Investly review : let’s invest in invoice finance

Overview of Investly

Investly is a P2P lending company focusing on invoice finance. The 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.

Unsecured loans

The interest rate is set through an auction, so the actual rate is usually lower than the initial one. It usually varies between 8 and 12%, 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.

Investly loan information

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% !

Investly’s auto-invest setup

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.

It indeeds take some time to find the ‘right’ settings, and of course I expect to have to modify them periodically.

Usually, autobidders will finance the whole invoice instantly. If it’s not the case, you’ll get an e-mail notifying you of the investment opportunity, and will be able to invest manually.

Buyback

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

Investly loan statuses

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.

Investlt overdue loan

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.

Ergonomics of Investly’s website

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.

Reporting

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

Investly reporting

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

I will report on this aspect a bit later, as my portfolio is still young.

Conclusion : my opinion about Investly

Overall, the offered interest rate is a bit low, even for very short-term loans. Loans with large volume and interest rate above 13% are rather scarce.

However, unlike payday loans, these loans are used to fund businesses, and I enjoy doing so. If your portfolio size is small, you may still enjoy great returns – with higher risks, of course -. With my small portfolio size, Investly provides a nice diversification opportunity.

Interest rateHigh-yield loans are not very frequent.
Loans availabilityThere are new loans daily
BuybackNo buyback is available
Website ergonomicsThe website is very pleasant to use, including on mobile phone
ReportingApart from the lack of an XIRR, it’s very complete
Global ratingI enjoy Investly as an additional way to invest

(last update : November 15th, 2017)

2 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.

    1. 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.

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