My opinion on PeerBerry
If it weren’t for the slightly lower returns than for most competitors and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, I would grant PeerBerry four stars.
It’s indeed hard to find fault with it. First, it’s a profitable platform which features many solid loan originators. Moreover, communication and transparency are both excellent, and the platform’s ergonomics is great. Overall, compared to other loans marketplaces Mintos or Iuvo, PeerBerry clearly stands out in every aspect.
Apart from the slightly deceiving the slightly deceiving performance, PeerBerry’s only drawback are the lack of a secondary market, as well as the necessity to actively manage one’s portfolio due to the frequent interest rate changes.
The performance of my PeerBerry portfolio is slightly lower than for most competitors.
There’s a large amount of loans, but the competition for high-yield loans is fierce.
Reporting used to be rather poor but now offers many features.
Transparency & reliability
Transparency has greatly improved since PeerBerry started operating. Moreover, this marketplace features many solid loan originators.
Thanks to the user-interface redesign, the ergonomics of PeerBerry’s website is now on par with most competitors’.
PeerBerry's pros & cons
- Great diversification thanks to a large number of loan originators
- Many lending companies belong to the profitable financial group Aventus Group
- PeerBerry itself is a profitable entity
- Excellent handling of both Covid-19 and impact of the war in Ukraine
- No secondary market
- Lower actual performance than many competitors
- Fluctuating interest rates make investing at PeerBerry a rather "hands-on" experience
Short-term : less than one month
Medium-term : one month to one year
Long-term : more than one year
Buyback guarantee available
EUR – Euro
Overview of PeerBerry's loans
PeerBerry offers only loans in Euro. They all yield interests monthly.
The minimal investment is €10, which is the standard amount for P2P loans.
As of July 2022, most available loans are short-term loans from Poland, which yield 12% annually. Other peer-to-peer loans include loans from Moldova with 13% interest rates.
In addition, there’s also a large supply of real-estate loans from Lithuania with a 11% interest rate, and a small number of business loans – also from Lithuania – which finance a renewable energy company yielding 10% yearly.
Interest rates mostly fluctuate in the 9% – 13% range depending on the supply and demand. Compared to most competitors, they tend to change more frequently – usually on a monthly basis -.
In addition to the three countries listed above, PeerBerry regularly lists loans from Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Romania and Philippines.
Moreover, PeerBerry is expected to list loans from Kenya and Czech Republic in automn 2022.
PeerBerry's Customer Loyalty Program
Investors with a large portfolio will be rewarded by a greater interest rate after 3 months on the platform. The bonus starts at an additional 0.5% for portfolios larger than €10,000, and can be as high as 1% for €40,000 portfolios.
Compared to Robocash‘s Loyalty Bonus, PeerBerry‘s offer is roughly equivalent. The main difference is that Robocash offers a finer granularity, as well a extra perks for higher levels, such as a personal assistant.
For a long time, I didn’t notice any actual cash drag at PeerBerry. However, during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, the loans supply took a large hit as lending companies focused on only on the most reliable borrowers.
As a result, the loans volume was divided by two compared to January 2020 ! Moreover, thanks to their excellent handling of the Covid-19 crisis, the success of the platform among investors caused the demand for loans to overcome supply in August 2020.
The loans volume also decreased sharply after Russia invaded Ukraine, because of PeerBerry’s loans book had a large exposure to these two countries. However, the loans volume once more quickly resume its upwards trend.
Overall, although it’s always possible to invest large sums at PeerBerry without fearing a lengthy cash drag, it will be much harder to do so if targeting only high-yield loans.
To date, the total volume invested on the platform is close to €1,200,000,000. It’s a respectable figure, which has doubled in a small time. Although it’s nearly six times smaller than at Mintos, I would say that PeerBerry focuses on quality rather than quantity.
The buyback guarantee covers both capital and accrued interests. It triggers after a 60 days delay.
Platform’s transparency and reliability
Thanks to their great management of the Covid-19 crisis, *PeerBerry is considered as a very reliable platform.
Similarly, the consequences of the war in Ukraine – which could potentially causes large losses to investors in Ukraine or Russia – are until now limited. Although the process isn’t completed yet, lending companies started to reimburse the borrowed capital using their own funds. As of July 2022, more than one third of the outstanding amounts have been reimbursed !
Moreover, the fact that most loan originators on the platform are subsidiaries of the large, profitable Aventus Group is a very positive aspect.
PeerBerry’s background and team
PeerBerry has its offices in Vilnius, Lithuania but is currently registered in Croatia. The platform was first registered in Latvia, but moved to Croatia due to the more business-friendly environment.
PeerBerry was originally launched by Aventus Group in order to fund its loans portfolio but has since become an independent entity.
Indeed, since January 2018, it’s owned by two private individuals. Another change is that it started to list loans from other originators. In this regard, it’s now a loans marketplace comparable to Mintos or Iuvo.
PeerBerry’s website lists nine employees, and provides links to their LinkedIn profiles. Current CEO Arunas Lekavicius has a long experience in lending and banking.
I greatly appreciate the availability of the platform’s financial reports. Unfortunately, unlike the one provided by Mintos or EstateGuru, it didn’t get audited. Profit for 2021 amounted to roughly two million Croatian kuna, which is equivalent to €250,000.
Like most competitors, PeerBerry displays many details about the borrower and loan purpose. However, while having information about the borrower is crucial for business and real-estate loans, it doesn’t matter much for P2P loans.
Loan originators reliability
There are currently slightly less than thirty loan originators at PeerBerry. This figures includes lending companies in Ukraine, but excludes Russian entities.
The largest share of loans on the platform come from originators which are subsidiaries of Aventus Group. Another 15% are issued by subsidiaries of Gofingo, while the remaining 5% mostly come from LitHome, an issuer of real-estate loans. Finally, another real-estate development group called SI Baltic started provided loans in August 2020.
I used to dislike the lack of information provided about the loan originators, as well as the poor readability of the data. Fortunately, the related screens have been totally re-designed. They now contain a lot of useful data for each lending company :
- A short description of the company
- Country of operation
- Creation date, number of employees
- Portfolio size
- Loan kind and average interest rate
Links to the annual financial reports are also provided. Many of them underwent an audited and got translated to English.
One drawback of the platform is the lack of rating for originators, so it’s hard to evaluate their reliability. ExploreP2P used to provide useful independent ratings, but has discontinued them due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, which is hard to evaluate.
Aventus Group provides a group guarantee – which means that if a lending company from Aventus Group defaults, the buyback guarantee will be fulfilled by Aventus Group -. However, several investors voiced concerns that this group guarantee may actually be meaningless, as Aventus Group isn’t a legal entity. The debate has never really been settled, and most investors seem to trust Aventus Group thanks to their excellent handling of both Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.
Finally, new loan originators are regularly added to the platform. For example, in December 2021, Litelektra was introduced. This renewable energy produces is co-owned by Gofingo Group shareholders.
Several platforms such as CrowdEstate, Mintos and ViaInvest applied for and received a license. On the other hand, competitor Robocash mentioned that they don’t need to be licensed. So, where does PeerBerry stand when it comes to regulation ?
This topic was tackled by PeerBerry’s Head Of Marketing and Communications on Telegram. When it comes to getting regulated, the platform’s plans are quite clear. Indeed, they plan to split their activities between two entities.
Crowdfunding is for funding real estate, business projects, agro, and renewable energy, but not for short-term loans. That is why PeerBerry moves further with two platforms – regulated platform Crowdpear will offer what falls under the crowdfunding regulation, and PeerBerry will continue offering short-term and leasing loans (what is not a subject of crowdfunding) until the EU-level regulation for this type of business will be launched.
As a side note, several investors hinted that PeerBerry’s change of registration from Latvia to Croatia was due to the heavier regulations in Latvia, which makes it harder for businesses to expand.
Reporting & statistics availability
PeerBerry provides statistics about the platform’s loans book. It’s possible to visualize it by loan type, loan originator.
As of July 2022, around 87% of the outstanding loans are current. It’s an excellent figure, as this ratio is usually much lower at most competitors.
Please note that war-impacted loans are counted separately.
Overall, it’s safe to say the most loans marketplaces haven’t lived up to investors’ expectations. Indeed, several Mintos originators are suspended or defaulted, causing losses for investors. Similarly, larges losses are expected after Viventor‘s downfall.
By contrast, PeerBerry investors didn’t have to suffer any loss. Unlike most competitors, this platform seems to be much more cautious about which loan originators are accepted on the platform. It’s also helped by the rather conservative politics of Aventus Group, which focuses on trustworthy borrowers instead of providing loans with a high interest rate but a large default risk.
Early exit NOT AVAILABLE
Although investing automatically is much more convenient, it’s possible to invest manually at PeerBerry. The loans list can be filtered using a variety of criteria :
- interest rate
- remaining loan term
- investment amount
- loan originator
- loan type
- presence of a group guarantee
I used to have several critics in term of ergonomics. Fortunately, the screen has been re-designed and is now much more user-friendly.
For example, the originators are now grouped based on their parent company. It’s thus possible to select all loan originators which belong to Aventus Group with a single mouse click.
Moreover, it’s also possible to invest directly from the loans list, without opening the detailed loan screen. Validating the assignment agreement is done directly via a popup window, which is much more convenient.
Similarly, PeerBerry‘s auto-invest screen has undergone a great redesign. The loans originators list is now entirely visible, instead of being a drop-down box. Thanks to this new layout, additional data regarding each originator is now displayed.
I also appreciate that the number of loans matching the filters is displayed. This allows to quickly tighten or loosen the criteria depending on the results !
In addition, this screen also displays a graphical overview of the interest rates and durations for matching loans. It’s a very handy features for users who often adjust their auto-invest settings in order to try and get the highest interest rates and shortest durations.
One potential improvement would be to group the originators by parent company. This feature is available on the loans list, but for some reason wasn’t included on the auto-invest screen.
As investors regularly complain that they have idle funds, PeerBerry has now included useful advice regarding the best way to configure auto-invest.
PeerBerry's investment plans
In February 2021, PeerBerry unveiled a new feature : investment plans. They’re roughly similar to Mintos‘ or Esketit‘ strategies. That is, they are pre-configured auto-invest where investors only have to select the amount to invest.
Currently, three plans are available :
- Short-term – less than one month, interest rate of 9% or more –
- Long-term – up to five years, interest rates above 9% -. Before selecting this plan, don’t forget that due to the lack of a secondary market, you won’t be unable to resell your loans early !
- Real-estate : up to one year, at least 9% interest rates
I dedicated basically a whole article to explain why Mintos strategies are a bad idea, as they offer very little control in terms of diversification. As a result, investors using them ended up with loans from low-quality loan originators in their portfolio. However, thanks to the relative homogeneity of PeerBerry‘s loan originators, this is much less of a concern. Still, I recommend investors to spend some time configuring a custom auto-invest to their liking.
PeerBerry‘s app for Android and iOS was launched in early 2021. Until now, only competitors Mintos and Swaper provided such a feature.
It provides an overview of the loans portfolio, showing the loans statuses and diversification. It also allows to invest manually.
I find it much more convenient to check my peer-to-peer accounts using my laptop rather than an app. However, most investors who actively use the app seem overall satisfied.
There’s currently no secondary market; according to the FAQ, it’s a planned feature for long-term loans. This is one of my only reservations regarding PeerBerry. However, thanks to the large supply of short-term loans, it won’t impact all investors the same way.
Website’s ease of use
English, German, Spanish
Available languages & translations quality
PeerBerry’s website is available in English and German as well as Spanish. Overall the English translation is great.
PeerBerry's registration process
Registering a PeerBerry account is quick and easy. Since summer 2020, all investors must now complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure. Like many competitors, the platform uses Veriff, which provides a quick and streamlined identity verification process.
For some reason, I was recently requested to verify my phone number. It may be due to the release of the app, as both website and app now allow to login using a phone number.
Account funding and funds withdrawal
The only way to add funds to your investor’s account is via a SEPA transfer. Uploading a copy of your ID is necessary in order to withdraw funds.
Website’s design and ergonomics
While PeerBerry’s website won’t win design awards, it’s very easy to use.
The usual array of reporting screens is available at PeerBerry : account balance, transactions list, investments list.
The layout of the transactions list could be slightly improved : indeed, the top of the screen displays the transactions filters, the account summary… but it’s necessary to scroll down to see the transactions themselves.
On the dashboard, investors will be able to see their portfolio’s net annual return; however, this is the value for the expected XIRR, not the current one !
Overall, the documentation could be improved. For example, the FAQ doesn’t mention the buyback guarantee. It would also benefit from a re-ordering; indeed, it currently starts with mentioning the Loyalty program, but it would be more logical to start with the registration process. The How it works page is quite succinct.
Communication & support
PeerBerry communicates regularly through their blog. In addition, Rita (who”s the platform”s Head of Marketing and Communications) is very active on several Facebook groups related to P2P investments as well as on PeerBerry”s unofficial Telegram group, which I think is a great move. In addition to answering questions, she provides some information not available on the platform”s blog. Among these is a very handy monthly overview of interest rates changes.
This allows investors to change to their auto-invest settings accordingly.
When it comes to e-mail communication, I welcome the opportunity to configure the frequency of the account overview e-mail; it can also be disabled. Similarly, it’s possible to opt-out of the monthly newsletter.
Official PeerBerry pages on social networks
It’s possible to reach PeerBerry by live chat during business hours. The platform’s website also includes their phone number, and an e-mail address.
I got in touch with the support twice as I had questions about the buyback guarantee. The delay to reply was a bit long (usually 2 business days), but the answer was precise.
Actual performance of my PeerBerry portfolio
At the end of July 2022, the XIRR for my PeerBerry portfolio was 10,71%.
The performance of my PeerBerry portfolio isn't as high as for Esketit or RoboCash. It's partly due to the fact that I don't want to spend too much time micro-managing my portfolio, so I sometimes lose the opportunity to invest in high-yield loans.
Don't hesitate to read my most recent crowdlending portfolio review for detailed platforms performance comparison as well as historical performance.
For a detailed comparison of the different p2p-lending marketplaces, check out this article.
Portfolio creation date
I created my PeerBerry portfolio in January 2019
PeerBerry's facts & figures
Number of investors
Loans amount financed
As of November 2021
Who can invest at PeerBerry
Anyone who is at least 18 years old and who holds citizenship of a country that is not included in the Financial Action Task Force anti-money laundering (FATF AML) list can register and invest on the PeerBerry platform.
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.
1 thought on “PeerBerry review July 2022 – Widely trusted platform, slightly deceiving performance”
Muito obrigado pelo artigo! Tenho investido na peerberry e estou bastante satisfeita.
Partilho também a minha opinião sobre esta p2p no link abaixo: