My favorite crowd-lending platforms – March 2019 update

Changes overview

My previous post about my favorite platforms was published in August 2018. As many new platforms appeared and a lot has changed since, it’s time for another update !

The main change since last summer is overall decreased rates for peer-to-peer loans, while at the same time several new platforms provide business and real-estate loans covered by some kind of buyback guarantee[?].

As a result of these lowered rates, I decided to remove Robocash from this list. Indeed, they decreased their interest rate from 14% to 12%, while this move solved their liquidity troubles, I consider that the platform’s lack of ergonomics aren’t worth the trouble. Their competitor Swaper is much more user friendly, but they suffer from a lack of loans which results in idle funds.

I also considered replacing Robocash with Iuvo, but it’s still a bit too early to tell whether their returns will be stable enough. Instead, I’m adding a platform the recently reviewed Ekassa. While the returns are rather low, it’s perfect for beginner investors who want to start investing in peer-to-peer loans in a trivial way.

The three other platforms I added all provide business and real-estate loans : there’s the relatively conservative EstateGuru, as well as the more speculative Kuetzal and Crowdestor; both companies are very similar to Envestio.

P2P lending platforms

As I’m writing this updated selection in March 2019, the loans to individual make up around half of my loans portfolio; they used to weigh as much as 90% when I started investing ! While these loans usually yield less than business or real-estate loans, they’re generally considered safer and most of them come with a buyback guarantee.

Mintos

Mintos is probably the leading P2P platform, thanks to their huge variety of originators.

In spite of decreased rates, Mintos is still an excellent choice for your peer-to-peer lending investments. With many currencies, more than 50 originators and every type of loans once can think of, this platform is suitable for all investors. Current interest rates are 13% or less for guaranteed loans in euro.

Ekassa

Ekassa offers a very easy way to invest in peer-to-peer loans. I’d highly recomment it to beginner investors who don’t want to bother picking up loans individually or configuring auto-invest !

They offer rather low interest rates : from 7% to 11% depending on the duration and selected strategy. However, the platform is perfect for beginners, thanks to the simplicity of their offer.

Real-estate and business crowdfunding platforms

These projects usually involve much larger amounts than P2P loans, and the loans duration is usually longer.

For a long time, Grupeer was the only platform providing a buyback guarantee for this kind of loans. Such a guarantee is now much more common; Envestio, Crowdestor and Kuetzal all offer it under some form. Be sure to check the review for details though, as the conditions vary from one platform to another and not all loans may be covered !

As usual, I incite readers to check my article on borrower default for real-life outcomes of a borrower’s default; it includes two defaulted projects at EstateGuru and CrowdEstate, which will help you evaluate the risks.

I’ve sorted these platforms by what I perceive as the increased level of risk – mostly based on their track record and interest rates -.

EstateGuru

With a large loans supply, EstateGuru allows to invest very large sums without any liquidity concern.

Not many platforms feature new loans of more than €100 000 daily, but it’s often the case for EstateGuru. Most loans yield between 10% and 11% yearly, making this platform an excellent choice for conservative investors. While the loans don’t come with a buyback guarantee, the fact that their loans are backed by collateral as well as the platform’s solid track record will put them at ease.

CrowdEstate

CrowdEstate used to be somehow victim of its success, but the larger loans supply and increased competition helped improving the situation.

For most of 2018, many projects sold out very quickly and it was hard to invest large sums on this platform. However, they greatly increased their loans supply (albeit with reduced interest rates for real-estate loans); combined with a stronger competition from Envestio, Crowdestor and Kuetzal (see below), this means that the supply and demand are now much more balanced. In addition, their business loans are still extremely competitive, with interest rates around 16%.

Just like EstateGuru, there’s no buyback guarantee for CrowdEstate loans; however, this platform also has a great track record. All in one, it obviously remains an excellent choice for real-estate and business crowdfunding.

Grupeer

Grupeer was my favorite platform a few months ago, and remains my top choice.

After suffering from a cash drag in late 2018, Grupeer has greatly expanded their loans supply by introducing new originators. As a result, the loans volume on the platform is now large enough to satisfy the demand; unfortunately, it also means that the interest rates on the platform have dropped somehow, from 13%-15% last year to 10%-14% currently.

The presence of a buyback guarantee for Grupeer’s loans has always been a key selling point for this platform; in addition, they also recently introduced loans fully backed by collateral.

On the minus side, there’s still no secondary market to sell your loans before the investment term.

Envestio

After a few months on Envestio, I’m still very impressed by this platform.

In addition to great returns (most projects yield 15% – 20% yearly), the buyback guarantee helps putting your mind at ease when investing. Another interesting feature is that although there’s no secondary market, it’s possible to sell your investments back to Envestio – for a fee, of course -.

Crowdestor

In late 2018 and early 2019, Crowdestor‘s growth has accelerated; many new projects were financed, in several domains.

Crowdestor is a serious competitor to Envestio. Their projects are very diversified, and many of them offer interest rates above 16%. Additionnally, the recent introduction of a buyback fund has increased the safety for investors. The platform’s main drawback is that most loans sell out very quickly.

Kuetzal

Kuetzal is the most recent addition to my real-estate and business loans platforms.

Although it doesn’t cover all loans, the platform offers a buyback guarantee. Interest rates are often around 18% per year, which is of course very interesting. These two aspects make Kuetzal an excellent complement to Envestio or Crowdestor.

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