Investly review : let’s invest in invoice finance

Investly review : let’s invest in invoice finance

Investly’s overview

Investly is a P2P lending company focusing on invoice finance. Loans are available in GPB and EUR; for Euro loans, the interest rates for short-term loans are between 8% and 9%.

My opinion on Investly

Overall, Investly‘s offered interest rates are way too low to be worth investing. The only positive aspect is the large loans volume, allowing a certain diversification.

Detailed ratings

Interest rates

Current interest rates are definitively not worth it.

Loans liquidity

There are new loans daily.

Reporting

Apart from the lack of an XIRR, it’s very complete.

Buyback guarantee

No buyback is available.

Website ergonomics

The website is very pleasant to use, including on mobile phone.

Investly’s pros & cons

Pros

  • User-friendly website

Cons

  • Very low interest rates

Loans characteristics

Loans duration

Less than 1 month

1 month to 1 year

Loans kind

Business

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback guarantee

NO buyback guarantee

Currencies

Euro

GBP

Unsecured loans

Invoice finance’s principle is very simple : when a firm is waiting to be paid by a costumer (often 1 or 2 months later), Investly loans them the money for this duration. It allows the creditor to keep investing instead of waiting to be paid.

You may invest in both British Pound and Euro. This review will focus on the Euro loans. Of course the mechanics are the same for GBP loans, however the interest rates may differ.

Please not that due to confidentiality issues, Investly requested that I blur the companies names, as this constitutes private information. That seemed like a totally reasonable request (it’s actually stated in the website’s general terms) so I updated the pictures.

The interest rate is set through an auction, so the actual rate is usually lower than the initial one. My initial review of Investly was rather positive, as the offered interest rates were rather interesting for business loans. However, they have decreased a lot. My first investments often offered more than 12%; now the interest rate usually varies between 8 and 9%, for very short term durations (less than 2 months). It mostly depends on the debtor’s credit rating.

The information provided for each loan are rather succinct, but sufficient to take an informed decision. Here’s a screenshot of a closed auction : the initial interest rate was 18% but it went down to 12%. You can see the name of the buyer and seller, their credit rating and their annual turnover. The colored bar shows the status of financed invoices; you can hover the cursor over each segment to see the matching amount.

I find the auction process a bit counter-intuitive. There’s a FAQ item on this topic and I strongly advise you to read it (even twice 🙂 ). My understanding is that the process takes into consideration the offered interest rates in increasing order (identical bids are sorted by time). Their amount is summed up until the total reaches or exceeds the loan amount. The important thing is that the awarded interest rate is not the one you bid, but the one of the last bid necessary to reach the loan amount. In other words it may very well exceed your bid, sometimes by 1 or 2% !

As you can see in the comments below, many investors voiced concerns about Investly’s recovery process; this is also of course slightly worrisome. However, while I’ve had several delayed payments, only one of my loans is still late and it looks like it won’t default.

Buyback guarantee

The loans are not guaranteed. One missing information on Investly is an overview of all past invoices, showing the default statistics. The “auctions history” button allows you to visualize the past invoices and their status, but only display a few of them at a time. If you scroll back in time, you can see a few overdue loans

In case of an overdue loan, you may click on the “Collection history” link of the invoice screen in order to show the steps taken.

Platforms features

Secondary market

NO secondary market

Auto-invest

Auto-invest available

Secondary market

There’s currently no secondary market. The loans are rather short-term, between 2 weeks and 2 months usually so it probably won’t be a concern.

Auto-invest feature

Most investors use the auto-invest feature, called “autobidder” at Investly. It’s very easy to setup, as we only have to specify the interest rate and investment amount for each credit rating.

One word of caution, though : if you consider updating the settings then change your mind, you may actually turn off the auto-bidder by mistake. Indeed, in order to modify them, you have to click on “Deactive / Change”, which will let you edit the values but will also turn it off. So, if you don’t change anything, don’t forget to press “Activate” again ! The green/red icons on the left of the currency name will remind you of the auto-bidder state. In my case the GPB auto-bidder is turned of as I only invest in Euro loans.

Note that initial my settings shown here were extremely optimistic, which explains why I had troubles investing all my funds.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, Estonian

Funding methods

Website’s design and ergonomics

My first impression was that the website was rather basic. However as time went by, I really appreciated its responsiveness. It’s easy to miss the information provided by the colored bars (in the account or the loan information screen for example) but once you notice them, they provide a quick way to visualize information.

The mobile version of Investly is very pleasant to use, thanks to the simple design. The only noticeable glitch is that the auctions history is too wide, requiring you to scroll horizontally in order to view the interest rate column.

The company seems to put a lot of work on their website, and it often evolves in order to offer new features or improved usability.

Reporting​

The loans overview is very readable. It breaks down your investments by industry, and displays a cash flow estimate.

Support

I got in touch with the support some time ago with a question regarding the auction process. The reply arrived in 2 days, which is a bit slower than competitors but still perfectly acceptable. Moreover, they got in touch with me again later in order to make sure my issue was resolved. I greatly appreciated that follow-up !

I was also contacted by Investly’s CFO who asked for some additional details on the small usability issues I mention in this article. It’s great to see that Investly listens to users’ comments !

Actual performance of my Investly portfolio

What a disappointment ! After having great results with my initial investments, my current XIRR is only 8.95% as of March 23rd, 2018. It’s obviously extremely low, actually the lowest returns among all my P2P lending portfolios !

Investly’s competitors

Investly’s facts and figures

Location

Tallinn, Estonia – London, UK
As of November 2018

Disclosure

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.

5 thoughts on “Investly review : let’s invest in invoice finance”

  1. When things go well, Investly is great but there are several large unpaid invoices on the platform which are overdue for more than 60 days but without any exercise of recourse / guarantee provided by the seller of the receivable. There are very few updates on the status of these receivables (some of which are even credit insured).They are often very slow to respond and the amount of details provided is extremely limited.

    The company is run by a bunch of amateurs. Their so called CFO has no formal credit training and in fact this is his first job straight out of uni – nothing wrong with that but when you’re doing something involving other people’s money, you’d like to believe that platforms have some sort of fiduciary responsibility. The platform has promise but I would really stay away until they are able to fix how the manage claims of unpaid invoices.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your comment ! One of my loans is currently late, so we’ll see how it turns out.

      As I mentioned in the comments, it’s a pity that Investly doesn’t offer statistics about past loans.

      • I have had the same experience. Once an invoice is no paid, they really do not know what to do to get the money back, or just do not care about getting it back. Information about collection of bad debts is almost non-existent…and what information they do share shows they are very slow and incompetent about recovering bad debts. I can see why they do not post statistics about bad loans and people’s money they have lost – it would show that they really are not good at recovering bad debts. This web site is best avoided unless their debt recovery process improves….there are so many better websites to use …. avoid this one !

  2. June email from Investly.
    Below you will find an overview of financing activity in June. Overall volume was close to €1.9 million (converted from pounds).

    Invoice discounting (United Kingdom)
    month volume: £322,651
    historical annualised return: 11.97%
    average duration: 44 days
    overdue rate*: 0.00%
    default rate*: 1.63%
    out of that:
    recovered: 78.8%
    written off: 0.00%
    in collection: 21.2%

    Invoice discounting (Estonia)
    month volume: €1,527,175
    historical annualised return: 9.84%
    average duration: 34 days
    overdue rate*: 0.13%
    default rate*: 3.0%
    out of that:
    recovered: 14.7%
    written off: 0.04%
    in collection: 85.2%
    * When an invoice is fully or partially overdue more than 45 days, the outstanding amount is counted as overdue. If more than 120 days have passed since the payment date, the outstanding amount is counted as defaulted. The share of defaulted invoices that have been repaid are marked recovered. Debts that cannot be recovered are written off. A 90% recovery rate means 90% of the amount of defaults have been recovered.

    My comment:
    In their most recent June 2018 email to investors they write that the default rate on Estonian loans is 3,00% against a default rate of 1,63% for their UK business. Yet interest rates are much higher in the UK. Clearly in Estonia they have far too many investors ready to take risk at the wrong price.

    • Hi Gian Piero,

      I agree with your comment; it’s actually quite surprising to see higher rates in the UK than in the Baltics, as for most P2P companies the situation is the opposite. I don’t know why invoice finance is in such high demand in Estonia !

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