Debitum Investments interview with co-owner Ēriks Reņģītis 2024

June 3rd, 2024
6 minutes read

In the past year, Debitum Investments has rebounded from a previous downturn and returned to its former levels. Over the last 8 months, it has seen impressive growth and recently hit the €100 million mark in total funded investments. To uncover the secrets behind this success, we spoke with Ēriks Reņģītis, one of Debitum Investments' co-owners.

Can you briefly describe Debitum Investments?

I would like to start with a small clarification at the beginning - the platform has been called Debitum Investments for a couple of months now. It seems a small change, but it very accurately describes the direction of the company's development. Therefore, Debitum Investments is a regulated investment platform that offers to invest in financial instruments (ABSs & Notes) with a yield rate of up to 15% per year. On the operational level, Debitum Investments can be compared with a small private bank, only with the specifics that we operate in the P2P segment.

What inspired you to join the company?

I have been involved in finance (primarily corporate finance) all my professional life. For more than 10 years, I have been working at the corporate finance consulting company Auctus Capital, where I am a co-owner. I have also managed the acquisition and sales (M&A) of various companies, as well as fundraising transactions, but not only.

Debitum Investments convinced me both – with the stability of the operations and the foundations on which the platform is built, as well as the business model itself. We can mention European-level regulation and 0% default rate (at Loan Originator and ABS level). Only a few platforms can be proud of such a track record. Debitum business model is to finance its partners (Loan originators and now also Issuers), who in turn are professionals in their niche and directly finance companies or projects themselves. Therefore, we are not looking for business projects for investors to invest in, but we specialize in the selection of professional partners (lenders).

How do you find potential investments?

Since our specialization is the selection of professional partners (Loan originators and Issuers), which also mainly determines the security of investors' money, we do not actively look for many new potential investment objects. In most cases, companies find us. We do proper due diligence, and the best ones stay at Debitum Investments. For example, we have been cooperating with the UK-based company Triple Dragon for more than 3 years.

Therefore, the quality of partners is significantly more important than the quantity of partners. Every asset that is available on the platform has the quality seal of the Debitum Investments team. Of course, one of our due diligence criteria is an analysis of the business model of a potential partner, so that we can make sure that the partner is able to run the business successfully and at the same time provide our investors with a proper level of profit.

Who is on your team and how do you complement each other?

Debitum Investments has united a team we are very proud of. Every employee has a significant track record in the field of finance. A few highly experienced industry professionals have joined the management team. The result is reflected in the performance results of the platform – platform growth rates have significantly increased in the last 6 months. Hundreds of new investors join the platform every month. The amount of invested money increases accordingly. In May 2024, we reached 17 million euros in Assets under management. But what is even more important - the level of investor satisfaction also remains as high.

We do not believe that investors should withdraw money from other platforms and invest all their funds in Debitum Investments. However, our platform is a great way to diversify every portfolio by allocating part of the funds into business loans. When it comes to business loans, Debitum Investments is no1 in Europe.

How are you regulated and what does that mean to your investors?

If at the end of 2021, when Debitum obtained an Investment Service Provider license, investors still did not really appreciate the value of this regulation, today there are almost no more questions about whether the regulation of the platform is important. Debitum Investments was the second platform in Europe that got proper regulation for the P2P industry (ISP under MiFID II).

As we have already discussed a lot, investment risks in our industry are divided into three levels - Platform risk, Loan originator/Partner risk and Asset risk. In total, we have applied 11 different investment protection mechanisms to protect investments. The platform license is the first of these 11 mechanisms. The license confirms that the platform works professionally and in accordance with the requirements of the regulator (in our case – the Bank of Latvia). Money management, accounting, company management and other important aspects take place according to certain procedures and according to requirements. For example, if you trust your money to some investment broker, I believe you would want to be sure that the broker is operating according to the highest industry standards, right?

What are the types of available investments on Debitum?

The range of investments in the platform has significantly increased over the last 8 months. In addition to different terms, interest rates and repayment schedules, we have also launched Debitum Secured Notes. These are basically short-term bonds with a period of up to 2 years. This new investment product has allowed us to attract new partners to the platform - companies that need funding for growth. The main difference between ABSs and Notes in Debitum Investments is that ABSs are mainly for non-bank lending companies, while Secured Notes can also be issued by a company that is not a non-bank lender. In any case, the same strict due diligence principles apply when onboarding companies (we call them Issuers). We see that investors have appreciated this new investment product so we will continue to develop our investment portfolio by adding new partners to it - both Loan originators and Issuers.

What are the potential earnings for an investor on Debitum?

Nevertheless, the platform is regulated, and we provide competitive rates of return to our investors. In the current circumstances, when EURIBOR is high, the annual yield rates are between 10-15% p.a. I think that when the EURIBOR rates decrease, the average yield rates of stocks, etfs, p2p, bonds and elsewhere in the investment world will also decrease. Investors appreciate not only the fact that we have increased interest rates, but also the fact that we have re-designed our investment services. For example, now we offer to invest in services from 2 to 24 months and longer (previously we had only terms 1-2 years). We have also introduced daily and monthly interest repayments. Such improvements give greater freedom and security to investors.

What are the key milestones or goals you aim to achieve this year?

The main milestone for 2024 is to become profitable. It is a very realistic plan. Confirmation of this is the Q1 of 2024, in which Debitum Investments have concluded above the break-even level. To reach the main milestone, we will actively continue to work in three directions.

  • First. More attractive investment services, which means a broader range of investment opportunities (Loan Originators and services) for our investors.
  • Second. Transparency and professionalism of operation. To allow investors to look as deeply as possible into the operation of the platform and partners - Loan Originators. For example, we recently launched the Corporate Governance web section. We are working to provide our community with more sophisticated investment statistics, Loan Originators performance data and more.
  • Third. Increasing presence in new markets – both attracting investors from new markets and new Loan Originators from expanded GEOs which will create even more attractive investment diversity.

We believe every business (as well as everything on planet Earth) should grow as it is natural state of healthy being of every organism. But the growth must be sustainable, stable, and purposeful. Debitum Investments will keep following these principles and invites everyone to join.