Kuetzal's "Velox Latvija" project

Kuetzal review – Speculative investments with great returns

So, Kuetzal turned out to be a scam

As of late 2019 and early 2020, many doubts arised about Kuetzal; Jørgen from Financially Free compiled a long list of concerns. Shortly after that, investors were quickly unable to withdraw their money, and after a long silence from the platform there was an announcement that the company would discontinue its operations. Invested capital will supposedly be reimbursed – but in all honesty I have many doubts about this -.

The best way to get information (in spite of a lot of noise) is to join the telegram channel dedicated to Kuetzal.

Also, if you lost money with Kuetzal, file a complaint with the Estonian police. You may use this pre-filled complaint form regarding Kuetzal to save yourself some time. The e-mail adresses of the relevant recipients can be found at the top of the document.

In spite of receiving some critics for this action, I’m leaving the below reviews as is. It will serve me as a reminder to I have to be more careful about the information I present to my reader. Bloggers got a lot of bad press after the Kuetzal fiasco, and while each investor is responsible for their own actions, some of these critics are justified. We indeed have our share of responsibility for having been guilible.

Kuetzal’s overview

Kuetzal is a crowdlending platform for business and real-estate projects. Loans commonly yield interest rates higher than 15%, for duration of one year and more. Most of them are secured by a buyback guarantee.

My opinion on Kuetzal

The large number of questions surrounding Kuetzal (see Kuetzal’s controversies below) lead me to decrease my rating until the company provides better answers. For now, although all repayments were made on time and my performance is still excellent, my trust towards the platform has decreased significantly. Kuetzal’s competitors Crowdestor and Envestio will allow investors to invest with more confidence.

Detailed ratings

Performance

The performance of my Kuetzal portfolio is excellent.

Loans liquidity

The loans amounts are rather large, but there aren’t many of them.

Reporting

The reporting is currently very basic.

Buyback guarantee

For selected projects, the capital is secured by a buyback guarantee which triggers after a 60 days delay.

Website ergonomics

The website is rather simple but pleasant to use.

Kuetzal’s pros & cons

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Funded businesses belong to various industries, allowing for a diversified loans portfolio
  • Kuetzal Care guarantee ensures that these projects will get funded

Cons

  • Many questions surround the platform
  • Not all projects are covered by the buyback guarantee
  • Minimal investment amount is €100 per project

Loans characteristics

Loans duration

Long-term : more than one year

Loans kinds

Business

Minimal investment

€ 100

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

EUR – Euro

Overview of Kuetzal’s loans

All loans are in Euro, with durations between 12 months and 48 months. Most of them have fixed interest rates, usually ranging from 14% to 21%. There used to be one loan with variable returns; however, it didn’t get funded – probably because of the 6% interest rate – and ended up being canceled.

While the website provides an indication of the amount already financed, the deadline for the projects only appears a few day before it expires.

Current loans mostly finance Latvian companies, although one of them is for a UK firm. The projects financed belong to various sectors :

  • real-estate
  • online payment solutions
  • trailer and truck reseller
  • crypto-mining
  • renewable energy
  • mobile game
  • cranberry products manufacturer
Kuetzal's projects
Kuetzal's projects

One interesting aspect is that projects covered by the Kuetzal Care feature (currently all of them) are guaranteed to be funded. Another advantage is that interests are computed from the day the investment is made; there’s no need to wait for complete funding. All projects yield interests monthly.

Prospective investors should take note the borrower for most real-estate loans is the same company (SIA AA Development); for diversification’s sake, I strongly advise against investing in several loans to the same entity.

Minimal investment amount per project is € 100, an amount identical to CrowdEstate or TFGcrowd, but higher than Crowdestor‘s € 50 or Monethera‘s € 1. The main drawback of this large threshold is the inability to diversify small portfolios. On the plus side, the invested amount doesn’t have to be a multiple of € 100, which is nice when it comes to re-investing interests.

Loans volume

The amount financed varies greatly from one project to another, but most are at least € 100,000. As of August 2019, the total value of the available and past projects is more than nine million euros !

There are usually two or three new project each month. If the largest ones may require several weeks to get totally funded, the € 40,000 requested in August to renovate a restaurant were funded in less than one day !

Buyback guarantee

Kuetzal‘s website initially provided few details on this essential aspect. Fortunately, since the last update, a matching item has been added to the FAQ.

The buyback guarantee is available on most projects. It provides two main benefits :

  • opportunity to sell your investment back to the platform (see Early exit below).
  • guarantee to get your money back, at most 2 months after a default

Until now, there hasn’t been any delayed repayment or default, and only loan has been repaid in full. However, this was under special circumstances : indeed, the borrower has provided incorrect information when they applied for the loan. As a result, the agreement was terminated and invested capital was returned to investors.

Kuetzal’s controversies

The least one can say is that Kuetzal has been heavily criticized in late 2019.

First, many investors pointed out a lack of due diligence, as several loans were granted to apparently shady businesses. In addition, several changes at the platform (new CEO, new bank account) prompted investors to question the seriousness of the platform even further.

Jørgen from Financially Free has written a very detailed article about Kuetzal which sums up the situation perfectly; I strongly encourage investors to read it.

Track record

As all loans are long-term, the platform has very little track record in term of successful reimbursement. Indeed, as of December 2019, only one loan was totally reimbursed.

Until now, all repayments were made on time and no project defaulted.

Platform’s features

Early exit

Early exit available

Investing methods

Manual investing

Buyback

Kuetzal doesn’t offer a secondary market. However, as mentioned above, investments that come with a buyback guarantee can be withdrawn from, although there’s a steep 10% associated fee.

There used to be a small bit of confusion regarding the name of this feature (it was called Investment Return in the FAQ), but now the same term is used everywhere.

Manual investing at Kuetzal

Overall, investing manually at Kuetzal is straightforward. The descriptions for the projects are detailed and easy to read.

Excerpt of a project's description at Kuetzal
Excerpt of a project's description at Kuetzal

New projects are announced by e-mail, and sometimes on Kuetzal‘s Facebook page.

Auto-invest

Currently, only manual investing is possible. I’m not fond of auto-invest for business projects anyway; moreover, the small number of available projects makes it easy to invest manually.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, Spanish, German

Funding methods

Kuetzal’s registration process

Registering with Kuetzal is very quick and easy. There’s no KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure for now, so investors don’t even need to upload a copy of their id.

Account funding and funds withdrawal

Website’s design and ergonomics

Thanks to its simplicity, Kuetzal‘s website is very easy to navigate. One minor annoyance is that it’s impossible to open several projects on new tabs, as the links use JavaScript.

Available languages & translations quality

In addition to the English translation, Kuetzal‘s website is also available in German and Spanish. Apart from a few initial typos which got corrected, the English translation is great.

Reporting

The reporting is very limited; there’s only a list of investments, as well as a useful repayment schedule.

Documentation

Kuetzal’s FAQ is rather complete and has been much improved since its inception. Apart from it, there’s little documentation available.

Support

It’s possible to contact the platform via e-mail or by phone.

Communication from the platform​

Kuetzal notifies investors by e-mail when new projects are available for funding.

There also used to be notifications when incoming funds reached the investor’s account, as well as for reimbursements; however, I haven’t received them for some time.

Actual performance of my Kuetzal portfolio

0,00%

At the end of February 2020, the XIRR for my Kuetzal portfolio was 0,00%.

This result is nothing short of excellent, and I will keep on increasing the size of my Kuetzal portfolio when new loans are available !

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 Kuetzal portfolio in December 2018.

Kuetzal's main competitors

For a detailed comparison of the different real-estate and business crowdlending platforms, check out this article.

Kuetzal's facts & figures

Location

Tallinn, Estonia

Founded in

2018

As of August 2019

Who can invest at Kuetzal

There are no geographical and nationality restrictions to become an investor at Kuetzal. As a general practice, we do not accept investors as well as projects related to, or coming from blacklist countries.

Kuetzal FAQ

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.

17 thoughts on “Kuetzal review – Speculative investments with great returns”

    • Hi Peter,

      Trouble is that the meaning of “buyback” isn’t really standardized. For a long time, most platforms used this term to denote the fact that the originator will buy back a delayed loan (for Mintos or Grupeer). But now, several companies like Fast Invest or Envestio use it to denote the ability to sell the loan back to the company.

      I’ve also been in touch with Kuetzal regarding this aspect in late December, and they confirmed that what they call buy-back is the fact that investors can sell the loan back to Kuetzal. To make things even less clear, they also call it “investment return” in other places. At the same time, I agree that according to the e-mail on your blog, this also seems to mean that investors will get their money back in case of a default; it’s unfortunate that it’s not mentioned anywhere in the FAQ (and overall that they’re not more precise regarding an important aspect of the investment).

      I’ll get in touch with them again just to make things 100% clear. Well, let’ make it 95% 🙂

      Have a great day & keep in touch

      Jérôme

      Reply
  1. So is it buyback guaranteed, or not?
    I’m still confused.
    (Thanks to clarify)
    And, by the way as a brand new one, here: hello to you all!
    😉
    Is it reasonable to invest a big amount in any of your prefered platform, or should one do this slowly with just a little bit of money at a time?
    (In other words: is it risky?)

    Reply
    • Hi Galia,

      Kuetzal offers a buyback guarantee, but not on every project. If you check the projects list, a handy “Buy-back” label will appear on projects with such guarantee. Out of 4 projects currently available, 2 are covered by the buyback guarantee.

      I always encourage investors to diversify their investments, and to increase their stakes slowly; the latter point is especially important for real-estate and business platforms, where loans are usually very large but not very frequent. Spread your investments on several platforms (we’re currently kind of spoiled with choice), and invest your whole amount over a 6 months period; it will lower the risks and you’ll be more confident to invest more as you see interests kicking in.

      These investments are always risky (you don’t get 15%-20% annually without risk !); however, even without a buyback guarantee, my understanding is that the greatest risk in case of a default is the delay in getting your funds back, more than capital loss. For example, CrowdEstate is still struggling with legal proceedings from a default going back 2 years ago !

      Have a great day,

      Jérôme

      Reply
    • There’s been a lot of controversy indeed, and I can’t deny that Jorgen’s last visit to Kuetzal did little to appease investors’ fears. I plan to add a new content block for several platforms (also including Monethera and Wisefund) in order to mention recent controversies – and remind once again that these high-yielding investments don’t come without risk ! –

      Reply
    • Hi Didier,

      I have mixed feelings about Kuetzal. On the positive side, repayments are made on time.

      However, the total lack of communication is worrisome, and what puzzles me the most is the confusion about who really owns Kuetzal (as pointed out in Jorgen’s excellent article).

      Bottom line, I will think twice about growing this portfolio – there are many other great opportunities out there, so why take risks ? -. At the same time, for now I didn’t withdraw any money. My Kuetzal portfolio is small enough, and many projects are obviously legit, so I see no point in panicking.

      Overall, this emphasizes once more the need to size portfolios appropriately, and diversify investments.

      Have a great day !

      Reply
  2. Just want to share my situation with Kuetzal. I transfer money to my account in Kuetzal and I never see it again. I contact them several times and always without an response. Is there any platform where I can submit a complaint?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Ricardo, can you elaborate ? Did you transfer money and it didn’t appear on your account ? Or were you unable to withdraw it ? (Feel free to send a message using the contact form if you don’t want to share it publicly).

      What I can advise you first is to closely follow the comments on Jørgen’s article. Until now, although there are many delays and worries about several projects, no fraudulent act was actually committed. Then, one way to file a complaint may be the FIN-NET network (disclaimer : I just google it and never heard about it before).

      Reply
  3. Hello Jerôme,

    Greetings from Portugal!!

    I cant find information in the faqs about the early exit. Do i need to email them to exit an investiment?

    Best regards,
    Marco

    Reply
    • According to the FAQ (it’s located under the “Can I cancel my investment? ” topic, so it’s a bit hard to find), it has to be done by e-mail : “Yes, you can get your money back any time, with requesting us by e-mail, if particular project was supported with Investment Return. The request must be lodged in electronic form via e-mail info@kuetzal.com or by contacting your personal Kuetzal agent.”.

      According to the comment on Jørgen’s article (link inside the review), buybacks are processed but may take a long time.

      Have a great day !

      Reply
  4. Hello Jerome:
    On 23th I requested a withdrawing of 94€. Today 7th January the money is not in my bank . That means 2 weeks even in hollidays. Someone is having those delays?
    Othe problem is that horrid “bank” they are working with. PAPAYA. Even if a day that work really is a filial of a bank in Gibraltar so problems after Brexit.
    The real problem is that Kuetzal have no good communication policy or , better said, they have none.
    Any way muchas gracias
    Fernando

    Reply
  5. As RICCARDO, i made a payment transfer the 30th of December to my account. They money doesn’t appear on my account. I tried several time to contact them by e-mail and by phone…but nothing. I’m very worried. Some news??? Pls help. Is it possible to do something?

    Reply
    • There’s been zero news from the company. My wife is till waiting for a withdrawal request to reach her bank account.

      I strongly encourage you to follow the developments on Jorgen’s article and the associated comments, as there are many more people commenting there, so news are likely to be much more up-to-date !

      Reply

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