Grupeer provides business and real-estate loans. These loans yield between 11% and 14% annually, for a duration of one year or less. They come with a buyback guarantee, a rare occurrence for these kinds of loans !
My opinion on Grupeer
In spite of a lack of transparency – which the platform promised to address in 2020 -, Grupeer‘s great performance and overall trustworthiness still make it an excellent choice to invest in business loans.
Grupeer’s pros & cons
- Large loans volume
- Frequent cash-back campaigns allow to bump returns quickly
- No secondary market
- Overall lack of transparency regarding the platform itself and the loan originators
Overview of Grupeer’s loans
Grupeer provides only secured loans in Euro. Initially the loans supply was very scarce, and my original review showed a screenshot of the five loans which were available at that point !
Fortunately, things have changed for the best and there are now many loans to invest in. Many of them offer annual rates of 13% for a duration around one year; the lowest interest rate found on the platform is 11%, and they can reach 14%.
Both business loans and development projects are available; these two kinds of loans offer similar expected returns and durations.
Initially, most financed projects were located in the Baltic countries; the largest project financed through the platform was Promenada, a real-estate project.
However, Grupeer has since started listing projects in Norway. While their interest rate was lower than usual, at only 13% (compared to 15% for the previous projects), investors from Western Europe may enjoy the focus on locations closer to them, which they may perceive as safer.
Another recent change is the availability of new loans structures : amortizing loans and balloon loans. Amortizing loans are less risky, as the principal is reimbursed gradually, instead of being repaid totally at maturity date . On the other hand, balloon loans reimburse both principal and interests at the loan maturity.
In late October 2018, Grupeer suffered a great cash drag, as all loans were sold out for several weeks. New loans were added in November, albeit with lower interest rates : most of them yielded 12%. In December, the situation was basically normal again, with 13% loans being readily available.
With more and more originators, liquidity hasn’t been a concern in 2019 and early 2020.
The financed amount is rather small for most business loans, generally below € 50,000; on the other hand, development projects require much larger amounts. For instance, the recent project named Stange required € 3,000,000 !
There are many loan originators available – more than twenty as I’m updating this article in March 2020 -. This allows investors to diversify their loans portfolio by spreading their investments among several originators.
Unfortunately, the information provided regarding each loan originator is minimal. There’s only a small introduction to the company and a link to their website, sometimes along with an interview with the CEO. However, absolutely no financial statement is provided, which makes it hard to assess the originators’ financial stability.
In November 2019, Grupeer started providing a rating for the loan originators, as can be seen in the screenshots above. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to use this rating a criterion for the auto-invest. This feature was expected in December 2019, but as of early Spring 2020 it’s still unavailable.
Grupeer was among the first platforms to offer a buyback guarantee for development projects and business loans; this guarantee indeed used to be available only for personal loans.
The delay for this guarantee used to depend on the originator; it now seems to be uniform, and will trigger after a 60 days delay. The investor will be compensated for the outstanding principal and accrued interest that didn’t get reimbursed.
In 2020, Grupeer is also expected to introduce loans without a buyback guarantee. The increased risk should result in higher interest rates.
Platform’s transparency and reliability
Grupeer co-founder Alla Kisika has proclaimed 2020 the transparency year. By itself, it’s an admission of a certain lack of transparency until now.
First, while many competitors introduce their teams on their website, there’s very little information available on Grupeer’s website. Many of them can easily be found on the platform’s LinkedIn page – where Alla Kisika is actually mentioned as the founder -. To make things even more confusing, in an interview with P2P investing, she’s called the co-owner. There’s also no mention of the financials of the platform, or of its ownership.
Moreover, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding their main loan originator, Finsputnik. Let’s start with the fact that on their website, the company is introduced as “a provider of revolutionary b2b software”. I managed to find a recent Q&A session with Grupeer which states that Finsputnik Platforma is owned by Alla Kisika. Why all this secrecy ?
Fortunately, In terms of reliability and track record, the situation is much better. Indeed, until now, there’s been no delayed or defaulted loan (several investors actually found this slightly suspicious). Moreover, the buyback guarantee increases the safety of our investments.
There’s currently no secondary market. It’s expected to be implemented during the 1st quarter of 2020.
Manual investing at Grupeer
It’s extremely easy to invest manually via Grupeer; that’s actually how I managed my portfolio there for a long time, before auto-invest was available.
From the loans list, just click “Invest”, select the amount and validate. The loan will be added to your basket at the top of the screen. Once you’ve selected all loans to invest in, click on the basket icon and confirm your investments.
In May 2018, Grupeer added an auto-investing feature to their website. The initial version was rather basic, allowing few filters. However, it’s been revamped in November 2018, and now offers many more criteria. It’s also possible to use several auto-invest at the same time.
I mostly regret the lack of an auto-diversification feature, like the one Mintos offers.
Website’s ease of use
Grupeer’s registration process
Creating an account with Grupeer is extremely quick and easy; the amount of required information is very limited. However, due to the KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, you’ll be required to indicate the origin of funds and upload a copy of some identification.
After confirming your e-mail, your account is immediately available.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
It’s possible to fund your account only via SEPA transfer; Transferwise used to be supported but was discontinued in August 2019.
SEPA transfers are handled very quickly; funds are usually available on my investment account two days after I initiate the transfer. Similarly, withdrawals usually appear on my bank account after two business days.
Website’s design and ergonomics
On the minus side, the design of the website is rather basic and looks a bit dated; on the other hand, it’s easy to use thanks to the limited set of features. It’s also very readable and the navigation is straightforward; even on a mobile phone, it’s a pleasure to use it !
One missing feature is the ability to sort the available loans by clicking on a column (for example, to sort them by decreasing interest rate). It’s currently possible to toy with filters in order to get the desired information, but it’s not very convenient.
Available languages & translations quality
The website is available into many languages : English, Russian, German, French and Spanish; however, the translation’s quality varies greatly from one language to another. While the English version is spotless, the French one is sometimes weird; several parts didn’t even get translated.
The statistics are very limited. In early 2020, a first iteration of the portfolio statistics were released. The least I can say is that they failed to impress me. It took forever to develop this new feature, and it’s basically useless.
Let’s have a look at the diversification by loan originator : here’s what it looks like. Instead of providing a pie chart and break it down according to the total amount per loan originator, Grupeer displays the number of loans as a bar chart ! Other statistics (loan term, country) are also displayed according to the loans count, making them similarly useless.
The How it works page introducing the platform is well designed and informative; in addition, the FAQ is rather complete – although it could be improved by dividing it into small sections -.
For some reasons, the links to the various documentation pages disappear once you’re logged in.
It’s possible to get in touch with Grupeer via phone, e-mail or live chat; the latter option was added in July 2019.
I contacted the support several times by e-mail after suffering technical problems, one of which was rather serious – I was unable to invest either manually or automatically, and my account’s balance was totally wrong -. While my troubles always got resolved, I was unfortunately only mildly satisfied with the delays in answering, as well as by the answer itself. At that point, I thus considered the support to be one of Grupeer’s weak points.
Fortunately, things seem to have improved. In early 2020, I was unable to complete the recently implemented KYC check – even after filling up the required fields, I couldn’t invest or withdraw -. I thus contacted the support again, and they replied very quickly, asking me to send them the information. They validated them manually; overall, the process took less than 10 minutes. I was really impressed, especially compared to my previous experiences !
Communication from the platform
Investors will receive notifications from Grupeer when payments are made. Initially this aspect was poorly handled, the platform sent one e-mail for each payment ! Now all data is grouped together in a neat e-mail, so it’s much easier to understand what’s happening with your account.
They will also periodically send out balance reports; in addition, investors will be notified of important projects or new originators.
Actual performance of my Grupeer portfolio
At the end of February 2020, the XIRR for my Grupeer portfolio was 15,54%.
In spite of the decreased rates, I manage to maintain a good performance thanks to the cashback campaigns.
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 Grupeer portfolio in March 2017.
Grupeer's main competitors
For a detailed comparison of the different real-estate and business crowdlending platforms, check out this article.
Grupeer's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of March 2020
Who can invest at Grupeer
Persons that have reached the age of 18 years and are residents of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland and have an account with a licensed credit institution of one of these countries.
The persons that have a bank account in another country need to receive an additional confirmation from the Platform that we are ready to accept a payment from the jurisdiction they offer.
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.