Robocash interview with Founder & CEO Sergey Sedov

November 23rd, 2022
5 minutes read

Robocash is one of the large debt investment marketplaces from Europe offering primarily short-term consumer loans from the same group of loan originators in five different countries. Retail investors can participate in short-term loans to individuals in Singapore, Spain, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. In this interview, you will learn from Founder & CEO Sergey Sedov what it means to invest with Robocash.

First, could you tell the readers a bit about your background? How did you become interested in working with finance?

Picture of the Robocash Founder & CEO Sergey Sedov

Digital tools and commerce started to interest me during my studies. I started my first IT company in 2002 as a student, and later I got my Ph.D. in Economics. After gaining experience and newfound confidence in the real estate, commerce, and production markets, I raised enough funds to co-found the non-bank lending company FinTerra, starting my path in the alternative lending business. In 2013, I realized that the world is changing and moving to a digital economy. And I thought it would be great to be a part of this world. So, in 2013 I started a new business. Zaymer became my second lending company.

Launching an alternative lending service in Kazakhstan in 2015, I stepped on the path of development of Robocash Group (which later included services in Spain, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri-Lanka). In 2017, I founded the Robocash platform in Europe to finance business needs and accelerate the further development of credit companies in Asia.

How do you find and assess the investments Robocash makes available to retail investors?

Robocash operates as part of a financial group and all creditors on the platform belong to it. Now we have 5 originators from Spain, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Each of the business companies has their own high-quality scoring designed completely in-house and continuously improved. At the moment, the default rate at the Group level is maintained at 13%, which is within the markets. Thanks to the Group support and careful assessment of borrowers, we provide the platform with quality loans.

Whenever we plan to integrate a new lender into the platform, we make sure that the company is stable and efficient enough, since it is important for us to secure investor funds in the first place. For example, we started issuing loans from Sri Lanka in March of 2022 to support a growing business in that country. With the economic default followed by mass protests in the country, we have put the placement of loans on pause until the situation further stabilizes.

The Group plans to expand further in Asia as well as Africa and South America. As soon as we are sure that our financial model fits the local market, we will launch and sustain all processes. And then we will be ready to consider adding new investments to the platform.

Why should the readers choose to invest at Robocash?

Of course, I can't give advice on investments. I can simply say that the mission of Robocash is to help people in developing countries improve their quality of life through the provision of affordable and convenient financial products. It is not only about closing some financial gaps, but in general about providing new opportunities. Together with the team, we develop reliable income tools for you, and you are already becoming part of this important mission.

What sets Robocash apart from other resale marketplace lending platforms?

All creditors available on the platform are affiliated lenders of the Group. Our model of work allows us to provide a full buyback guarantee on all loans. We always make every payment to investors in a timely manner and in full, which is a rather valuable quality in the current conditions of market conditions.

How do you decide when a loan is defaulted or with minimal chance of recovery?

As noted above, we are constantly improving scoring processes to maintain the quality of borrowers and to minimize possible risks for investors. As for commercial loans, in principle they cannot be overdue, and their main purpose is to support and develop business. 

Either way, investor funds are protected by a 30-day buyback guarantee that has been working flawlessly since the launch of the platform. We also have an advantage at the holding level in closely monitoring the financial flows of creditors, so we can see any possible threats to investor funds and protect them.

How is Robocash regulated?

The legal entity operating our platform, Robocash d.o.o. is regulated by the laws and regulations of the Republic of Croatia and is included in the court register of the country. 

Our legal team constantly monitors the market to see if any opportunity of a specialized license comes up that would suit our operational model. Once we find a suitable option, we will of course use it.

What do you think the future of Robo.cash looks like? Which challenges do you see for the industry in the coming years?

The platform’s future largely depends on the further development of Robocash Group, as it is a strategic source of funding. And given the Group's plans to expand and strengthen in emerging markets, the platform will grow with new interesting offers for investors. Of course, current events are adding challenges to us, and with the support of our analyst and risk team, we try to anticipate and prepare for any consequences as much as possible. In addition, market competition is growing, which also motivates us to improve our product, making it even more reliable and profitable for investors, and thus to continue to serve our clients effectively.

I think that the long-term scenario for the development of the P2P industry is rather positive. The European market is now on the rise. According to Statista, the alternative lending market will grow by 11% in 2026 compared to 2022.

But, in general, speaking about the P2P lending market, it is worth considering the risks of uncertainty that we have already faced, for example, now. This is probably the biggest challenge for the industry and for all of us. However, the events of past years show that the P2P market can survive hard times and continue to grow. We’ll see.

What’s next for Robo.cash? Where do you see your platform in five years?

Robo.cash platform has long-term goals, since we consider it as an important source of funding for the Group. I can say more, we are determined to develop this source, increase volumes and become an even bigger and more attractive platform in the European P2P market. We expect that the volumes of funding coming through the platform should be growing gradually, and in 4 years I think we can well count with over 100,000 investors. This may sound ambitious, but we think it’s achievable. Our task here is to be attentive to the needs of investors, watch for the market trends, and keep being transparent.