UK crowdlending with TFGCrowd – Interview and review

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!

Boldyield – High yields? – Review

With Boldyield – High yields? – Review I would like to introduce you to a very fresh platform that just was launched. It’s Boldyield* which is registered in Estonia, but with its head office located in Riga, Latvia. It is a crowdlending platform that focuses on three areas. Real estate and business loans, as we already know from other platforms. However the third area is new which is why I am so interested in Boldyield*. This area is maritime transportation. Also real estate loans open up opportunities for diversification. For example, the first project is a real estate development from Norway.

Platform & Team

Boldyield* was founded by the former Chief Business Development Officer of Grupeer, Edgards Mass, in April 2019. There is once the Boldyield SIA (Registration No. 40203207715) and Boldyield OÜ (Commercial Register No. 14720152). Arturs Sneiders as Head of Legal and Aivars Locmelis as Board Advisor are still on board. Also coming from Grupeer is Marketing & Communications Manager Viktorija Bondarjonoka which was my contact for the interview and answered all of my questions very quickly.

The Boldyield team

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In total the team has up to 25 years of experience in real estate and business loans as well as in maritime transportation.

Registration & Identification

Registration is actually standard and should be feasible for everyone. In order to identify both sides of the id card and a confirmation of the address (e.g. electricity bill etc.) have to be uploaded.

Only the personal pin code, which is necessary to confirm an investment, is important. This can be generated or edited under ‘Profiles’ and ‘My Profile’.

Dashboard

The dashboard

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Boldyield* starts in English only. But that should not be a problem. Further languages will follow. The website is still very simple and the design is in maritime blue. In the dashboard you get the usual information. It is quite nice that accrued interests  are also displayed.

Projects

So far one project is available. As already described, it’s a real estate development in Norway. Grupeer once had Norwegian development loans, but besides that I don’t know other platforms with Norwegian loans. That’s why it’s a good chance for me to diversify further.

Rough project overview

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14% for 10 months is probably the most important information for investors. Furthermore, the project overview provides information about the minimum and the maximum amount to be financed. The project details show a little more information and also offer a detailed project description.

Detailed project overview

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A very interesting point for investors is at the bottom of the project description. Possible exit opportunities are listed there.

 

Possible exit strategies

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That’s it for a first very rough summary of the Boldyield* platform itself. Let’s continue with some answers to my questions.

Interview
What do you think is the USP compared to other platforms?

The main USP is that all of our projects provided will be asset-based. As well as the possibility to invest in 3 different industries such as Maritime Transportation, Real Estate and Business Financing within one marketplace. As I know, no one from the Baltic region market players provides investment opportunities in Maritime Transportation as here we are talking about dry bulk cargo vessel class as the general, which has proved most of the stability through even tough years.

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

Sure, the whole review process is divided into 2 parts: preliminary and final round. A preliminary round usually takes from 2 to 5 days and the final round depends on the complexity of the project, but usually, it takes from 2-5 weeks (considering that all necessary documents are prepared in advance).
The process starts with locating potential interest from our pool of contacts receiving first feedbacks and offers from them, as well as adding proactive activities to find new opportunities. After receiving the offer, we do preliminary checks, where the basic information is reviewed and our independent calculations are made. If this offer meets the standards of our approach, we continue the onboarding process. Further, we request detailed information. When appropriate, we order a independent 3rd party opinion, even more competent in the necessary field. Summarizing all perceived data and making certain decisions, we agree on the final terms with the borrower. Additionally, on our website, we have a “Offer” section with the form, made for collecting offers from the borrowers.

Do you plan to release features like an auto-invest?

Yes, an auto-invest is the feature we are looking forward to implementing in the future. But our first priority is to find and keep the balance of demand and supply as from the beginning there will be no new projects each week. 

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

The minimal investment will vary from project to project. As for the first one- it will be 100€. This information will be available in the description of each project. 

You have no buy-back fund for defaults like Crowdestor or other platforms. Do you plan with such features?

Instead of that we already are operating with asset-based projects, so even in case of default, there is a limited opportunity to lose money. Also, we have other ideas, how investors’ funds will be secured even more, but that is a question of the near future.

If I want to sell my projects, that isn’t possbile at the moment. Do you have plans for a secondary market?

As you can see, section 8 in our Terms&Conditions is for the secondary market, therefore yes, we are planning to add it as well, but it is not planned in the nearest future as we would like to have the market response first, to see how everything will run and how fast/slow projects will be financed. Whenever we will feel that there is a demand for it, the secondary market will be delivered. 

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

Until the end of 2019, our target is to onboard and get financed 2-3 projects and for 2020 we want to stabilize our operations: project and new investors’ flow; As we have in plans to launch many interesting projects for investments, 2020 is going to be the year of BOLD.

My assessment

As already mentioned, I find the platform very interesting for reasons of diversification. I already have Finnish real estate in my portfolio (via EstateGuru*) but not yet Norwegian ones. Maritime transportation projects are also something I haven’t seen so far on other platforms. With the 100€ minimum investment, I will invest slowly and see how Boldyield* develops in the next months.

Bonus

As the platform is new to the market and wants to attract investors, Boldyield* offers new investors an additional 0,5% on their investments. This offer is valid until 30.04.2020. After that the bonus will be reduced to 0,3%.


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) and Instagram (invest diversified) in which I invest myself. There are also a few insights into how I am invested 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!

EvoEstate – Aggregator platform – Interview with Gustas Germanavičius

Hello to a new blog post.
evoestate aggregator platform interview
This time it’s about  EvoEstate, the first aggregator platform in the P2P segment. In the blog post you will find a short presentation of the platform, followed by an interview with CEO Gustas Germanavičius. Finally, I would like to share my thoughts for includingEvoEstate in my portfolio. Happy reading!


Platform

As mentioned before, EvoEstate is the first aggregator platform in the field of P2P. As of today, 10 platforms are already connected via API. More will follow. For example well-known platforms such as Crowdestor, Bulkestate or ReInvest24 and even with Bergfürst a German platform.

Once a project is listed on the a particular platforms, it is also available for investment at EvoEstate. The minimum investment of 50 euros is positive. EvoEstate can also be used to invest in platforms that normally require significantly higher investment. An example here is ReInvest24 with 100€ or Bergfürst with even 500€.

Furthermore, the projects are divided into skin-in-the-game projects and other projects. In the first the two founders are invested with their own capital. As usual there is a project description for each platform and for the skin-in-the-game projects also the reasons why they are invested or for other projects why not! There are also interesting information of already funded projects on Bulkestate or Crowdestor.

EvoEstate offers an auto-invest, which has been offering a great feature since yesterday. After all, you can exit projects that have been invested in by  your auto-invest within 24 hours!

In the following interview there is some interesting information about the expertise in the real estate segment and the architecture of the platform. If there are any questions, just write in the comments or email me. Enjoy reading!


Interview

Since EvoEstate is still quite new, what exactly are you doing? I think you are the first aggregator platform in this segment.

Yes, indeed. We are an aggregator for real estate deals, in Germany people often refer to as Meta Platform. The platform provides investors with a possibility to invest over 10 platforms deal-flow without having the hassle of signing up to every each of them. On top of that, we provide an additional layer of due diligence and supply investors with state of the art auto-invest and soon with the secondary market. Many of the platforms we work with do not have auto-invest or secondary market. We make money by charging a commission to the platform from the invested amount because we invest larger amounts of money.

Gustas Germanavičius

As transpareny is key I’d like to know some things. When did you found the company. And why?

We have established the company back in February 2019, however, we started out by working in a private mode with selected investors, that we could get the feedback and work on finding bugs and improving the security side of the platform.

Our team has been investing in P2P real estate deals for more than 6 years now and we felt that there’s a need for such a platform. If you want to truly diversify your portfolio, it’s impossible to keep track of upcoming and already existing investments, not to mention the accounting.

Gustas Germanavičius

Can you tell me more about the team behind EvoEstate?

My name is Gustas Germanavičiusand I’m the CEO of EvoEstate, before starting EvoEstate I had built and sold a venture-backed startup WellParko. (Interesting fact: we had the same investors as EstateGuru)

Audrius Visniauskas CIO- has spent long years in internet businesses and sold 2 of them in the past. Before EvoEstate he was a full-time investor in startups, stocks, real estate and P2P.

Our CTO Volodimyr Gizny has been developing internet products and platforms for close to 20 years now and is in charge of the technical aspects.

Although we are 3 people working full time, we have a property advisory network and work with multiple law firms in different countries and the rest is being outsourced.

Gustas Germanavisius

Where does your expertise in real estates come from?

Our expertise comes from personal real estate investments, family property businesses and our advisory network, which helps us understand the investment opportunities in different countries.

Gustas Germanavičius

How many platforms you support at the moment? And are there plans to integrate more of them?

At this moment our clients were able to invest in 10 platforms through EvoEstate, however, the number of the partners is higher we haven’t launched their first deals yet.

Yes, we are always working to integrate more platforms, our goal with time, of course, it to integrate every platform. I believe that by the end of the year we should have 17-20 platforms.

Gustas Germanavičius

How does the ‘integration’ work in detail?

It is spread out to few stages. First is to get the data, the pictures, descriptions and the documents. Secondly, is to enable us to reserve the amounts, meaning, that we only make the transfer when the project is fully financed.

Gustas Germanavičius

Could you give me a step-by-step example how a project comes to the your page?

Basically, once we have the systems integrated with the API the project comes instantly if we don’t have it fully integrated at that moment, it can take a little longer. Before we publish the projects we always try to asses the risks, write about them to investors and make an investment decision ourselves to decide whether or not it’s a skin in the game project.

Gustas Germanavičius

How do you select the ones you have skin-in-the-game yourself?

It always has to have a proper risk-reward ratio. If it’s a high-risk project we always expect to have high returns in order for us to invest, usually we are always looking for low risk, medium or high returns projects or some lower risk lower returns projects for diversification.

In order to have a well-balanced portfolio it has to be mixed with both loans and buy to let projects, the way I personally look at this it’s like having stocks and bonds, bonds are the buy-to-let projects which help to reduce the risk. Here’re some additional thoughts.

Gustas Germanavičius

What if a project missed the funding goal?

Nothing happens. The investors’ capital is returned to their wallet. So the regular approach.

Gustas Germanavičius

Minimal investment is about 50€. What if the platform the project comes from has a minimal invest of 100€ and there is a gap at the end. Do you invest more of your own money?

Yes, we are always investing our personal money. At this stage me & Audrius already have 30,000 Euros invested through EvoEstate already. When we have skin in the game project, we are investing at least 1000 euros per deal.
Gustas Germanavičius
 
In which frequency new projects come in?
I think, the low number of deals at this stage is mainly due to the summer. In comparison we had 19 projects in July. We are integrating few platforms now and I believe with September the deal-flow should increase.
Gustas Germanavičius
 
In case of defaults the platforms are responsible or do you do something, e.g. for the skin-in-the-game projects?
The platforms are in charge of the recovery process, however, we always represent our clients and in such situation, we would act on their behalf. In case of misconducts we would also be able to use our legal power.
Gustas Germanavičius
 
Other platforms have introduced a buy-back fund for cases of default. What are your opinion on this? Would that fit in your business model?

I think this is a marketing trick. Those funds or guarantees would not have enough funds to cover a default. 

We will not introduce it as with EvoEstate we believe that the truth is the essential foundation for positive outcomes. Real Estate P2P already has underlying assets (mortgaged property) which could be used to recover investors capital.

Gustas Germanavičius
 
Do you have plans for a secondary market?
Yes, we are actually testing it privately and hope to open it in a period of weeks.
Gustas Germanavisius
 
How do you invest in personally?

I’m restructuring my portfolio and growing the stake EvoEstate. By the end of this year should look:
50% ETFs & stocks / 45% EvoEstate P2P investments  / 5% private investments i.e. startups

Gustas Germanavičius
 
What are your plans for 2019? And what is the next milestone?
Our plan for 2019 is to complete the product. That means we have the secondary market, make it liquid and have 17 partner platforms in total. Next milestone is to have all the Spanish platforms available on EvoEstate.
Gustas Germanavičius

Why I invest in EvoEstate?

What is my blog’s name again? Exactly Invest diversified! And that’s what it’s all about. EvoEstate is a great way to diversify even further. It opens up the possibility to invest in other projects of platforms that I didn’t know until now and also offers projects from previously foreign real estate markets. In addition I find the skin-in-the-game projects very interesting, especially the descriptions. All in all, I will increase my investment at EvoEstate significantly in the future. At the moment, I am only invested in three projects with a total of 215 Euro.

If you want to try out EvoEstate, you will receive a starting bonus of 15 Euro with the links in the blog post.


About new projects on Twitter and Instagram

On my own behalf, I would like to mention that I also present new projects on Twitter and Instagram, in which I invest myself. So just follow me :).

Wisefund – Crowdfunding with 10 Euro – Interview

Hello together,
wisefund crowdfunding 10 euro interview
it’s time again and I’ve launched another crowdfunding test balloon. I actually wanted to start consolidating my platforms. Well, that have to wait.

So let’s move on to my latest investment on Wisefund Capital where crowdfunding is possible from with only 10€. You will find an interview later in the blog post. There I asked some questions to Wisefund and CMO Ingus Linkevics answered them. But read for yourself.


Platform

The Estonian platform, based in Latvia, joins the list of new platforms such as Kuetzal and Monethera. Wisefund currently lists three projects, one of them has already been funded. Interest rates are up to an insane 19.7% to a maximum of 8 months! Of course, the high interest rate also comes from the low maturity, but it is a high-risk investment.

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I have invested in both available projects. 125€ in Railway forwarding operations and 75€ in Electronic device stock purchase. For each project there is a short description of the project itself and the company. All in all, it’s expandable.

Let us come to a unique selling point of Wisefund namely the minimum investment. Foor other crowdfunding platforms 50€ or 100€ have to invested in a single project, this is possible on Wisefund for as little as 10€. There is also a maximum investment, i.e. 10% of the total financing amount. New for me.

In addition, there is a buyback guarantee, which applies from 60 days on, but here only the original investment is repayed, not the interests. If you want to exit a project earlier, you have to pay a fee of 5% for it.


Interview

Since Wisefund is still new and unknown. Could you please explain the platform and the business model? I think there are already some differences compared to other platforms.

Me and my colleagues have seen and examined very very closely Envestio/Monethera as well many other platforms on the market, their approach, their success etc. With close everyday work with the borrowers we’re looking to offer the investors chance to make the right decision with a very comprehensive background information on each project.
Our business model is to become a good partner for businesses willing to grow while they struggle with getting the trust from the banks, but in the same time benefit the investors with high interest rates and short term investment opportunities. There will certainly be loans listed with lower interest rates in near future (I do hope the interest in those will be maintained anyway), because not all of the businesses can afford such high rates. But we’re looking at a quick turnaround for both parties – businesses get funding for certain ventures, investors get payback in less than a year feeling more secure on the investment.
Platform itself is dedicated to be very selective on loans listed to ensure firstly the safety of the investors, but still, we’re looking to create a platform towards which many SMEs willing to grow would likely turn to.

Ingus Linkevics

As transpareny is key I’d like to know some things. When did you found Wisefund? And why?

The company was founded in 2019. To be exact, March of 2019. But the idea was there for couple of years already in the mind of each of the team members. We saw how Mintos and Crowdestate grew, not even mentioning Funding Circle, October and Linked Finance. They all have different approach and eventually they grew into great companies. Together our team somehow came to an idea to found the company, with Olga as the leader and funder of the project, Rinalds with background in commercial partnerships and real estate development, and me, with experience in online platform operations and legal activities. What we were missing was a technical development and professional legal assistance. Once those parts were covered, we could start talks with businesses looking for loans and go live with the platform for the crowd. The main idea always stays to create a trusted funding partner for growing businesses. My own belief is that businesses create added value which allows the economy and overall prosperity of people to grow. 

Ingus Linkevics

Would you please tell readers a little more about yourself and the team around Wisefund?

I am Ingus Linkevics. Some years I have been working in the legal background at a notary office which allowed me to gain a vast legal knowledge and background, as well as see how businesses and real estates get developed and managed. Other part of my activities have involved online activities with online SaaS platform success development and management and going into international market. At one point I decided to turn to international and online business to expand my reach and future possibilities. This was a wholly different industry, but developed skills of business development going internationally. 
 
Rinalds Ters has been a businessman for a long time, and mostly worked with real estate development under Remax brand. His main role in the company is partnership management and company representation – he’s a professional in this area and looking to build a strong brand from the Wisefund.
 
Olga Bobrova has a vast experience in financial industry, working previously with business professionals in financial analytics for many years. As the most experienced member of the team, she headed the company with providing the funding and investment, founded it in Estonia, although we’re establishing an office in Latvia also.
 
Then there is customer support who takes care of all inquiries and customer experience, technical support so we’re in control of everything, and a specialist on partnerships, Dmitry, who’s very well established with contacts in logistics and industrial space – he’s working with possible borrowers.

Ingus Linkevics

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

The borrower if approaching is presented with a fee structure of the platform and requirements of our due diligence partners.
If they agree with that, we ask to fill in Application form, provide a set of documents, financial statements and description why funding is required. Once that is meat, we do the checks on the company and it’s management. 
After that project is listed with a deadline to meet a certain target. We don’t fund them ourselves. If the investors don’t see them attractive enough within 3 weeks, return all investment principals and project is not funded.
But if the project is fully funded, we compile all the loan agreements, sign additional syndicated loan agreement and issue a loan to the borrower.
The process until listing on the platform can take from 1 to 2 weeks.

Ingus Linkevics

What if a project missed the funding goal? Does Wisefund invest ‘own’ money? 

No, we don’t. If project does not meet its target, we credit investor accounts with the principal invested. Unfortunately, no interest is paid for that. But if the project meets its target, investor receives interest from the first day of investment, not the date when the target is met. This is a condition borrowers have to agree with in the fee letter.

Ingus Linkevics

How exactly does risk management work?

An outsourced lawyer with a very professional background takes care of this, does the risk analysis and provides us with final suggestion on each loan request. Of course, there are many things considered in the approach. The analysis for each industry and amount of the loan is taken individually.  

Ingus Linkevics

Will Wisefund also implement an auto-invest?

It’s possible, and we’ve thought about that. But there’s no need for it yet, at the beginning of the operations. We’ll integrate it once loans start meeting their targets quick enough, and there are requests for this feature from investors.  

Ingus Linkevics

Minimal investment is about 10€. It’s nice, but is there a reason for setting it to 10€ and not 50€ or 100€ like other plaltforms?

Why should we do like other platforms? We don’t want to limit people who want to start with 10€ a road towards their financial independence. 

Ingus Linkevics

Are there more than the three current projects in the pipeline? And in which frequency new projects come in on Wisefund?

Yes, we have 8 projects under review which, and more are applying each day. We’re planning to maintain a frequency of 3-4 projects per month.

Ingus Linkevics

A little bit more into detail. Could you explain the buy-back process in case of default? Only principal and no interests are covered?

We have an agreement with a partner to buy out the loan within 2 business days, if such a request is made by investor, but this will incur a commission charge. Each loan has its early exit commission determined and listed on the Project description. Things may happen, you might need money earlier and wish to get your funds before the term. Our partner takes advantage of that, buys your loan at a reduced rate with an assignment agreement and becomes new lender. They benefit from the difference.
 

In case of Borrower defaults, we’ve ‘insured’ each loan currently listed with the same third-party partner to buyout the loans in case if the borrower is late with the payments for more than 60 days. Our partner will buyout the principal with an Assignment agreement and deal with the borrower and loan collection without the involvement of investors. But the interest for investors will be covered from the protection fund. With this type of approach we’re looking to guarantee investors full return of the investment + the interest. 

Protection fund covers things like investor interest rates. Further on there might be loan offers which are not covered by buy-out from third-party partner (this information will be available with the loan offers) – in this case our growing protection fund will be as an insurance for investors in case of borrower late payments or default cases.

 
We understand that sounds like a quite of a burden on borrower shoulders. But those are things they have to agree with before getting funded on crowd lending platform.

Ingus Linkevics

Are there any plans for a secondary market?
Yes, certainly. Once the platform operations expand, we’re looking to introduce secondary market so the investors can benefit in short term or would not have to choose to exit with a fee if such a need appears
Ingus Linkevics
 
How do you invest personally? Also in other P2P platforms?
Yes, I have indeed. I have portfolios in Mintos, Crowdestate, Linked Finance and October.
Ingus Linkevics
 
What are your other plans and milestones this year?
We’re hoping to fully fund at least 20 projects until the end of this year. And for sure, gain trust from the investors. We hope you will like our selection on the investment opportunities.
Ingus Linkevics
 

Crowdfunding with 10 Euros – a prelimiary conclusion

Wisefund offers a nice website and all looks a bit more professional than other new platforms of the same calibre. The 10€ minimum investment is also great. But that may just be my personal opinion. The fact is, it’s a new platform that has to prove itself as always. A complete conclusion can therefore only be drawn when there are possible defaults incoming. Only then we know whether the buyback guarantee really works well or for example the mentioned security fund jumps in and is sufficient.

I’ll keep you up to date on new projects and features on Wisefund. I’ll also include the platform in the monthly portfolio update.


Information about new projects on Twitter and Instagram

On my own behalf, I would like to mention that I also present new projects Twitter and Instagram, in which I invest myself. So follow me :).

Monethera – Interview with Envestio light?


A few days ago a new platform called Monethera was mentioned in P2P Facebook groups and forums. I registered there for testing and would like to give you some information and a short interview.


Dashboard, projects and project descriptions

Monethera does not yet have a significant track record as a platform. So you should look at the whole thing calmly and with argus eyes. At first glance I noticed the very good German translations (relevant for me) – in contrast to some other young platforms. Otherwise the platform offers similar features to Envestio. Very similar. But there are smaller differences as you will read.

Monethera offers a project overview like other platforms too. Currently there are only three projects. Namely one real estate development, a business loan for a luxury clothing company and a business loan for a sturgeon farm. Pretty fishy :). However the projects are very attractive with an interest rate of 18%. The maturities are 6, 8 and 12 months.

There is also an information page for each project. However this is very sparse. There are only one or two sentences to the borrower and what the loan should be used for. I would definitely expect more here.

In the following interview I wanted to know from the platform who they are and how some things like the buy-back work exactly.


The interview

Monethera is a very young and fresh platform. Does the platform briefly present?

The business model of Monethera is associated with the financing of a project by a large number of individuals. Fundraising begins with an announcement introducing the public to a project that needs financial contributions. After the implementation of the project – the borrower under the contract must return the money by paying pre-determined interest. Funding is usually based on the “all or nothing” principle. In other words, the project starts implementation only when collecting the necessary amount of funds.

Andis Taubers

Since transparency is a key element in this investment area, I would like to know a few things about Monethera. You founded Monethera as a private investment fund in 2017. The platform itself in November 2018, but the URL was only released about 4 months. How did the platform come about?

As a private investment fund, we have achieved some success. The idea of opening an open crowd-investing platform was born in 2018. This decision was made to give individual investors the opportunity to invest with us in the most interesting, profitable and noteworthy projects.

Andis Taubers

Can you say anything about your career and the team?

Andis sent me his CV and that of his colleagues. I publish this without comment. But I don’t know what to think of the individual positions. If there are any further questions, just write it to the comments.

Dieses Bild hat ein leeres Alt-Attribut. Der Dateiname ist monethera_cvs-1024x699.png
Monethera – Team CVs

How does project acquisition work at Monethera and how long does it take for a project to be available for investors?

1) We are looking for profitable projects or project owners send us projects for consideration.

2) We conduct our own research and comprehensive verification.

3) We approve the project if Due Diligence was successful.

4) We conclude a loan agreement with the project.

5) The project is provided to the attention of investors on the platform.

Due Diligence may take from 2 weeks up to 2 months, depending on a project and area of activity.

Andis Taubers

How does your risk management work?

First our risk analysts are looking for any possible investments risks in the selected project/borrower. If they are identifying any risks – they have to rank them.

After rating the risk they are looking for a way to get rid of them. If previous steps are passed successfully we conclude a loan agreement with a borrower.

Andis Taubers

The platform currently lacks an auto-invest. Are you planning something like this?

Probably auto invest will be implemented to our platform in July 2019.

Andis Taubers

Currently, there are only three projects. Are further projects planned or ready for publication?

There are 2 projects already pre-approved and 5 more on the stage of Due Diligence.

Andis Taubers

Other platforms have introduced a buy-back fund. How do you think about this idea?

This is a great solution and we fully support it. In the event of a default of a project – Monethera will cover 35% of users’ investments.

Andis Taubers

More into detail. Can you explain the buy-back process in the event of a default? Does this work exactly as e. g. on Envestio?

There are two buy back options.

1) You have invested 100 EUR in one of the projects on our platform.

If you want to exit earlier you, you will get back 95EUR back and no any profit extra. (The buy-back system will be fully integrated to our platform soon)

2) Monethera keep a reserve fund to cover Investors in a case of default.

If any project will be unsuccessful all investors will have back 35% of their investments.

Andis Taubers

Are there already plans for a secondary market?

Not for a present moment. If situation will change – we will make an announcement.

Andis Taubers

Are there any annual reports when Monethera was a private fund that you can make available to investors?

Soon we will publish reports for the time when Monethera was a private fund where you can see the investment statistics.

Andis Taubers

What are your pleadings for 2019? And what is the next milestone?

We are going to increase the user base of our platform in order to diversify investment portfolios to the maximum, which accordingly reduces investment risks.

We will look at the results at the end of 2019, after which we will draw up a development plan for 2020.

Andis Taubers

Preliminary assessment

New platform, new happiness? Possible. Very attractive offer, but just a very young platform, similar to Kuetzal. However, the fact that I have already been able to speak to Kuetzal CEO Albers Cevers in person means that the investment there is something else.
Nevertheless I will start at Monethera with a small test balloon of 100€ and continue to report on how the platform is developing. Even after the interview there some open questions for me which I want to clarify.

If you still have any questions, please post them in the comments. I will forward them to Monethera!


Digging deeper! Facts!

Because e.g. the FAQ is 95% identical to Envestio there is a plagiarism suspicion. There were also other inconsistencies regarding a not mentioned person of the management.

Since I and certainly also other investors are skeptical about new platforms at first, I perstered the Monethera team a little bit.

Buy-Back
  • When will interest be paid?

From the project start date.

Projekte und mögliche Ausfälle
  • What happens if a project is not fully funded?

There are two scenarios here. If more than 80% of the target is reached, Monethera contributes the remaining 20%. If <80% investors receive their money back.

  • What happens exactly in the case of a default?

Investors receive 35% of the investment in case of project failure. At the end of the project.

  • What about the remaining 65%?

The remaining 65% and interest will be issued when Monethera collects the entire debt from the project owners. The term depends on the speed of the judicial process. Based on judicial practice, this may take up to one and a half years.

Monethera carefully selects the investment targets. Furthermore, the platform monitors compliance with the contracts. Guarantees are required from the borrowers (personal guarantees and commercial pledging).

Transparency
  • What is there to know about the copied texts?

Monethera claims to have hired an external copywriter here. He did his work in “bad faith”. They are already working on a global text change. Conceptually all information is correct. The necessary changes are made in the “Cooperation” area. It takes a few days to solve the problem.

  • Who is Andrei Bogdanov?

Andrei Bogdanov is a business man. Togehter with Andis Taubers he is owner of the company. Andis Tauber is the CEO.

  • Inconsistencies with business address

You can find the official address of Monethera on the website. The company is registered in Estonia for tax and legal reasons. This has led to confusion due to the Google Street View images of a residential building. The office is located in Riga. To be precise, Krišjāņa Valdemāra street 118, Riga, Latvia, LV-1013 .

  • Is there an annual report when Monethera was a private investment fund?

They sent me a PDF which I publish below without any comment.


Referral program

For the sake of completeness I would also like to inform you about monethera’s referral program. But again I would like to take some further advice. It is a veeeeeery fresh platform. As a result it still needs to prove itself and build trust. We are already moving in high-risk investment area. If you want to launch a test balloon please do it only with play money!

Finally Monethera offers the possibility to receive a starting bonus of 5€ via this promo code. You have to invest at least 100€. In addition thereis 0.5% cashback on the invested amount within the first 90 days.

If you register via this link I will also receive 5€ if you invest 100€. In addition 2.5% within the first 90 days.

Crowdestor – Interview, auto-invest and secondary market


Hi there. After the presentation of Kuetzal I would like to introduce you to Crowdestor today. I’ve been invested here since April 2019 but I already like the platform extraordinarily well. The company is based in Estonia (Tallin), but operates from Latvia (Riga). The Crowdestor interview also gives some information about the auto-invest feature and the upcoming secondary market.

For 50€ as a minimum investment you can invest in a wide variety of projects there (details in the interview). Portfolio Performance shows me a return of 12,40% after just under two months.

Platform information

Unlike e. g. Envestio Crowdestor announces new projects a few days in advance. This gives investors the opportunity to transfer further funds. Only the details page will not be accessible until the day of publication. I think that could be changed in the future.

Crowdestor pays interest from the date of the investment and not until the selected project is 100% financed. There is also a minimum target for projects.

Another highlight is the buy-back fund. More information in the following interview.


The interview

Hello, first of all thank you for the interview! For those who don’t know yet what Crowdestor is. Can you briefly present the platform and say something about the business model?

Crowdestor is a platform that offers a wide range of project types. You can invest in real estate, energy, transport and business projects here for as little as 50€.

Crowdestor

How Crowdestor was founded?

There wasn’t really a platform where you have different options for your investment. Most other platforms focus on a special field. That’s why Crowdestor was founded.

Crowdestor

You had a huge stand together with some projects at the INVEST in Stuttgart. Was there an increase in German investors after that?

Through Stuttgart we actually had an increase in investors. But we wouldn’t say it was majority German investors. Many investors have been registered from a wide range of countries.

Crowdestor

Is there any new information about when you want to release the auto-invest feature ? And can you already say something about the settings?

The auto-invest feature is scheduled for the end of the summer. It will be able to adjust the project type, the maximum investment amount, the size of the project and the interest rate. So everyone finds the perfect project to invest.

Crowdestor

Can you give me a brief example of how a project ends up on the Crowdestor page?

Until now we only work with Baltic projects because it is easier to obtain the required data and evaluate the risk factor. Creativity also plays a role in project selection. To do this we give the projects a free hand how and with which information they would like to present their project. After verification of these information there are no more obstacles to present it on the page.

Crowdestor

Do you think you can continue holding the number of projects you’ve acquired in recent months?

We try to publish a project about every two weeks. But if we think one of the projects has challenges, we will postpone the publication-quality over quantity. There are currently 4 projects in the queue and ready to be published.

Crowdestor

One of your goals for 2019 was to build the buy-back fund. At this stage, 737.000€ are in it. Do you still plan to raise 100.000€ or even more?

Yes, the goal is still 100.000€ for this year. But if that is achieved the next goal will get bigger.

Crowdestor

How does the process work in the event of a default?

Of each project financed 1% of the investment is channelled into the buy-back fund. If there is a problem with one of the projects we use the money from the buy-back fund.

Crowdestor

Are there any plans for a secondary market?

Yes, there are very specific plans. There will be a secondary market by late summer. So you can look forward to it:).

Crowdestor

Preliminary conclusions

Since I am still quite new at Crowdestor I can’t report anything negative yet. On the contrary. Interest is paid in time. There are enough projects which are also very attractive. And the buy-back fund personally offers me more security through its real value than a pure buy-back guarantee.

I was also able to speak at the INVEST with the CEOs Gunars Udris and Janis Timars and also with the representatives of some of the projects in which I’m invested. These were very pleasant conversations and with Gunars and Janis you notice they have grand plans.

On Crowdestor I will significantly increase my investment in the near future through the interview, the upcoming auto-invest feature and the secondary market.


The Deal – 1% On Top

For all those who want to test out the Crowdestor, there is an promo code. This means that there is an additional 1% on your invested amount. In order to make the whole thing transparent: I will also receive 1% of the invested amount.


Crowdlending at Kuetzal-Interview with CEO Alberts Čevers

ATTENTION! INVESTMENT STOPPED!

Please read this link regarding Kuetzal!

 

Now there is actually the first ‘real’ blog post after the blog presentation. Today I would like to introduce you to the crowdlending platform Kuetzal through a short interview with CEO Alberts Čevers. Enjoy reading!


Platform, projects and return

The projects on Kuetzal range from real estate development to cryptocurrency mining. The term of the loans is usually 12 months. Sometimes up to 48 months. The investment will be paid with an interest of 6-21%. The minimum investment is currently 100€.

The Latvian platform is still very young. The foundation was in July 2018. Nevertheless relatively large projects have already been financed. So Kuetzal has yet to prove itself. So far no project has been officially successfully completed.


The interview with Kuetzal CEO Alberts Čevers

Hi Alberts. Thanks for the first interview. Can you tell me and the readers of the blog a bit about Kuetzal?

First and foremost Kuetzal brings together investors and promising projects. Today investors from developed European countries lack high-interest investment opportunities in their local markets. At the start of Kuetzal we already knew several companies that wanted to develop their business through crowdinvesting and that’s exactly what we used. The market is developing very actively and every day there are more investors using crowdinvesting as portfolio diversification.

Alberts Čevers

At INVEST in Stuttgart we had a short conversation. You mentioned that you worked for the P2P platform Viventor in the past. How did that influences the founding of Kuetzal?

Basically my journey started when I was studying in Barcelona. In the semester break I started working for a financial company that has offered a whole range of services: short-term loans, property-backed loans, vehicle-backed loans. At the time, I realised that my future lies in the financial sector.

After I finished my studies I worked in Barcelona for another year. Also at the P2P startup Viventor.

Back then the crypto market was also at one of its peaks and I tried a bit of short-term crypto trading. In less than a month I have made a lot of profit and finally decided to return to Riga in my own country of Latvia.

Shortly after that me and my team founded our startup Kuetzal. The market is very interesting and motivating and today I’m glad to be here.

Alberts Čevers

I was a bit surprised because of your young age. Do business partners underestimate you sometimes ?

Yes that happens sometimes. But time is also progressing of course, and every day I meet less sceptical people in relation to my person. The best way to make a good impression is ultimately to prove to investors that they are getting what they are promised. We are also trying to do the same at Kuetzal.

Alberts Čevers

As far as I know Kuetzal has only three employees. Is there a reason for that?

There are even four people. Our project manager Romans Antonovs, Head of Marketing Nikita Pavlovskis, our COO Ruslands Doroshenko and my person, Alberts Cevers as CEO. We also work with a marketing company which is responsible for the Kuetzal design. We also outsource the entire IT part. After all that is a big part of our business. We prefer to keep the team rather small and mobile but certainly as the platform grows the team will too.

Alberts Čevers

I noticed that the German translations are not quite optimal. Will there be a change soon?

We work here with translation companies which also translates our website. Since we have already received the feedback we are currently looking for a new translation company.

Alberts Čevers

What is THE competitive advantage of Kuetzal over other similar platforms, e. g. Envestio or Crowdestor?

First of all I think that the general demand of the market is much greater than Envestio, Crowdestor and we can serve. That’s why it doesn’t really feel like a competition. At least so far. But when we talk about the competitive advantages our Kuetzal Care service is unique. Although the interest rate for us and for the mentioned platforms is above the market average. Kuetzal also offers attractive bonuses such as an affiliate system and other promos. We have also planned many other interesting possibilities that we will present soon.

In addition the buy-back which is offered by Kuetzal is not a classic one but gives investors the opportunity to exit earlier. All in all I believe that Kuetzal is a very attractive product for investors.

Alberts Čevers

The minimum investment is currently 100€. Are you planning to reduce that?

Yes, we’re thinking about that right now.

Alberts Čevers

Would you give us a step-by-step example of how new projects are approved by Kuetzal?

First we check the borrower’s story. So whether he was already had problems with other companies or the government. Then we want to know more about the future plans, whether they are ambitious and know their job and the market. After that we analyze the annual reports and the market in general. At this stage most companies are already falling through. We are very strict here because we only want to offer safe and secured deals. The final step is then the agreement and confirmation of both parties.

Alberts Čevers

Two advantages on the part of Kuetzal are Kuetzal Care and the buy-back. Can you briefly explain how both work? 

Kuetzal Care guarantees that a particular project will be financed. No matter how much has already been invested by investors. If the project does not reach the minimum target Kuetzal will use its own resources to close the gap between the amount already invested and the target amount. Kuetzal has agreements with investment funds, banks and private investors on this. These are always ready to be involved in Kuetzal projects. This process provides additional guarantees so that a project is ultimately fully funded.

The buy-back on the investment is done by the platform itself, not by the projects. We have personal guarantees on the part of the projects and in sometimes additional guarantees. Mostly in the form of real estate. Investors can also drop out for 10% before the end of a project. In the worst case scenario the default of a project Kuetzal guarantees to repay 100% of the investments over the course of two months after the default has been announced. This time is used to start the legal process. So two months is the maximum. We expect the investments to be payed back in 1-2 weeks. There are no fees for investors. But once again I would like to remind you that this represents the worst case scenario and is very unlikely.

Alberts Čevers

How does Kuetzal secure the buy-back?

We secure the buy-back with our own resources, other guarantees and personal guarantees.

Alberts Čevers

I am aware that the scenario is probably unlikely. But what would happen if all investors in a project left the project at the same time with the mentioned 10 percent loss?

At the current volume we can use our own funds to operate the project but the scenario is really unlikely.

Alberts Čevers

Investors in platforms such as Envestio have often the problem that new projects are mostly financed in seconds. How would Kuetzal want to prevent such things?

Unfortunately if there is a very high demand for projects such on Envestio not all investors can participate. One way to prevent this is to announce projects early. This allows anyone interested to prepare their investments.

What are your plans for 2019 and also for 2020?

We set only the highest goals and expect to be among the most successful crowdlending platforms in Europe in two years. With branches in the most sought-after European countries.

Alberts Čevers

How do you invest personally?

So far my portfolio is divided into projects where I have personal contacts or am personally involved and cryptocurrencies.

Alberts Čevers

Personal conclusion

As mentioned above Kuetzal is still a young platform. So time will tell how the whole thing is shaping up. I will keep you informed. After the talks with Alberts at INVEST I have decided to invest €1000 on Kuetzal. One reason was also that I want to further diversify my portfolio. However there will be a throwback blog post about this soon. There I would like to explain on the one hand, which platforms I started with and on the other hand what the motivations were to add new platforms.

What else would I like to see? More transparency! In my opinion that is one of the key elements. I have also communicated this wish for more transparency which I am sure other investors also have.


Summer Cash Back Marathon

A few days ago the first of the announced promo actions was also published in the Kuetzal newsletter. The Summer Cash-back marathon.

#CASHBACKMARATHON

 

If you have more questions about Kuetzal as a platform just post it in the comments. I’ll forward the question to them.