Crowd-lending portfolio review for May 2020

Website changes

First of all, all my apologies for missing two consecutive portfolio reviews. In spite of having a lot of time on my hands thanks to the confinement, the demise of Grupeer combined with the frustrations caused by being stuck inside left me without any motivation. Well, I’m back now 🙂

Noteworthy news from the crowdlending world

Obviously the two most important pieces of news since my last portfolio review was that the outbreak of Covid-19, and the fact that Grupeer got added to the already long list of scammy platforms.

Grupeer

Many loans at Grupeer proved to be fake, and the recent communication by the platform didn’t make much sense. As a result, a legal process has been initiated. Most discussions about it are held on a dedicated Telegram group.

Mintos

The crisis had a huge impact on many loan originators at Mintos. Indeed, several low-quality originators are now in trouble : among them, GetBucks and ExpressCredit in Africa, and Akulaku in Indonesia. Another impact is the huge volume of pending payments. Finally, interest rates skyrocketed even for good originators (for example 25% for CashWagon in Vietnam !).

The platform’s communication was overall very good, and it published regular reports on troubles loan originators and pending payments.

DoFinance

DoFinance stopped accepting new customers. In addition, existing investors had the unpleasant surprise to find out the the early exit option wasn’t offered anymore; several of them also reporting having troubles withdrawing idle funds. The platform has since started to communicate more openly, and improved the website in order to display the loans statuses more clearly.

Ekassa

As there are currently many restrictions for loan originators in Poland, Ekassa‘s offer has been put on hold. I managed to withdraw my remaining funds, and expect the platform to reopen in a few months.

Crowdestor

A lot has happened at Crowdestor recently. First, they introduced a 3 months leniency period; most repayments are thus delayed until the end of June. In addition, there’s been a very active communication from the platform; CEO Janis Timma was very active in both Telegram and Facebook. Announcements regarding new payment schedules were made for many projects; most of them were rather reassuring, although repayments for several tourism-related loans are postponed. Information regarding remaining loans is expected to be provided before June, 12th.

Crowdestor also unveiled an ambitious expansion plan. They hired Monify CEO Artur Geisari and expanded their team.

EstateGuru

EstateGuru seems to be by far the must trusted platform by investors. The most visible impact of the crisis was that the volume of projects has slightly decreased, while the interest rates increased. Meanwhile, EstateGuru launched a funding campaign on Seedrs. It was rather successful, as they managed to raise twice the expected amount.

Individual platforms performance​​

In hindsight, most platforms have done rather well during the last months. I actually expected things to turn out much worse.

Graphical overview

BitOfProperty

5.09%

BitOfProperty‘s latest offer (Erwin House) was canceled as it didn’t get totally funded. However, the rental income for other properties was paid on time. The resulting XIRR is still rather low (5.09%) but keeps on increasing.

Bondora

3.32%

I finally decided to switch my Bondora portfolio to Go & Grow instead of Portfolio Manager. This will allow me to downsize it drastically – which will take because of partial withdrawals -. Switching to Go & Grow resulted in a monthly profit, something I hadn’t seen for ages. Overall returns for my Bondora portfolio are now 3.32%; I expect them to increase as Go & grow is supposed to yield 6.75% annually.

Bondster

9.98%

Due to government restrictions on Polish loans, my Bondster portfolio received very few interests. Repayments for one third of my portfolio are more than 60 days late ! However, the situation improved in late May. I slightly decreased the size of this portfolio, and will keep on doing so for some time.

Brickstarter

2.46%

As expected, Brickstarter is probably the platform which suffers the most from the crisis. Indeed, the total halt of tourism in Spring meant that no revenue was generated from the properties. In addition, the most recent project didn’t get funded so I now have idle funds. As a result, the performance of this portfolio is only 2.46%.

BulkEstate

9.46%

I appreciate BulkEstate more and more. I had one delayed loan which finally was repaid, and the communication on this topic was very satisfying. The overall performance keeps on increasing, and reached 9.46%.

CrowdEstate

5.61%

The more I appreciate EstateGuru and BulkEstate, the less I enjoy CrowdEstate. The platform suffers from a poor communication – especially regarding quasi-defaulted projects -, and the performance of this portfolio is stagnating at a very deceiving 5.61%. I plan to update the review to further decrease the rating.

Crowdestor

11.75%

The performance of my Crowdestor portfolio took a huge hit after 3 months without interests. Indeed, it now stands at 11.75%, down from more than 15% earlier ! One loan on my portfolio was supposed to be repaid on May, 31st but the reimbursement got delayed because of AML procedures. More than 15 repayments (either capital or interests) are supposed to take place in June in my portfolio; we’ll see how many actually happen.

Debitum Network

10.27%

The performance of my small Debitum Network portfolio is slightly above 10%. The platform has been rather quiet, but they have strengthened their already strict review process for originators. In spite of the low interest rates, I consider increasing the size of this portfolio as the platform seems reliable.

DoFinance

10.71%

I still have an ongoing investment plan at DoFinance; the current performance is 10.71%, and has been very stable since many months. I hope they’ll resume their operations as I really appreciate this platform !

Ekassa

10.72%

Ekassa stopped operating after current loans expired; I managed to withdraw all my funds once they became available. The overall performance for this portfolio was 10.72%, which is great for an effortless investment.

EstateGuru

8.21%

In term of repayments, the coronavirus didn’t seem to have much impact on EstateGuru; I only have one delayed loan in my portfolio. The performance for this portfolio is currently 8.21%; as usually, it varies as not all loans yield interests monthly.

Fast Invest

12.88%

I kept on decreasing the size of my Fast Invest portfolio. The platform seems to suffer from large delays in withdrawing, which many view as a confirmation that Fast Invest is a Ponzi scheme. In order to decrease the number of withdrawal requests, the platform has implemented a fixed fee of €1.50 for withdrawals. However, at the same time, they introduced a compensation if processing the withdrawal takes too long, which makes little sense.

Flender

8.76%

Unlike their competitors, Flender introduced a large number of new loans this Spring. Performance-wise, things haven’t changed much as the XIRR is now 8.76%.

Iban

2.46%

The performance of my Iban portfolio is in line with the low expectations. Indeed, the XIRR is 2.46%, which is very close to the theoretical value of 2.5%.

Iuvo

11.35%

In spite of many delayed repayments, the performance of my Iuvo portfolio remains at a more than acceptable level. I will probably increase the size of this portfolio using funds from Bondora, as I appreciate its reliability and transparency.

Lendermarket

9.55%

Very few of my Lendermarket loans are current (around 20%). As a consequence, although the XIRR increased, it’s still much lower than expected : 9.55%.

Mintos

13.23%

In spite of a large amount of pending payments (5% of my portfolio) and delayed loans (25%), the performance of my Mintos portfolio is very stable. Indeed, it stands at 13.23%, a figure very close to the previous months. Part of my portfolio is still invested in shady originators, as I couldn’t sell the loans on the secondary market without a huge discount. However, little by little, this it gets more balanced.

Omaraha

19.36%

Many loans are being extended, and the compensated amount for defaulted loans was decreased to 55% of the remaining capital (compared to anywhere between 60% and 80% previously). It resulted in a visible performance drop, as it now stands at 19.36%.

PeerBerry

11.50%

I really appreciated PeerBerry‘s crisis management. Aventus Group, which controls many loan originators also handled it very well, extending the buyback guarantee to all LOs. I mostly focus on higher-rated originators instead of chasing high returns; as a result, the XIRR for this portfolio is only 11.50%.

ReInvest24

5.42%

As payments started to kick in for many of my ReInvest24 investments and one of them was exited, the performance is finally starting to increase. It reached 5.42%, far from most competitors but in an encouraging uptrend.

Robocash

12.50%

Robocash seems to be doing well, according to the latest figures. Audited financial reports for 2019 are expected to be available shortly, and should reassure investors regarding the group’s solidity. In term of performance, it’s doing rather well; the XIRR is now 12.50%, which is actually the best figure in one year for this platform. I withdrew a small amount (around 10%) of this portfolio, and will let it grow again from now on.

Swaper

12.08%

In spite of the troubled environment, the performance of my Swaper portfolio remains very stable, at 12.08%. The platform has sent many updates during the crisis. In addition to increasing the interest rates, they slightly improved transparency my displaying the team on their website.

TFGcrowd

18.30%

There are still many suspicions surrounding TFGcrowd; however, all expected repayments (including large chunks of capital) were made and I could withdraw all reimbursed sums. My current XIRR is 18.30%, making it the second best after Omaraha. The platform currently seems to focus on invoice financing, with means shorter-term loans.

ViaInvest

9.88%

I plan to update my ViaInvest review, and maybe increase the size of this portfolio. Indeed, although I’m still not crazy about this platform, it seems rather reliable. My current performance is 9.88%; it didn’t change much, in spite of recent interest rates increase.

Viventor

8.79%

Viventor was rather quiet during the Covid epidemics. The performance of this portfolio is currently rather poor, as is stands at 8.79%. Overall I’m much more pleased by the way PeerBerry managed the crisis.

Wisefund

14.20%

No repayment at all has been made recently. There was a lot of communication from the platform in April, but recently it’s gone very quiet – especially regarding one defaulted loan -. In spite of the lack of repayments, the performance for this portfolio is still rather high (14.20%).

Global portfolio performance

1.92%

After writing off four portfolios (Envestio, Kuetzal, Monethera and Grupeer), my overall performance is basically back to square one. Live and learn 🙂 I still have some capital at risk at Wisefund, as well two nearly-defaulted projects at CrowdEstate.

Peer-to-peer lending platforms

14.96%

I don’t really understand how my XIRR managed to increase during the Covid-crisis, but I triple-checked the figures and they seem solid.

Real-estate & business crowdlending platforms

-34.34%

All scam platforms belonged to this category, so the performance is obviously disastrous. In the long run, I expect to recover at least part of the funds I invested in Grupeer, but it’s still unclear how much.

Current allocation

I decreased the size of several portfolios. My Omaraha portfolio is close to its target size (around 25% of my overall portfolio), and my Robocash reached its target after a 10% decrease. Other recurring withdrawals include FinBee and Bondster (I will switch most of the withdrawn funds to Mintos, and a small part to PeerBerry and Iuvo), and of course blacklisted platforms Fast Invest and TFGcrowd.

New platforms

It’s been a while since I tested a new platform. Both Profitus and Nordstreet were on the waiting list; however, I decided to test Moncera instead, as it seems more transparent.

Moncera

Moncera is similar to Lendermarket. It was funded by loan originator Placet Group. The platform is overall easy to use; however, the interest rates are lower than for competitors (12% versus 14% at Lendermarket, Robocash or Swaper) and many loans are longer-term.

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