Grupeer P2P Lending Platform Review

Grupeer is a peer to peer lending platform from Latvia that offers both business loans and real estate development loans with an average return rate for investors of 14%.

Grupeer is a great peer to peer business lending platform from Latvia. It offers both business loans and real estate development loans with an average return rate for investors of 14%.

Platform highlights

  • Launched: 2016
  • Headquarters: Latvia
  • Loan types: Business Loans, Development Loans
  • Loan terms: up to 4 years
  • Loans funded: 75 million EUR
  • Investors: 27000
  • Interest rates: 11-13%
  • Fees: no fees
  • Minimum investment: 10 EUR
  • Currency: EUR
  • Secondary market: no
  • Auto-invest: yes
  • Buyback guarantee: yes
  • Accepts investors from: EEA countries

How does Grupeer work

Grupeer acts as an intermediary between investors and loan originators.

The loan originators are lending companies across Europe that offer loans to either people or businesses. The loans published on Grupeer are already pre-funded, so the investors earn interest from the first day they invest money into a loan.

The loans interest rates are usually between 10% and 13%. Pretty often, new loan originators offer cashback campaigns, adding 1% extra when you invest in one of their loans.

All the loans have a buyback guaranteed policy. This means the lender will buy back from you the loan plus the interest owed if the loan has defaulted or if the payments are delayed by more than 60 days. (Recently they announced they might have in the future loans not covered by a buyback guarantee, but offering a higher interest rate.)

The minimum investment in each loan is 10 EUR. Also, all investments are in EUR currency.

Loan originators and deal partners

Grupeer currently has a list of 19 loan originators, and some of them you can also find either on Mintos or on Viventor. The platform recently added a rating from A to F, based on loan originators financial stability, liquidity, market risks and a few other criteria. You can read more about how Grupeer ratings work here.

Some of the loan originators on Grupeer issue consumer loans and short-term loans. Since Grupeer doesn’t want to expose its investors to consumer loans, these loans are structured a bit different. Grupeer partners with Finsputnik Platforma, one of their first loan originators, to package these 100 EUR consumer loans into loan portfolios of 5000 – 30000 EUR. Then, Grupeer investors don’t invest in individual consumer loans, but in a portfolio of loans packaged as a business loan. These portfolios are packaged by Finsputnik Platforma, and this loan originator also offers the buyback guarantee for them.

So, when investing in StikCredit, Mikrokasa, Lion Lender, Lime loans (and a few others), the buyback guarantee is ensured by Finsputnik Platforma, who grouped the lenders’ consumer loans into larger packages.

A more in-depth look at Grupeer

Since it started in 2017, Grupeer managed to finance loans of around 65 million EUR. It currently has more than 20.000 investors on its platform, coming from 90 countries.

Social media footprint

Based on their Linkedin page, Grupeer has a very senior and experienced executive team:

  • Alla Kisika – CEO and founder of Grupeer, with more than 15 years of experience in management
  • Andrejs Fjodorovs – CBDO (Chief Business Development Officer) since 2019, with more than 20 years of experience in finance
  • Maksim Lavrinenok – CTO at Grupeer since 2017, with more than 20 years of experience in IT
  • Tatiana Kovtuna – Head of Marketing, with more than 13 years of experience in marketing and sales
  • Natalja Jevdokimova – Head of Legal since this year, with more than 15 years of experience
  • Tatjana Sporihina – Head of Digital Marketing since 2018, with more than 10 years of experience in marketing
  • Kalvis Vasks – Head of Business Intelligence since 2019; I like that they have this role and a dedicated business intelligence team; we should expect to see nice analytics and reports and graphics on Grupeer site really soon

You can follow them also on Facebook or Twitter, where they post regular updates.

Becoming a Grupeer Investor

Grupeer can only accept money transfers coming from countries in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Since all the loans are in EUR currency, I’m using my Revolut account in order to add funds to Grupeer.

Platform experience

The website is clean and very minimal. You don’t get fancy statistics, future payments schedules, diversification scores, nothing. But Grupeer is still a young platform, and they keep adding features to the website, so at some point, it will get better.

Investing in loan deals

You can filter the available loans based on loan originator, loan-to-value or available amount for investment. The available loans rates range between 10% and 13%.

You might want to turn off email notifications after you invest in a few projects. For each loan you invested in, Grupeer sends you a different email saying “you just received a 0.13 EUR interest payment” or something like that.

Investing in development projects

Grupeer offers real-estate development project loans as a special type of loans to invest in. These loans are issued by Grupeer to different companies and then these are financed by the investors on the platform.

All the loans have a buyback guaranteed policy if the loan payments are more than 60 days late. The interest rates vary from 12% to 13%.

Auto-invest tool

grupeer autoinvest

The options offered are pretty decent, although it has some minuses. It shows 195 countries selected, even though the loans come only from around 14 countries. It would also help a lot if it would allow you to distribute your investments evenly across the selected loan originators, in order to diversify your portfolio and minimize the risks. Or the option to not reinvest in the same loans.

Secondary market

The link to the secondary market exists on the website since the first day I created my account (and probably it was there before too). Unfortunately, the page is empty and there is no secondary market on Grupeer.

Grupeer stability fund

This is a feature Grupeer started to promote more than a year ago and it’s still not available. Even though it’s not part of their next year expansion plans, I’m still looking forward to the day this feature will be available.

With the stability fund, you’d able to buy shares in a real estate property and then earn a stable income between 4 and 8% from rent. This would be great for long-term, lower-risk investments. You’d get lower returns than with the peer to peer loans but in the long run, this would be an excellent passive income option.

Grupeer risks

As with any other p2p lending platform, investing in Grupeer comes with many risks. Some of them are generic to peer-to-peer lending, while others are specific to Grupeer.

Before you think about investing in Grupeer, you should read this.

Platform risk

If Grupeer goes bankrupt, investors shouldn’t be affected, because it only acts as an intermediary between investors and the actual lending companies.

One risk that’s inherent to Grupeer though is the security risk. Your account is only protected by a password, as Grupeer doesn’t use 2-factor authentication to protect its investors’ accounts. So, make sure you don’t use a “123456” or “password” password and also make sure you don’t use the same password as on other websites.

Performance risks

The loans you invest in are covered by a buyback guarantee, so this means it doesn’t really matter if a loan defaults or not. What matters though is if a loan originator goes bankrupt because the buyback guarantee comes from the loan originator’s pocket.

Liquidity risk

There’s no secondary market or a way to sell back your loan before it matures. If you need to have access to your funds quick, Grupeer is not the right platform to invest in.

My portfolio:

  • Last update: October 2019
  • Started Investing: December 10th, 2018
  • Current value: 1762 EUR
  • Profit: 182 EUR
  • Annual return: 13.33%

My current portfolio consists of a series of development loans from Belarus and a few business loans from Russia and the Czech Republic.

I like the almost 13% interest rate on all my loans and the fact that all of them come with a buyback guarantee that covers the principal invested and the interest due.

The size of my Grupeer portfolio is pretty decent, so for the next few months, I’ll keep reinvesting the interest payments back into the platform. Recently, I’ve become worried that most of my loans are issued by either Finsputnik Platforma or Primo Invest, so I’ve updated my auto-invest settings for a while to exclude their loans from my new investments.

Conclusions on Grupeer

Grupeer is one of the best p2p business lending platforms to invest in at the moment. Its main advantages are the high-interest rates, the buyback guarantee and also the track record. The platform has been around for 3 years now.

The only big problem it has is that it has no secondary market, and you can’t exit your investment before the loans mature.

Good selection of loans

Grupeer offers good interest rates on the available loans. The real-estate development projects are also interesting. Since I’ve started investing in them, they kept adding more and more loan originators each month. This provides a good base for a well-diversified portfolio.

Also, the buyback guaranteed policy is a feature that brings some peace of mind. The buyback policy also includes the missed interest payments for the loan period.

Good interest rates

12-13% interest rates are a pretty good deal. Combined with the buyback guarantee, and a solid track record, there’s not much more I could ask for.

Risk and returns summary

  • Transparency: 4/5
  • Loan security: 4/5
  • Liquidity: 1/5
  • Account security: 4/5
  • Track record: 4/5
  • Returns: 4/5

Final score: 3.5

Grupeer is a great platform to invest in, offering medium to high returns on relatively low-risk business loans. The main problem Grupeer has is a missing secondary market, investors being locked on their investments until the loans mature.