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