Grupeer provides business and real-estate loans. These loans yield between 10% and 13% 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
While Grupeer‘s interest rates have decreased in late 2018, the performance of the platform is still very good – especially when taking advantage of the cashback campaigns -. For investors who want to start investing in loans other than individual loans, it’s an excellent choice thanks to the ease of use and great buyback guarantee.
Grupeer’s pros & cons
- Large loans volume
- Frequent cash-back campaigns allow to bump returns quickly
- No secondary market
- Support needs to be improved
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 10%, 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.
Grupeer’s cashback campaigns
Grupeer regularly runs cash-back campaigns, meaning they will immediately credit your account with a certain percent of your new investments in specified loans. They usually give back 1% of the amount invested in selected loans – although the most recent cashback campaign was 2% -. The loans featuring this offer are highlighted by a blue € icon.
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; unfortunately, at the same time as the loans volume increased, the average interest rates on the platform decreased, and the current interests rates are definitively lower than in 2018.
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 Tanem required € 710,000 !
There are many loan originators available. This allows investors to diversify their loans portfolio by spreading their investments among several originators.
In November 2019, Grupeer started providing a rating for the loan originators, as can be seen in the screenshot 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 January 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.
Until now, there was no defaulted loan or late repayment.
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. I appreciate the opportunity to export the account statement as an Excel file. 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. Also, being able to visualize the planned cash-flow would be great.
Several reporting improvements are planned in late 2019 and early 2020; as usually when it comes to Grupeer’s website, changes seem to take forever.
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. 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, 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 December 2019, the XIRR for my Grupeer portfolio was 14,68%.
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
As of January 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.