Robocash review

Table of contents

An excerpt of Robocash's loans list
An excerpt of Robocash's loans list

Robocash's overview

Through Robocash, investors can invest mostly in very short-term (one month) consumer loans or in longer-term commercial loans, yielding between 10% and 13% annually. All loans on the platform come with a buyback guarantee A buyback guarantee is a guarantee provided by the platform or a loan originator. If repayment of a loan is delayed by more than a given delay (usually 30 or 60 days), the platform or loan originator will buy back the loan. The guarantee may cover only part of the capital, or in a much more interesting case, both the capital and accrued interests. As the conditions vary from one platform to another, it’s very important to check this point. which triggers after one month.

My opinion on Robocash

At first glance, Robocash‘s offer seems less appealing than most competitors. Indeed, interest rates are lower than at Afranga or Lendermarket and roughly similar to rates at Esketit. Moreover, in terms of website ergonomics, the platform really lags behind most competitors. And finally, one may be concerned about the effect of international sanctions on Robocash Group, which originated in Russia.

However, as we will see in detail, Robocash Group is still financially very solid, and Robocash as a platform doesn’t operate in Russia. It’s thus shielded from the restrictions on transfers to / from Russia.

Overall, the group is very well managed and the platform’s risk/reward ratio is still very good.

Detailed ratings

Actual performance

My portfolio’s performance is in line with the platform’s interest rates. Considering the platform’s reliability, the returns are more than satisfying.

Loans liquidity

The loans volume is now large enough to prevent the past cash drags.

Reporting

The statistics are rather complete. However, like for the remaining of the website, their readability and usability could be improved.

Transparency & reliability

Although the information on the platform is a bit scattered, Robocash and their loan originators seem to be extremely reliable, and the platform is overall very transparent.

Website ergonomics

The platform’s website could be more polished. It pales in comparison to Lendermarket’s or Swaper’s streamlined interfaces !

Robocash's pros & cons

Pros

  • Reliability of the platform's parent company (Robocash Group)
  • Interesting geographical diversification in Asia
  • Great returns, especially when taking into account the platform's financial solidity

Cons

  • Poor ergonomics and translations
  • Lower interest rates than Afranga or Lendermarket
  • Part of the group's profits come from Russia, and are likely to suffer from the international sanctions against the country

Loans characteristics

Loans durations

Short-term : less than one month

Medium-term : one month to one year

Long-term : more than one year

Loans kinds

Individual

Business

Minimal investment

€10

Buyback guarantee

Buyback guarantee available

Currencies

EUR – Euro

Overview of Robocash's loans

All Robocash loans are in Euro. Interest rates on the platform tend to change regularly, as they’re mostly determined by supply and demand.

During the first Covid-19 wave in Spring 2020, they were increased to 14%. Later that year, they returned to 12% on September, and kept on decreasing. One more decrease was expected in early 2022. However, as the war in Ukraine broke out, the platform reversed course and increased rates instead.

Robocash's interest rates from March 2022

As a result, very short-term loans now yield 10% (they previously had single-digit interest rates). Durations above 3 months will be rewarded by 12% interest rates, while the best interest rate (13%) can be obtained by investing for one year or more.

As of April 2O22, most of the loans supply comes from Singapore, followed by Kazakhstan. Very few Filipino loans are available, and there’s no loan from Spain.

An excerpt of Robocash's loans list
An excerpt of Robocash's loans list

This situation is a great change from a few months ago, when most loans were issued in Kazakhstan. Although the loan demand tend to vary a lot throughout the year, in practice it’s doesn’t impact investors who will always find loans to invest in.

A recent improvement is that all loans now yield interests monthly. Indeed, long-term loans from Singapore used to be “full bullet”. This means both principal and interests were reimbursed at maturity date. However, in September 2020, the platform announced that from now on, these loans would be repaid monthly. That’s great news for investors looking for a regular cash-flow !

The platform recently clarified the status of Singapore loans, which are classified as commercial loans. These loans are issued by RC Riga and are used to fund the group’s operations in various countries such as India or Sri-Lanka.

Finally, the minimal investment amount is a very standard € 10. At the other side of the spectrum, for very large portfolios, there’s a monthly investment limit of €25,000 per month. This threshold applies to natural persons; for legal entities, it is €15,000 monthly.

Robocash's Customer Loyalty Program

In late September 2020, Robocash unveiled their Loyalty program. Competitors Swaper and PeerBerry already offered such a feature for a long time.

The minimal investment amount required to qualify is €5,000 (Bronze status). Investing this amount results in an additional 0.3% interest rate. The maximum bonus is 1.3% for the new Platinum status, introduced in Spring 2022. It’s granted for amounts larger than €50,000.

Three intermediary levels exist, with thresholds at €10,000, €15,000 and €25,000.

Robocash's updated Loyalty Program

How does it compare to loyalty program offered by competitors ? It’s overall similar to PeerBerry’s one, which also offers a 0.5% bonus above €10,000. However, investors with smaller portfolios will enjoy Robocash’s Bronze status as soon as they invest five thousand euros.

Esketit also launched a Loyalty program in Spring 2022, but it’s extremely restrictive as only loans from Jordan will benefit from the bonus. In addition, the thresholds are extremely high – €25,000 for a 0.5% bonus and twice as much for a 1% bonus -.

Loans volume

Like many competitors, Robocash used to suffer from cash drags. Indeed, in October – November 2017, the platform struggled to invest all my funds. Later, for most of 2018, I usually had around 10% of my portfolio which didn’t get invested.

Fortunately, in 2019 and 2020, the platform expanded their business in several Asian countries. In consequence, the loans supply became large enough to meet the demand, and having idle funds is now a thing of the past.

In April 2022, the volume of available loans is close to three hundred thousand euros – a net decrease from the amount of one million euros available in late 2021 -.

Buyback guarantee

All loan originators on the platform offer a buyback guarantee. It triggers after a reimbursement is delayed by the borrower for longer than 30 days – a shorter delay than most competitors, as a 60 days delay is now the norm -. It covers both principal and accrued interests. This delay is the same as for many competitors.

It’s worth noting that according to the platform, commercial loans will always be repaid on time – as the borrower is actually a subsidiary of Robocash Group -.

Platform’s transparency and reliability

One could expect a platform which such a cheap-looking website to be rather opaque. However, nothing would be further from the truth !

Indeed, in terms of transparency and reliability, Robocash is doing very well. It’s worth noting that a lot of information will actually be found on the platform’s parent group Robocash Group rather than on the platform’s website itself. However, since the homepage redesign in early 2021, data such as statistics were added to Robocash’s own site.

I tend to put a lot of trust in ExploreP2P‘s ratings. For a long time, Robocash used to be ranked #1. However, its rating got decreased after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s now rated 74 out of 100 and thus lags behind lending group DelfinGroup (80/100), Moncera‘s Placet Group (79/100) and originator IuteCredit (75/100).

Robocash’s background and team

Robocash was founded by Robocash Group in 2017, in order to fund the growth of their loans portfolio. Their headquarter was initially located in Riga, Latvia but moved to Zagreb, Croatia in 2019. This is a rather unusual choice among P2P platforms. No actual reason was given for this relocation.

Robocash Group’s management is introduced on the website. I only regret the lack of direct links to the relevant LinkedIn profiles !

The platform initially planned an IPO on the ASX market (Australian Securities Exchange) in late 2020. However, thanks to better than expected 2020 results, Robocash decided to postpone the IPO in order to explore other opportunities.

In order to finance its development, Robocash’s parent group announced a bond issuance in May 2021. The collected funds were used to develop a lending service in Sri-Lanka. Plans for an online bank in Southeast Asia are also underway.

Loans descriptions

Most P2P platform display details about borrowers such as age, gender, location, employment and so on. Robocash provide zero information about them. However, this politics actually makes sense, as it’s impossible to invest manually on this platform.

Loan originators reliability

There are currently five loan originators available on Robocash; they are all subsidiaries of Robocash Group. Each of them issues loans on a specific country.

  • Prestamer in Spain
  • Robocash PTE in Singapore
  • Robocash.kz in Kazakhstan. It was introduced in February 2021 and gradually replaced Tez Finance
  • UnaPay in the Philippines. Operations started in May 2021
  • RC Riga in Sri Lanka
Robocash's loans originators

The website provides a few details about each of them.

There used to be more originators, but two of them were removed in 2019. Moreover, in late 2019, the Philippines originator Robocash Finance Corp. was barred from operating, due to a license problem. Fortunately, this didn’t lead to any loss for investors. Robocash Group resumed operating in this country in May 2021 under the brand UnaPay.

Commercial loans from Sri Lanka were introduced in March 2022. It proved to be a bad timing, as the country defaulted on its foreign debt one month later. As a result, Robocash has stopped listing loans from this country until the situation improves.

Impact of the war in Ukraine

As Robocash originated in Russia, it’s legitimate for investors to raise questions regarding the safety of their investments on Robocash as this country is heavily targeted by sanctions following Ukraine’s invasion.

Fortunately, the situation is much better than expected. Let’s start with the bad part : although the platform doesn’t list loans from Russia, Robocash Group has a lending activity in this country through the Zaymer brand. As the Russian economy suffers from the multiple waves of sanctions, the funds collection has decreased, negatively impacting the group’s profit in Q1 2022. However, this doesn’t impact Robocash investors.

On the positive side, funds invested on the platform never reach Russia. Robocash Group is headquartered in Singapore, while Robocash as a platform is located in Zagreb. Funds invested on Robocash are lent in Asia, and don’t transit through a Russian bank. As a result, transfers or reimbursements won’t be impacted by restrictions on Swift transfers or political sanctions.

Overall, I think that ExploreP2P’s downgraded rating for Robocash (74 instead of 82) sums the situation rather well. The platform’s reliability has taken a slight hit, which is reflected by the new rating. However, it’s still a very profitable business; moreover, its international setup effectively shields the Robocash Group from the sanctions towards Russia.

Reporting & statistics availability

I greatly appreciate the fact that financial statements for Robocash Group are available. The statement for 2020 was released in late April 2021. In spite of the Covid-19, net profit for 2020 were close to twenty four million dollars. That’s roughly a 50% increase from previous year ! Profits for 2021 are expected to stand around thirty two million dollars, continuing the previous trend. However, the trend reversed in early 2022, as the group’s profits suffered greatly from both the unrest in Kazakhstan and the war in Ukraine.

It’s however important to note that this slowdown didn’t impact investors : loans from Kazakhstan were repaid according to the schedule, and no Russian loan is listed on Robocash.

Reports for years up to 2019 report got audited by KPMG, one of the leading accounting organizations. The platform switched auditors for the 2020 report. It indeed underwent an audit by FBK Grant Thornton, which is less known than KPMG.

Profit for Robocash Group

In addition to the financial reports for Robocash Group, a few figures are available regarding the platform’s loan portfolio. For example, the total loans volume is provided. We can see that it roughly doubles every year.

Track record

Robocash is doing rather well compared to loan marketplaces such as Mintos or the now nearly deceased Viventor, which feature many more originators.

Indeed, there’s been no loss for investors, in spite of the platform stopping operations in some countries. Similarly, the unrest in Kazakhstan in early 2022 had no consequence on invested funds. However, as we’ve already seen, it greatly impacted the platform’s profitability.

Platform's features

Early exit

Early exit available

Investing methods

Auto-invest

Secondary market

Before the introduction of longer-term loans, Robocash didn’t feature a secondary market. Due to the very short loans duration, it wasn’t really a drawback. This feature was thus unveiled after the introduction of long-term loans.

There used to be restrictions on which loans could be sold. Indeed, it was only possible to sell loans after owning them for 180 days. After putting the loan for sale, it could either be bought by another investor, or directly by the platform after a 14 days delay.

From April, 13th on it is possible to sell loans with any term. However, the platform doesn’t buy loans on the secondary market anymore; only other investors will do so. As a consequence, liquidity won’t be guaranteed anymore.

For a long time, it was quite hard to find out how to sell the loans. Indeed, the checkbox which allows to select loans was nearly invisible due to a poor colors contrast. This aspect has fortunately been improved and the process is now much more intuitive.

Selling your loans on the secondary market is free, and the loans are always sold at face value.

Unlike other platforms, when it comes to displaying the available loans, Robocash doesn’t differentiate between the primary and secondary market. All loans are grouped in a single market, and loans from the secondary market are labeled as such.

Manual investing

It’s not possible to invest manually; use of auto-invest is mandatory. I don’t consider this a drawback, as picking peer-to-peer loans by hand is a loss of time.

Auto-invest

While the initial auto-invest screen had several rather confusing labels, it’s been redesigned. It is now easier to understand, although there’s still room for improvement.

One useful aspect of the auto-invest screen is that it provides a good overview of the loans provided by each originator :

  • Operating country
  • Interest rate
  • Loan duration

It’s possible to configure the auto-invest to buy loans from the secondary market, a feature that most competitors don’t provide.

I appreciate that the screen displays the number of loans which match the selected filter.

Also, there’s one very interesting feature seldom provided by competitors : it’s possible to reinvest only the principal, or automatically transfer the reimbursements to your bank account once they reach a certain sum. Unfortunately, the wording isn’t very clear – although the information tooltips are a great help -.

Here’s how to configure it :

  • Balance : this is equivalent to stopping auto-invest. Repayments will be transferred to your balance.
  • Payout : this option will also stop the auto-invest. Additionally, the balance will be automatically transferred to the selected bank account once it reaches € 50.
  • Reinvest full amount : allows to reinvest both principal and interests, and set a maximum portfolio size
  • Reinvest principal amount : only reinvests the reimbursed principal, while interests accumulate in the balance.

Thanks to the homepage’s redesign, there’s now a handy and very readable explanation for these options. Unfortunately, it’s not visible once logged in. I expect this to be improved once the investor’s cabinet also gets updated.

Website’s ease of use

Languages

English, German, Spanish, Russian

Funding methods

Available languages & translations quality

The English version isn’t as well translated as for most competitors, but is legible enough.

Robocash's registration process

Registration is quick and relatively easy, although once again the translations for several labels are a bit weird.

Account funding and funds withdrawal

Although the only way to fund your account is via a SEPA transfer, it should meet the need of most investors.

Website’s design and ergonomics

Robocash website is globally easy to use, but the dated interface is far from being as streamlined as most competitors. It especially pales when compared to Swaper‘s or Lendermarket‘s beautifully designed websites !

However, the great advantage of this very old-school design is that the website is blazing fast. When I check my P2P lending portfolio by opening one browser tab per platform, Robocash is always available first. And it will load even with a poor connection, which is useful when traveling in a remote area.

In term of ergonomics, one minor annoyance is that if you ever want to see a loan agreement, it isn’t displayed in your browser but downloaded as a Word document.

In February 2021, the platform unveiled their new homepage design. It’s much more modern than the previous iteration – and, amazingly, still loads very quickly -. There’s now more information and documentation available; the readability has also been greatly improved.

Unfortunately, once logged in, the investor’s cabinet is still the same. It’s expected to undergo the same kind of overhaul as the homepage, though.

Unlike several competitors such as Mintos or PeerBerry, there’s no app available for Robocash. The platform currently has no plan to develop one.

Reporting

The reporting is rather complete; investors have access to the investments list, the transactions report, as well as several statistics about their portfolio. Unfortunately, as is too often the case for crowdlending platforms, no XIRR value for the portfolio is provided. Instead, Robocash displays the portfolio’s average interest rate. Although this figure includes closed loans, it may still differ greatly from actual returns, as bonuses aren’t taken into account.

For long-term investors, one useful statistic is the amount of accrued interests which didn’t get paid yet.

Documentation

The website features a rather expansive FAQ A FAQ is simply a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions. It has been rewritten when the platform’s new homepage got released and is quite useful, in spite of the sometimes awkward phrasing.

Communication & support

Robocash used to be a very quiet platform. Indeed, for a long time, the only communication was a notification when transferred money reached your investor’s account !

Things have changed, and investors now receive a monthly newsletter. It mostly sums up the platform’s performance, but also introduces important changes.

In addition, new posts are frequently published on the platform’s blog. They’re usually very short but informative.

Robocash is also one of the rare platforms with a dedicated Telegram channel. It contains mostly marketing announcements, which are similar to the content posted by the platform on Twitter or Facebook.

In addition, there’s an unofficial Telegram group. Anna from Robocash is available to answer investors’ questions.

Official Robocash pages on social networks

Support

In terms of support, there’s a contact form available on the website. In addition to this, it’s possible to get in touch with Robocash by e-mail or phone.

Actual performance of my Robocash portfolio

12,78%

At the end of February 2022, the XIRR for my Robocash portfolio was 12,78%.

In spite of the interest rates variations, the performance for my Robocash portfolio is overall stable. I consider it as very good, especially considering the platform's reliability.

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 Robocash portfolio in September 2017

Robocash's main competitors

Robocash's facts & figures

Location

Zagreb, Croatia

Founding year

2017

Number of investors

24,099

Loans amount financed

€375,490,652

As of April 2022

Who can invest at Robocash

Any person age of 18, who has a bank account in one of the European Union countries, can become an investor on Robocash.

Robocash FAQ

In conclusion...

With a re-designed interface, Robocash would deserve an additional half-star rating. However, even with the current website, the platform's financial solidity is well worth the little effort required to invest !

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.

4 thoughts on “Robocash review”

  1. Hi!
    As I know Robocash buyback doesnt compensate you interest for late 30 days, only principal, so your effective xirr will be always below 14%

    Reply
    • Hi Eduard,

      The buyback guarantee also covers the interests.

      The FAQ clearly states “If the borrower delays payment, we will buy the investor’s share at the purchase price and will pay all the interest due.”.

      Have a nice day

      Jérôme

      Reply

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