Esketit Review

June 22nd, 2021
7 minutes read
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A brand new platform from one of the largest Mintos loan originators Creamfinance

FAST FACTS

Launch Date2021
Total Investment Volume€2.6m+
Average annual interest13.11%
Minimum Investment€10
Investment FeesNone
Who’s eligible to investEEA bank account holders
Investment TypeMarketplace lending
Secondary MarketYes
Auto Invest FunctionYes
Investor ProtectionBuyback & group guarantees
CurrenciesEUR
Website LanguageEnglish

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Good and long track record of the parent company
  • Skin in the game and a double buyback
  • High advertised returns

Cons

  • Limited diversification
  • The Platform’s short track record
  • The Group’s performance in 2020

Pros Explained

  • Esketit was launched by the owners of Creamfinance  – a loan originator with a long history, particularly on Mintos. Creamfinance has been operating since 2012 and has expanded into seven global markets. It has issued almost €800 million worth of loans, which – had it been an independent platform from the start – would have placed it among the largest lenders in Europe. The company has been profitable most of the time, although it noted a quite significant dip in 2020 (more on this below). In 2016, it was named the second-fastest-growing European fintech by the Inc. 5000 magazine.
  • The founders own both the platform and loan originators and have stakes in each issued loan (typically 5-10%), which means they are vouching for Esketit with their money. Investors can also enjoy a second layer of investor protection for most loans – a group guarantee. It stipulates that in case the loan originator cannot fulfil its buyback obligation towards investors, the Creamfinance Group steps in to cover the liability.
  • The investments up-to-date have brought over 13% ROI. This data comes from only 3 months of the platform’s operation and it’s likely to moderate with time. However, Esketit promises earnings of 12% on average, which is still in the high end of the market when it comes to return.

Cons Explained

  • Although the Group is present in seven markets, Esketit investors can access only four markets with a large majority of deals located in the Czech Republic and Mexico and a lot fewer in Jordan and Sri Lanka. All loans are unsecured, short-term, personal loans.
  • First loans were funded on the platform in March 2021 so it’s too early to determine whether Esketit will be able to extend the good performance from profitability of Creamfinance loan originators to efficient platform management, quality customer care and effective marketing. Only time will tell.
  • Creamfinance reported over €800,000 loss in 2020, down from a €660,000+ profit in 2019. Although the Group has eventually made it through the troubled times, it shows how volatile and prone to shocks its portfolio might be. In our assessment of the COVID-19 impact on the sector, we highlighted that platforms offering low-risk low-return investments performed better compared to unsecured and inevitably riskier loan providers. But we have also stated several times how the crisis has been a push for many lenders to redesign and shock-proof their business models – maybe launching Esketit is a part of Creamfinance post-crisis response?
  • Update 5th July 2021: The management has commented on the loss

Given the COVID crisis and the overall situation in the segment, the results are to be considered good as Creamfinance showed operational profit and the loss is only due to negative FX impact.

While the company is not happy with the losses of 2020, the overall management of the Covid crisis has been a success, as Creamfinance managed to suffer minimal losses and continue its operations without missing a single payment to its investors during the Covid turmoil. 

Thanks to effective cost-cutting, adjustment of product features to new regulation and careful scoring of clients during the initial covid phase, Creamfinance managed to return to profitability already in mid of 2020, and has since shown a consistent profit every month. This has continued in 2021 and Creamfinance is on track to post a strong profit in H1 of this year.

Who is behind Esketit?

The platform was founded by Davis Barons and Matiss Ansviesulis – the two co-founders of Creamfinance, and is run by a young CEO – Vitālijs Zalovs. On top of that, Esketit’s About us page lists only a CFO, a CTO, and a legal partner, although Creamfinance Group employs over 500 employees across its offices.

Creamfinance attracted €5 million in Series A investment from international venture capital fund Flint Capital in 2014, followed by an additional €1 million two years later. In 2017, the company received €21 million in Series B funding from South African Capitec Bank, making it the largest shareholder (41%). Other major shareholders include the founders (23%), a “family office” (17%) and Flint Capital (12%).

What does Esketit Offer?

Creamfinance provides unsecured consumer loans, ranging from 100 for a month up to 10,000 for 5 years. At the time of writing, there are four loan originators on Esketit – two are a part of the Creamfinance Group and offer the group guarantee (lendon.mx from Mexico and creditair from Czech Republic). The remaining two are owned by the founders and come only with the buyback obligation (Jordan-based MoneyForFinance and Sri Lankan loanme).

How much can you earn?

The current average return stands at 13.11%. Esketit advertises ROI of around 12%, while on Mintos, Creamfinance’s loans had an average interest rate of 10.2%. So, it remains to be seen how the returns will shape in the longer term, but you can probably expect similar (possibly slightly higher) earnings as on most marketplace lending websites such as Mintos, Twino or PeerBerry.

You can receive an additional 1% of the funds invested within the first three months after registration if you use this link to sign up.

Who is Esketit best for?

For the more adventurous investors, who are not afraid to pave the way into the still very new platform. But also, for those who seek above-average interest rates or look for alternatives to the most popular marketplaces that offer primarily unsecured personal loans to include in their portfolios.

How to invest on Esketit?

To register, you need to complete the identification process using your ID card and a camera. You then just add funds to your account and start investing – either by manually picking the loans or setting up an auto-invest strategy.

Summary

Creamfinance is one of the largest and oldest loan originators on the European lending scene. Its launch of Esketit is hardly surprising – we’ve highlighted several times the recent trend of launching independent platforms by some of the well-established lending companies, including Kviku Finance, Afranga, Viainvest, Lendermarket, and Robocash. Even though Creamfinance’s performance in 2020 might be worrying, there are reasons to believe they’ll bounce back and keep delivering good results for investors. The platform’s funding volumes accumulated in just the first three months are also quite impressive and a sign of investor trust. Will you join Esketit too?

Methodology

At P2PMarketData we are dedicated to providing unbiased reviews of peer-to-peer lending, real estate crowdfunding and crypto lending platforms. Among other, in our mission to bring more transparency to the market we closely monitor and track over 70 platforms funding volumes.

When reviewing an alternative investment platform, we consider a variety of factors such as:

  • Number of investors
  • Minimum investment requirement
  • Historical annual returns
  • Diversification opportunities
  • Reinvestment opportunities
  • Educational and informational offerings
  • Platform fees
  • Total capital invested
  • Features (such as secondary market and automatic investing)
  • General transparency (the difficulty of finding who the owners are, how they make money on the platform (fees), terms & conditions and more)
  • Management team

We also look into the company’s online reputation (for example customer reviews, news, complaints, average monthly searches and social media).