Illustration of Crowdestor's "Sweet dreams Samloem" project

Crowdestor review : my favorite crowdlending platform

Crowdestor’s overview

Crowdestor offers real-estate and business loans. Their interest rates are usually in the 14%-20% range, for durations varying from one to two years. A partial 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 through a warranty fund.

My opinion on Crowdestor

In a rather short time, Crowdestor managed to become my favorite platform for speculative loans ! Indeed, between the excellent performance, the large supply of diversified loans and the solid buyback guarantee, it’s hard not to be impressed ! I only regret the lack of an auto-invest feature as well as of a secondary market The secondary market is a marketplace allowing investors to sell loans from their
portfolio to other investors. This is useful if they need to get their money back
before the loan’s maturity.
.

Detailed ratings

Performance

The interest rates for the current projects are great, especially now that they’re partially protected by a warranty fund.

Loans liquidity

There are many new investment opportunities each month, which allows a large portfolio diversification.

Reporting

Reporting has improved with the most recent upgrade to the website.

Buyback guarantee

Crowdestor provides a buyback guarantee through a warranty fund.

Website ergonomics

Crowdestor‘s website is basic but works well.

Crowdestor’s pros & cons

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Financed businesses belong to diversified sectors
  • Partial buyback guarantee through a warranty fund
  • Projects are added very regularly

Cons

  • High-yield projects sell out quickly
  • No auto-invest feature
  • No secondary market or early exit

Loans characteristics

Loans duration

Medium-term : one month to one year

Long-term : more than one year

Loans kinds

Business

Real-estate

Minimal investment

€ 50

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

EUR – Euro

Overview of Crowdestor’s loans

Crowdestor allow investors to lend money to businesses. Interest rates usually vary between 14% and 20%. Similarly, the loans durations vary greatly; they can be as short as 3 months and as long as 24 months.

The diversify of the financed businesses is one of Crowdestor’s great strengths. Here’s a sample of the borrowers :

  • A drum school
  • An hotel
  • Several forestry exploitation
  • A construction company
  • A mobile game development studio
  • A warehouse
  • Several hostels

Most borrower are located in Latvia; however, among recent projects, there were also :

  • a bar in Moscow
  • an indoor beach volleyball center in Estonia
  • two resorts in Cambodia
  • a transportation company in the UK
  • a kart track in Belgium
A subset of Crowdestor's active projects in late November 2019
A subset of Crowdestor's active projects in late November 2019

Most loans yield interests monthly, although there are some variations. Investors who want a regular cash-flow should check the projects descriptions carefully !

This loan only starts yielding interests after 6 months
This loan only starts yielding interests after 6 months

Minimal investment amount used to be € 100 per project, but has been lowered to €50. However, unlike CrowdEstate, the invested amount doesn’t need to be a multiple of € 50. This allows you to reinvest interests faster !

Another interesting aspect is that interests are computed from the day you start investing, instead of the day when the project is completely funded. And even if the project doesn’t get successfully funded when the deadline comes, you still get interests for the period between your investment and the deadline !

Several projects were funded in several rounds, which is a common practice; for example, the “hostel renovation” project was first granted a € 200,000 loan, then a second loan for an amount of € 450,000 a few months later.

Loans volume

There are usually several new projects coming each week; while I initially considered that Crowdestor lacked behind Envestio in this area, now it is the other way round as Envestio focuses on larger loans.

The amount needed for each project is usually rather small (around € 100,000 – € 200,000), so they get funded rather quickly. However, there are also a few very large finance amounts; indeed, several loans reached € 950,000. I’m slightly wary about these, as their very large size means that the warranty fund (see below) may not be enough in case the borrower defaults !

Mafia Stars
The financed amount for the "Mafia Stars" project was an impressive € 950,000

Buyback guarantee

In late February 2019, Crowdestor announced the creation of a buyback fund. It will be used to reimburse the investors in case the borrower defaults. The initial amount was € 50,000; it grows thanks to a commission on new projects. As of late December 2019, the amount reached € 212,000. The platform originally expected to reach € 100,000 at the end of 2019; thanks to the large volume of loans funded, this amount was reach much earlier !

Currently important details are missing, such as the delay for triggering the guarantee; we also don’t know whether or not the interests are covered by the guarantee. As the buyback fund is a new feature, I expect Crowdestor to provide more information later.

Track record

As of late December 2019, Crowdestor‘s website lists twenty fully repaid projects. There hasn’t been any repayment delay or defaulted loan.

Platform’s features

Early exit

Early exit NOT AVAILABLE

Investing methods

Manual investing

Secondary market

Unlike CrowdEstate, Crowdestor doesn’t provide a secondary market. There’s no early exit mechanism either; as a result, you won’t be able to sell your investment early.

Manual investing at Crowdestor

One recent improvement is the ability to view only the active projects; previously, both active and totally funded were displayed together, requiring to scroll through many of them to see the currently available opportunities.

The amount of detail provided varies from one project to another. I overall find the descriptions less complete than those at CrowdEstate, and less pleasant to read than at Monethera – although in all fairness, they have improved a lot for the most recent projects -.

Excerpt of a project's description at Crowdestor
Excerpt of a project's description at Crowdestor

I also regret the lack of a risk assessment.

Auto-invest

it’s currently not possible to invest automatically; however, with the recent website upgrade, a section named “Auto-invest” has appeared and is supposed to be live soon. I’ll of course update this review as soon as it is available.

Until then, I would recommend you to connect to Crowdestor‘s website as soon as new projects open in order to be able to invest in them. Indeed, the recent high-yield projects were very popular among investors and sold out quickly.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, German, Spanish

Funding methods

Crowdestor’s registration process

Signing up at Crowdestor is straightforward, as is often the case for crowdlending platforms.

During the registration process, investors have to define a PIN code in addition to the password; it will be required when investing.

Account funding and funds withdrawal

Website’s design and ergonomics

Crowdestor‘s website is simple but well designed and properly translated. The advantage of business and real-estate crowdfunding platforms is that the number of projects is rather low and there are not many options available.

As a result, these websites are usually very easy to use. Administrative operations such as creating your account, funding it and investing in projects are easy to carry.

Available languages & translations quality

Crowdestor‘s website is available in English as well as in German and Spanish. The English translation is great.

(I previously wrote that there was a Portuguese translation, but either I was wrong or this featured was removed.)

Reporting

I initially found Crowdestor’s dashboard too crude to be useful, as it lacked many useful features. Fortunately, with the website’s redesign in November 2019 came a new and much improved dashboard. It’s now easy to evaluate the diversification of your portfolio, see the incoming payments for next month, or marvel at the growing profits chart.

Crowdestor's updated dashboard
Crowdestor's updated dashboard

Documentation

Crowdestor‘s documentation could be improved. Indeed, while the FAQ A FAQ is simply a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions is rather complete, breaking it down into sections would make it much more readable. Moreover, apart from the FAQ, there’s very little documentation available.

Support

It’s possible to get in touch with Crowdestor by phone or e-mail.

At some point, I sent an e-mail to the support as my account’s balance was incorrect. They quickly replied that this incident was being investigated; when I logged in the following day, my balance was back to normal. However, I regret that they didn’t get in touch to notify me that the problem got fixed.

Communication from the platform​

Most e-mails from Crowdestor will be announcements of new projects. Investors will also be notified of repayments, as well as when transferred fund reach their Crowdestor account.

Unfortunately, none of these notifications are configurable.

Actual performance of my Crowdestor portfolio

15,34%

At the end of December 2019, the XIRR for my Crowdestor portfolio was 15,34%.

As expected, Crowdestor‘s performance is among the highest of my loans portfolios. It's also very regular; as a result, I plan to keep on increasing this portfolio's size until it reaches 15% of my overall loans portfolio.

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

Portfolio creation date

I created my Crowdestor portfolio in February 2018.

Crowdestor's main competitors

For a detailed comparison of the different real-estate and business crowdlending platforms, check out this article.

Crowdestor's facts & figures

Location

Tallinn, Estonia

Founded in

2017

Number of investors

9,207

Loans amount financed

€ 25,200,897

As of January 2020

Who can invest at Crowdestor

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have an active bank account in one of the European Union or EEA banks.
Crowdestor 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.