My opinion on Grupeer
Grupeer’s pros & cons
- Great interests rates
- Large loans volumes
- Several originators available allow to diversify your portfolio
- Even development projects are covered by the buyback guarantee
- Frequent cash-back campaigns allow you to make an additional 1%
- No secondary market
- Portfolio statistics could be richer
- Support needs to be improved
Grupeer’s loans overview
Grupeer provides only secured loans in Euro. Initially the loans supply was very scarce, and my original review showed a screenshot of the five available loans as I wrote it !
Fortunately, things have changed for the best and there are now many loans to invest into. Many of them offer annual rates of 13% for a duration of less than one year; the lowest interest rate found on the platform is 10%, and they can reach 14%.
The large loans amount and volume usually means that investors are usually unlikely to have liquidity’s concerns. However, as of late October 2018, all loans were sold out. New loans were added in November, with lower interest rates though : most of them yielded 12%. In December, the situation was basically normal again, with 13% loans being readily available.
There are many originators[?] available. This allows you to diversify your portfolio by spreading your investments among several originators. Clicking on a originator’s name will give you details about the loan, especially the buyback conditions.
Like several competitors, Grupeer uses a mechanism called “skin in the game”, which means that the originator has to keep a part of the loan (5% at Grupeer). If you look at a project’s details, you will notice that if for example the loan amount is €200 000, the initial available amount is only €190 000 – 95% of the loan amount -. The originator itself has invested the remaining 5%. This mechanism encourages the originators to provide quality loans, as they will be directly impacted if the borrower defaults !
Business loans or development projects ?
Loan deals and development projects offer similar expected returns and durations; however, the financed amounts are much larger for development projects.
Until recently, most financed projects were located in the Baltic states; the largest project financed through the platform was Promenada, a real-estate project.
However, Grupeer has since started listing projects in Norway. Named Eidsvoll and Svolvaer, they were larger than €500 000. 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 them may perceive as safer.
Another recent change is the availability of amortizing loans; these loans are less risky, as the capital is reimbursed gradually, instead of being repaid totally at maturity date.
All projects are described in great details, as can be partially seen on the above screenshot.
Grupeer’s buyback guarantee
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.
Buyback usually happens when loans are 60 days late or more. However, it may happen earlier for some loans; for example, one of the loans issued by Russian originator Finsputnik Platforma SIA will trigger the buyback after only 15 days ! The investor will be compensated for the outstanding principal and accrued interest that didn’t get reimbursed. Until now, none of my loans has defaulted. Note that buyback guarantee also covers the current development projects.
As mentioned before, you can find the buyback information on the loan’s detailed description.
Grupeer used to regularly run cash-back campaigns, meaning they credit your account with a small percent of your new investments in specified loans. Usually, they give back 1% of the amount invested in selected loans. The loans featuring this offer are highlighted by a blue € icon (see for example Primo Invest SIA in the loans list screenshot above).
In 2018, such campaigns were not frequent; however, in 2019 there were many of them, usually to encourage investors to try out new originators. For example, as I’m updating this article in late April 2019, there are loans from PlanetaCash that yield 13% annually, but with an added 2% cashback, the returns are boosted to an excellent 15% !
There’s currently no secondary market; it’s supposed to arrive soon but the release date keeps on slipping so don’t hold your breath !
It’s extremely easy to invest manually via Grupeer; that’s actually how I manage my portfolio there. 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 – including the opportunity to invest only in the newly introduced amortizing loans -. 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. Also, ironically, the FAQ mentions the secondary market, which doesn’t exist yet.
Website’s ease of use
English, Русский, Deutsch, Français, Español
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 translation is sometimes weird; several parts didn’t even get translated.
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 Costumer) 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 either via SEPA transfer, or via Transferwise. SEPA transfer are handled very quickly; funds are usually available on my investment account two days after I initiate the transfer.
Similarly, withdrawals via a SEPA transfer usually appear on my bank account after two business days.
Website’s design and ergonomics
Their website is rather basic but works well. It’s very readable and the menus are straightforward; even on a mobile phone, it’s a pleasure to use it ! However, I noticed a small glitch when investing from my mobile phone; it may be difficult to confirm investments. There’s supposed to be a blue icon at the top of the screen, but it doesn’t appear on my phone. I have to click on the “Grupeer” logo to switch to a page where it’s visible !
The lack of an XIRR computation is annoying. Apart from this negative aspect, again thanks to the small amount of loans, there’s no need for much reporting. However, what I would love to see is a breakdown of my investments by originator. This would allow investors to check if their portfolio is diversified enough.
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 -.
it’s possible to get in touch with Grupeer via phone or e-mail.
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. I thus consider the support to be one of Grupeer’s weak points.
Communication from the platform
Investors will receive notifications from Grupeer when payments are made. Initially this aspect was poorly handled, as Grupeer 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; investors will also be notified of important projects or new originators.
Actual performance of my Grupeer portfolio
Grupeer‘s website unfortunately doesn’t provide us with any XIRR computation. I thus had to compute it manually; it resulted in a nice value of 14.68% at the end of May 2019 !
In 2018 I mostly invested in loans yielding 14%, and boosted my returns through cashback campaigns. I unfortunately expect the portfolio’s performance do decrease a bit, as in 2019 most loans I invest in yield only 13%.
Grupeer’s main competitors
One of Grupeer‘s main strengths compared to its rivals is the buyback guarantee; it compensates the slightly lower returns. Also, Grupeer’s loans are more uniform : they all have basically the same yield and duration. It makes it very easy to invest there.
What Grupeer lacks is a secondary market, which several competitors provide.
Performance-wise, Grupeer’s returns should be below what I achieve with my portfolios at Envestio or Crowdestor; it’s the price to pay for the buyback guarantee and less risky loans ! On the other hand, CrowdEstate and EstateGuru offer lower interest rates for their real-estate loans, but have a longer history of successfully reimbursed projects and a larger loans volume.
Grupeer’s facts and figures
Number of investors10 219
Loans amount financed€ 44 864 601
As of June 2019
Who can invest
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.