Afranga review August 2022 – Great interest rates and reliability, insufficient loans supply

Table of contents

Afranga's loans list with zero loans available
Afranga's primary market is often empty

Afranga's overview

Afranga was founded by Bulgarian loan originator StikCredit. This peer-to-peer lending platform provides medium and long-term consumer loans which currently yield either 14% annually – a figure roughly similar to many competitors -. A buyback guarantee A buyback guarantee is a guarantee provided by the platform or a loan originator. If repayment of a loan is delayed by more than a given delay (usually 30 or 60 days), the platform or loan originator will buy back the loan. The guarantee may cover only part of the capital, or in a much more interesting case, both the capital and accrued interests. As the conditions vary from one platform to another, it’s very important to check this point. is provided; it triggers after 60 days.

My opinion on Afranga

When Afranga started operating, the very high interest rates – up to 18% – made this platform stand out. However, things have changed fast as the platform grew increasingly popular among investors. This success unfortunately lead to reduced interest rates (14%) and a loans supply too small to absorb the demand for loans.

As of August 2022, the loans volume has slightly increased and cash drags don’t last as much as they used to. Moreover, many loans are available on the secondary market – although loans sold at face value usually only yield 12% -. The liquidity has thus improved, but the situation is still sub-optimal.

As a result, I view Robocash as a better choice than Afranga – in spite of the concerns which arose when Russia invaded Ukraine -. Indeed, this platforms offers the save level of interest rates while being considered as more reliable. Moreover, Robocash’s volume is clearly ample enough to meet the demand. One point in favor of Afranga is the much superior interface, tough.

All things considered, even when it comes to complementing Robocash, I currently prefer to invest at Esketit, which doesn’t suffer from liquidity troubles. Interest rates stand at roughly the same level as Afranga’s, and the interface is equally well-designed.

Detailed ratings

Actual performance

After roughly a year on Afranga, this portfolio’s performance stands slightly below 13%. I expect it to decrease slightly as I invested in many loans yielding 12% annually.

Loans liquidity

Although the situation improved slightly, cash drags are still a problem at Afranga.

Reporting

The portfolio’s statistics are both complete and visually pleasant.

Transparency & reliability

StikCredit is a reliable loan originator, and the relationship between StikCredit and Afranga is crystal-clear.

Website ergonomics

The ergonomics of Afranga‘s website is on a par with Lendermarket‘s, which says a lot.

Afranga's pros & cons

Pros

  • Reliable loan originator
  • Extremely user-friendly interface
  • Competitive interest rates – especially for lucky investors who manage to snag 14% loans –

Cons

  • Cash drags are extremely frequent
  • Interest rates have decreased a lot since Afranga started operating

Loans characteristics

Loans durations

Medium-term : one month to one year

Long-term : more than one year

Loans kinds

Consumer

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

EUR – Euro

Overview of Afranga's loans

Afranga offers only consumer loans in Euro. They all yield interests monthly.

Interest rates on the platform used to be as high as 18%. They unfortunately decreased throughout 2021, ending up at 12%. However, after Russia invaded Ukraine, the overall demand for loans decreased, which drove interest rates upwards on most platforms. Afranga followed suit and partly increased rates to 14%.

Overall, this is a competitive level when taking into account the loan originator’s reliability :

  • Robocash – which is part of a financially solid lending group – offers interest rates up to 13%.
  • Interest rates at Lendermarket are higher – up to 16% -, but many investors are unsatisfied with the platform’s poor communication and lack of transparency.
  • Esketit‘s loans from Jordan also offer 14% interest rates like Afranga does, but they’re not covered by a group guarantee. Other loans on the platform (from solid lending company CreamFinance) now all yield 12%.

Very short-term loans aren’t available. Indeed, loans terms currently range from six months to two years. Interestingly, StikCredit’s website mentions payday loans as one of their two main kinds of products, but it looks like they decided not to list them on Afranga.

It’s also worth noting that geographical diversification is non-existent, as StikCredit only operates on the Bulgarian market.

The minimal investment is €10, a very standard amount for P2P loans.

Loans volume

Initially, loans supply wasn’t a concern. However, the investors base has grown very quickly. As a result, for most of 2021 and early 2022, the available loans list was empty.

Afranga's loans list with zero loans available
Afranga's primary market is often empty

Indeed, although new loans were added to the platform daily, they were all bought by auto-invest. It was thus nearly impossible to invest manually on the primary market.

The platform has acknowledged the issue with the loans supply, but they obviously didn’t want to increase the loans volume at the expense of the portfolio’s quality. They managed to grow their portfolio size by 15% by December 2021, which was a first step towards a better liquidity.

It’s worth noting that although the primary market’s liquidity is poor, the secondary market usually has a large volume of loans for sale. As I’m updating this article in August 2022, there’s no loan available with a discount or sold at face value. However, premium start at only 0.1%, which will have little impact when buying long-term loans. Most of them are current or slightly late (1-15 days late).

Buyback guarantee

In a rather standard way, the buyback guarantee provided by StikCredit covers both principal and accrued interests. It triggers after 60 days, which seems to have become the de-facto trigger delay. Indeed, only Robocash and Moncera use a shorter delay (30 days).

Platform’s transparency and reliability

In terms of transparency and reliability, Afranga sets the bar very high. Indeed, StikCredit is regarded as a reliable originator, and the ties between Afranga and StikCredit are straightforward.

Afranga’s background and team

Afranga was founded in early 2021 by Bulgarian originator StikCredit. This is the continuation of a trend already observed in 2020. Other platforms related to a single lending group include :

Platform’s websiteLoan originator
MonceraPlacet Group
EsketitCreamfinance
ViaInvestViaSMS
LendermarketCreditStar
RobocashRobocash Group
KvikuKviku Group

The relationship between the platform and the originator isn’t always crystal-clear. For example, the only structural relationship between Lendermarket and CreditStar is that they have the same beneficial owner. Ties between Moncera and Placet Group also used to be rather loose. Indeed, the platform was started by two former employees but there was no formal link between the two entities until Placet Group bought the platform in late Summer 2021.

On the other hand, it’s straightforward to understand the link between Afranga and StikCredit. As stated in an interview with Afranga’s COO, they’re the same legal entity. Afranga’s name also appears in a very prominent way on in StikCredit’s most recent annual report :

Invitation to check out afranga.com
StikCredit is quite proud of their loans marketplace Afranga and displays it in the front page of their corporate presentation

Loans descriptions

In addition to the loan’s structure and repayment schedule, Afranga discloses basic information about the borrower.

Financial details about the loan (amount, interest rate, duration...) as well as investment breakdown and payment schedule
Loan details

Mintos investors will notice that this screen looks very similar to its equivalent at Mintos. It’s also the case for several other pages on the website.

Loan originators reliability

I will never emphasize it enough : it’s critical for P2P investors to focus on loan originator’s reliability. Many originators on Mintos were of dubious quality, which causes sometimes large losses for investors. If the marketplace successfully recovered the whole capital invested in Aforti after long legal proceedings, the recovery rate for former originator E-cash was a pitiful 35%. In other words, investors lost two thirds of the invested amount !

Such a disaster is highly unlikely when it comes to StikCredit. Indeed, this lending group has been consistently profitable. Conveniently, StikCredit’s annual reports are available for download on Afranga‘s website.

Brief description of Afranga's loan originator StikCredit as well as links to their annual reports
StikCredit's description and annual reports

Profit for fiscal year 2021 was 5.1 million BGN, which is roughly equivalent to 2.7 million euros. It’s a 10% increase compared to the 2020 figure.

Many competitors have their financial reports audited by a reputable audit firm. Placet Group’s report was audited by Ernst & Young, one of the “big four”. Robocash‘s annual report was conducted by FBK Grant Thornton, a slightly less renowned firm. When it comes to StikCredit, the audit was undertaken by an even smaller firm.

Investors who don’t want to analyze financial reports will appreciate the great work by ExploreP2P, which provides ratings for most loan originators. Their most recent rating for StikCredit is 65 out of 100. It’s definitively lower than the rating for Moncera‘s Placet Group (79) or Robocash (72) but comparable to many competitors such as Esketit, ViaInvest or Lendermarket which all have ratings between 63 and 67.

Reporting & statistics availability

Unlike most competitors, Afranga doesn’t have a dedicated page for statistics such as funded volume or investors count. The only public figure was a post in April 2021, celebrating their first million in outstanding investments.

One million loan funded, illustrated by fireworks and a cake
A noteworthy milestone

However, statistics for StikCredit’s portfolio are available. In addition, the funded volume provided by P2PMarketData reached twenty-six million euros. Because the platform has been operating for a short time, this figure is much lower than for basically all competitors.

Finally, even unregistered users can access the list of available loans.

Track record

As a recent platform, Afranga doesn’t have much track record. On the other hand, StikCredit has been operating since 2013 – and as I’ve already highlighted, is a profitable lending group -.

Platform's features

Early exit

Early exit available

Investing methods

Auto-invest

Manual investing

Manual investing

As noted earlier, because of the imbalance between the loans supply and demand at Afranga, there’s often no loan available to invest manually. It’s thus more than recommended to use the auto-invest – although even this won’t prevent investors from having idle funds -.

I used to invest manually when I started investing on the platform and the process is trivial. There’s a wide array of filters available :

  • Loan’s interest rate and duration
  • Listing date
  • Available amount
  • Loan status and type

In addition, it’s possible to exclude loans already invested in – which I recommend, in order to increase diversification -.

Filters are very standard : interest raate, term, listing date, available amount, loan status and loan type
Afranga's filters when investing manually on the primary market

A minor annoyance is the unusual vertical layout of the filters. Most platforms list the label, minimum and maximum values in a row, not below one another.

Auto-invest

I always recommend P2P investors to switch to automatic investing. Indeed, it will save time and reduce the probability of making mistakes.

It’s possible to have several strategies, although most investors probably won’t use this feature.

The available filters are similar to those for manual investing. In addition, it’s necessary to configure the portfolio’s size as well as the reinvestment option.

Afranga's auto-invest includes typical filters such as invested amount, interest rate, loan term, loan type and loan status
Afranga's auto-invest

The number of matching loans is displayed, which is very handy.

As noted above, the demand for loans on the platform greatly exceeds the supply. As a result, cash drags are common. In order to reduce them, I set a maximal amount per loan much higher than on other platforms. Whereas I invest only €10 per loan on most competitors, I’ve increased this amount to € 100 on Afranga !

Secondary market

With the notable exception of Lendermarket, most competitors provide a way for investors to exit their loans early. For example, Robocash has a free secondary market, and Moncera provides a “One-click exit” feature, for a small fee (0.5%).

Afranga‘s secondary market was unveiled in September 2021. It brings some very welcome additional liquidity to the platform.

It’s possible to sell loans with a discount or a premium. Loans with a premium lower than 0.5% are extremely common, which partly compensates the lack of liquidity on the primary market. I seldom buy loans on the secondary market on other platforms; however, I often resort to doing so at Afranga.

There’s no fee for using the secondary market, either for the buyer or the seller.

I noted a few glitches on the secondary market’s screen; mostly the fact that investing sometimes fails after I confirm the transactions – probably due to the high level of activity on the secondary market, cause by the lack of loans on the primary market -. In addition, using the secondary market requires several clicks and confirmations; it feels less fluid than the rest of the website.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English

Funding methods

Available languages & translations quality

Afranga‘s website is currently only available in English. The translation’s quality is excellent.

Afranga's registration process

Registering with Afranga is very quick. The KYC check requires investors to upload a copy of an identification document, which got validated nearly immediately in my case. As pointed out by one reader, the process has evolved and now also requires a selfie with the document.

Account funding and funds withdrawal

Currently, it’s only possible to fund your investor’s account via a SEPA transfer. Funds as usually available the next business day.

Withdrawals are free. I didn’t withdraw any money yet (quite the opposite, in fact) so I don’t know how quickly such requests are processed.

Website’s design and ergonomics

As already noted, Afranga’s overall design has many similarities with Mintos’ website. However, I find Afranga‘s screens more readable.

Overall, the website is very pleasant to use. It’s fast, easy to navigate, and provides basically every feature a P2P investor may need.

There’s still room for improvement in technical terms, though. Signing-in sometimes fails for no apparent reason, and several investors complained about primary or secondary market filtering / sorting not working correctly.

Reporting

Afranga‘s dashboard provides detailed portfolio statistics. In addition, the usual array of reporting features such as the investments list and account statement are available.

Documentation

The FAQ A FAQ is simply a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions is detailed enough to be helpful. In addition, the “How it works” page provides a brief overview of the investing process.

Communication & support

Afranga doesn’t communicate much; however, investors will be notified of important milestones or new features by e-mail.

The platform’s Facebook page similarly feels rather empty.

On the other hand, StikCredit’s business development manager Svetlin Sabev is very active on Afranga discussion group on Telegram – a bit like Rita for PeerBerry‘s group. It’s the best place to ask questions or provide feedback regarding the platform.

In August 2022, Afranga sent their first Monthly Digest. Its content was rather thin – mostly statistics for the past month -. However, it also contained an important announcement. Indeed, it confirmed that the interest rates would currently be kept at 14%. Moreover, future changes would be communicated by e-mail. It’s a welcome step in terms of transparency.

Official Afranga pages on social networks

Support

Afranga‘s support can be reached by phone or email.

Actual performance of my Afranga portfolio

12,98%

At the end of July 2022, the XIRR for my Afranga portfolio was 12,98%.

After roughly one year on the platform, the performance for this portfolio has reached its theoretical value, in spite of the cash drags.

Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.

For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.

Portfolio creation date

I created my Afranga portfolio in March 2021

Afranga's main competitors

Afranga's facts & figures

Location

Shumen, Bulgaria

Founding year

2021

As of August 2022

Who can invest at Afranga

Any individual investor who is at least 18 years old, has a citizenship in an EU/EEA country, a bank account in a EU/EEA country, and resides in a country that is considered to have an equivalent AML/CFT system to those of the European Union. In order to be able to add funds to your account, you must pass our verification process.

Afranga's FAQ

Disclosure

Please note that this review may contain affiliate links. It means that I will earn a commission if you decide to invest after clicking through the link – at no additional cost to you, of course -. Please understand that I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to invest through my links.

2 thoughts on “Afranga review August 2022 – Great interest rates and reliability, insufficient loans supply”

  1. Hi,
    Considering the Afranga’s registration process, now you must upload both a copy of an identification document, and a picture with a selfy and your ID.

    Reply

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