to achieve the objectives set by the Company’s Management.

Elans Dimitrijevs – Business Development
With a double degree in International Business and Law, Elans contributes all his good work in the business development of the TFGcrowd team.

Vladislavs Ovcarovs – Technology Director
Specialist in Marketing and Information Technology, Vladislavs is the technology manager of this business crowdfunding company.

You have three offices. Are they specialized on project types?

We are headquartered in the UK, but have offices in other countries for our customers and investors convenience.

Could you give me a step-by-step example how a project comes to the your page (and how long that process is normally)?

We receive full package of information and documents that we need, then we carefully evaluate each borrower’s ability to repay the loan. We are examining the information about the borrower, his reputation, financial background and current commitments. Our expert team evaluates the business plans, financial reporting and loan security. Normally it takes 1-2 weeks, but the deadline may be extended if additional information is needed.

What if a project missed the funding goal? Do you invest your ‘own’ money to fill it up?

Typically, each project has a minimum and a maximum amount required. If we have collected at least the minimum amount, then the project will be launched. We do not have the right to invest our capital, as at present only private persons have such an opportunity.

How does the risk management work exactly?

Our main priority is 100% customer satisfaction and enabling the right choice for our investors. All deals (whether investment projects or property deals) are transparent, secure and are subject to any requirements specified by law. Our expert team has a risk rating for investment projects which is an expression of investment opportunity’s aggregated risk level, calculated as a sum of qualitative and quantitative evaluations of opportunity’s different parameters. Amongst other criteria, that rating considers investment opportunity’s capital structure, financial leverage, location, stage, cash flows, teams’ track record, collaterals etc.

Do you want to release features like an auto invest?

We already have included that option into our next release of the website as the main keywords for the auto invest feature are comfort, speed and automatization. Auto invest ensures our investors will not miss an investment opportunity due to high demand and the investment will be placed based on their chosen criteria automatically, without having to stress about it.

Minimal investment is about 100€. Do you think about lowering it?

The minimum amount you can invest is 100 EUR and there are no future plans to lower it.

In September you introduced a buy-back fund for cases of default like Crowdestor. What if there is a default and the fund is empty at some point. What happens in such a situation?

More than that, now we offer Buyback Guarantee EXTRA! You already know that here at TFGcrowd we provide a Buyback Guarantee from the TFG Buyback Guarantee Fund for projects market with Buyback Guarantee. We are now taking another step towards even safer investments for our investors and setting up Buyback Guarantee EXTRA for all the projects currently open for investments on our platform. This buyback guarantee will be provided directly from TFGcrowd funds (not the Buyback Funds or the Loan Originator’s funds);

Do you have plans for a secondary market?

The same as with Auto Invest function we already have included that option into our next release of the website.

How do you invest personally?

Like anyone else we evaluate the risks and the opportunity to earn.

What are your plans for 2019/2020? And what is the next milestone?

Business customers, auto invest and secondary market

At the moment there are no options to invest from a company’s account, only private investors have that opportunity.


My thoughts

TFGCrowd* is unique in that way that they physically have an office in UK. And at least one person sits there. Also the projects are somewhat interesting. Never saw cosmeceuticals projects on a crowdlending platform so far. What I also like is the project term of around 6 months, which I will focus on, and of course the high yields. That’s at least enough to find the way in my portfolio for a trial period. 

I’m sorry that there is no bonus which I can forward to you. To make it transparent: I’m getting 20€ if you invest at 100€. So if you are interesting in trying out a new platform, you can use my links. And if not I’m not mad at you 🙂 Anyway thank you for reading so far! See you next time!


Revolut – My account for p2p and crowdlending

Since I don’t want to transfer everything from my regular bank account to the platforms, I was looking for a simpler solution. A few months ago I stumpled upon Revolut.

After being skeptical at first I’m now a big fan of the app. Transactions to the different platforms and also withdrawals are executed very fast. In addition  you can with the free Revolut VISA card with max. 200€ cash limit per month at an ATM. And that without additional costs!

In addition Revolut is my faithful travel companion. Since I also work abroad from time to time  I also looked for a way to simply exchange currencies. This is easily possible with the Revolut app. Also without fees (up to 6.000€ per month)!


About new projects on Twitter and Instagram

On my own behalf, I would like to mention that I also present new projects on Twitter (kaph1016), Instagram (invest diversified) and Facebook in which I invest myself. There are also a few insights into how I invest in other areas. If you are interested I would be glad if you follow me.

 

*Some links in my posts are affiliate or referral links. That means I get a little bonus. For each of those who use these links, however, there are no costs or other disadvantages. On the contrary, there is usually a start bonus or cashback. So if you use these links, you support my blog and for that I say thank you in advance!

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