Better safe than sorry
As a result, I strongly encourage my readers to be extra-careful and not invest in the following additional platforms : Monethera, Wisefund and Fast Invest. Why these three companies ? Well, a few weeks ago, Explore P2P published an interview with controversial blogger Roasted Peerduck. While I usually tend to disregard rumors spread anonymously, I can't help but notice that both Envestio and Kuetzal were both among the five platforms he mentioned as probable scams or as highly suspicious - and actually at the top of his list -.
Several thoughts I had about the Kuetzal fiasco may be found in my post about the lessons I learned from Kuetzal. It's very much a work in progress for now, as things are unfolding very quickly.
Readers may wonder why the reviews for these platforms are still online, although I now consider them as not entirely trustworthy. The reason is simple : it's a striking reminder for myself to be more careful about the platforms I recommend, and also a way to remind my readers that I have no crystal ball - at the end of the day, these reviews are only my opinion as a private investor -.
As a final word, I also strongly encourage everyone to read my article on investing mistakes. I broke several guidelines I had set for myself when investing at Envestio, and I may end up paying the price for it. Don't make the same mistake as me : set rules for your portfolios, and strictly adhere to them !
What to do if you lost money investing with Envestio
Another information source is the Facebook Group United Investors of Envestio. Unlike the telegram channel, I didn’t join it so I have no idea how useful it is.
Also, file a complaint with the Estonian police. You may use this pre-filled complaint form regarding Envestio to save yourself some time. The e-mail adresses of the relevant recipients can be found at the top of the document.
Finally, if you want to be involved in the upcoming lawsuit – which I strongly recommend -, fill up the following form in order to be added to the list of recipients. Then, there’s a GoFundMe campaign (link will be provided after signing up through the previous form) where scammed investors are required to contibute 0.8% of the claimed amount. This seems like a very reasonnable sum, and is probably the only way to gather enough money to pay for a lawyer !
Envestio offers speculative business and real-estate loans, with interest rates usually between 15% and 20%. Recent projects come with a buyback guarantee which covers at least 90% of the capital.
My opinion on Envestio
The performance of my Envestio portfolio is excellent, and if it weren’t for the much reduced loans volume in summer 2019, it would be hard to find something negative to say about this platform. With an improved liquidity, I’d bump their rating back to 4.5 stars with no hesitation !
Envestio’s pros & cons
- Very interesting interest rates
- Financed projects belong to various industries
- Ability to sell back your investments to Envestio
- A partial buyback guarantee is provided
- Much decreased liquidity in summer 2019, making it hard to diversify a large loans portfolio
Get a €5 bonus plus 0.5% cashback at Envestio ! If you register by using the links in this article, you’ll get the following advantages :
- €5 “first deposit bonus”. This bonus is paid within 24h after the moment, when at least EUR 100 big first deposit of the invited participant reaches Envestio bank account.
- 0.5% “timespan or activity bonus”, which is calculated as a percentage of the net amount, invested through the Envestio platform during 270 days from the date of completing the registration. This bonus is paid on a monthly basis, before the 5th date of current month for the previous month.
Overview of Envestio’s loans
All loans are in Euro. Interest rates typically range from 15% for real-estate projects to more than 20% for more speculative projects.
The financed projects can basically be broken down into four categories :
- Other (usually industry-related)
Most loans have a duration between six month and one year. Some projects will actually be financed in several tiers; there may be as many as ten for a single project ! Fortunately, as we’ll see below, the auto-invest feature can be configured to skip the future tiers on the same project, thus reducing the exposure to a single borrower.
An interesting aspect is that all loans currently yield interests monthly; however I advise you to check the detailed payment schedule for each project.
Finally, the minimal amount to invest in a single project is € 1. One great advantage of this extremely small minimum is that it allows you to reinvest interests. It’s very convenient compared to CrowdEstate where the invested amount must be a multiple of € 100.
Overall, I really appreciate the diversity of the investment opportunities that Envestio offers; moreover, the interest rates are very interesting.
The involved amounts are rather large; among the recent projects, the smallest financed amount was € 250,000, while the largest one was € 1,000,000.
Unfortunately, in summer 2019, the number of new projects on the platform has dropped substantially; in spite of the large amount of the new projects, there weren’t enough of them to satisfy the demand. The supply increased again in Autumn, and currently the platform published several new opportunities per month.
While the resulting diversification is lower than at Crowdestor, it will still be satisfying for most investors.
As with their competitor Kuetzal, there was initially some confusion regarding Envestio’s buyback guarantee. Indeed, in the past, the availability of this guarantee depended on the kind of loan – subordinated or secured -.
However, things have improved and all recent loans are secured debt loans. This means that at least 90% of the investment amount is secured; see this post on Envestio blog for further details. On the other hand, as often with high-return platforms, the buyback guarantee can’t be 100% trusted, as we have no way to verify if the platform has sufficient capital to execute it.
Envestio already converted several existing subordinated loans into secured loans; this increased safety came at no cost for the investor. That’s the kind of move I truly appreciate as it shows a real commitment to investors’ safety !
As of November 2019, there’s been no default or late repayment. Many loans were totally repaid, although it’s hard to tell exactly how many because many of them were funded in several tiers.
There’s no secondary market; however, Envestio offers to buy back your investment at any time. The associated cost is generally 5%, but it may vary from one project to another. As usual, I strongly advise you to invest only funds you’re not planning to need !
Manual investing at Envestio
It’s easy to invest manually at Envestio. Investors are notified of new projects by e-mail.
The projects’ descriptions are usually well-detailed; however, what is missing is a risk assessment like the one provided by CrowdEstate for its investments.
The manual investing process is straightforward; the only improvement I would suggest would be to add a confirmation of the invested amount.
The main drawback associated with manual investing is that when the loans supply is low (like in summer 2019), you may not have enough time to invest in new loans before they’re fully funded. Fortunately, Envestio finally introduced auto-invest feature.
In late July 2019, Envestio announced the availability of auto-invest. Most investors will probably welcome it, as it was getting harder and harder to invest in new projects !
Like everything else on the website, this new feature is easy to use and well documented. One very interesting aspect is that it’s possible to prevent re-investing in new loans from same originators; if you choose so, auto-invest will ignore additional tiers if you already invested in previous ones.
While using auto-invest is comfortable, I usually prefer to be able to study real-estate and business loans before I commit my money; unfortunately, it means missing out on some projects if they get funded too quickly. CrowdEstate‘s pre-booking system is an elegant solution to this problem, and I hope that Envestio will lean towards this solution.
Website’s ease of use
Envestio’s registration process
Signing-up to Envestio is really trivial. It took me less than one minute to fill up my name, birth date, country of residence. One click one the confirmation e-mail later and I was done ! Overall, registering is very straightforward.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
The only supported method to fund your Envestio account is via SEPA transfer.
For safety reasons, withdrawing money requires you to send a scan of your ID first; this is a common requirement for most platforms. Once my identify was confirmed, the funds were back to my bank account the next day ! On the other hand, my wife didn’t have such a smooth experience, and validating her document took a few days.
Note that withdrawing an amount smaller than € 5 will incur a € 2 fee. However, I hardly imagine investing withdrawing such a little sum, so it’s not a big deal !
Website’s design and ergonomics
Envestio‘s website is rather complete and overall well-designed. I initially had concerns regarding the investment process itself, as it involved browsing through several screens in a very counter-intuitive way. Fortunately, this aspect has been greatly improved. All I regret now is the lack of a confirmation when investing; make sure you input the right amount before validating !
Available languages & translations quality
Envestio‘s English version is basically perfect.
Reporting is rather basic but adequate for the small number of projects. I appreciate the handy chart showing the diversification of investments by sector. You can also see your paid interests climbing nicely, which is always a pleasant sight for investors 🙂
Also, the dashboard displays a reimbursement schedule, a very useful feature that too few platforms provide !
I appreciate the useful FAQ which is rather extensive and refreshingly free of marketing gimmicks : “Should I Really Invest Solely Through Envestio ? No. Investments through crowdfunding platforms remain risky ones, so you should not invest your entire savings in high-earning projects”.
On the other hand, there aren’t many details on the investing process itself; some more generic documentation would be welcome !
There’s a live chat available on Envestio‘s website, as well as an e-mail contact address and phone number available.
I got in touch with them using the chat after my transferred funds didn’t appear on my Envestio account. After a quick chat and an e-mail to their accounting department, they solved the problem and credited my account. The whole process took less than five minutes and I was impressed by their efficiency.
When the validation of my wife’s ID document took too long, getting in touch with the platform also helped, as they processed it immediately.
Communication from the platform
Envestio will send notifications for most transactions : funds transfer, interests and principal repayment. New projects are also announced via e-mail.
Actual performance of my Envestio portfolio
At the end of February 2020, the XIRR for my Envestio portfolio was 0,00%.
This performance is nothing short of excellent. It's tempting to grow my portfolio even further, but for diversification's sake I will keep it at its current size; indeed, it currently already weighs around 10% of my 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 Envestio portfolio in May 2018.
Envestio's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different real-estate and business crowdlending platforms, check out this article.
Envestio's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of January 2020
Who can invest at Envestio
All adults may become investors at Envestio.
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.