IUVO Group Review

A solid loan marketplace from a large financial group, which holds its loan originators to high standards

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IUVO is a daughter company of a large holding company focused on Eastern European markets. It offers investments in several currencies and has proved to be relatively shock-proof, going swiftly through the 2020 turmoil. It’s not flawless though – read on to find out more.

FAST FACTS

Launch Date2016
Total Investment Volume€189m+
Average annual interest8-10%
Minimum Investment€10
Investment Fees1% secondary market fee
Who’s eligible to investAll legal and natural persons
Investment TypeMarketplace lending
Secondary MarketYes
Auto Invest FunctionYes
Investor ProtectionBuyback & group guarantee
CurrenciesBGN, EUR, PLN, RON, RUB
Website LanguageEn, De, Et, Bg, Es

 

PROS & CONS

Pros

Cons

Pros Explained

  • IUVO is a part of a bigger financial holding – the Management Financial Group (MFG), which has a 15-year track record and employs over 8,000 people across 450 offices in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). This certainly adds credibility and stability to the platform. The company is also regulated by the Estonian Financial Commission, which ensures a good degree of oversight over the platform’s practices and performance.

  • IUVO holds all the loan originators to a high standard – they are, in general, profitable, often long-established, companies. The platform also requires the lending companies to put up at least 30% of loan capital themselves – this is a much higher skin-in-the-game ratio than on any platform, 5-10% being the norm. The high exposure of own capital is an additional strong incentive to provide high-quality loans and minimize defaults. Such strict standards have likely contributed to the platform’s good performance during the COVID-19 downturn – the turnover dropped less than on most other platforms, and IUVO honoured all their obligations, including timely pay-outs.

  • Along with EUR-denominated deals, you can diversify into several CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) currencies, including Bulgarian lev, Russian ruble, Polish zloty, or Romanian leu, which is a quite unique feature. Note though that a large majority of deals are available in BGN and EUR.

Cons Explained

  • The buyback obligation from loan originators kicks in after 60 days and doesn’t cover the interest, which means that even though you’ll likely recover your invested capital, your ROI will decrease with every delay or default. The exception is NordCard’s “payment guarantee”, which also reimburses the accrued interest. The group guarantee only covers 3 out of 12 loan originators, which form a part of the MFG.

  • IUVO is transparent when it comes to major reporting aspects, including financial statements for both the platform and the Group. However, many improvements could be made to the Statistics page. It shows data on loan characteristics, such as distribution of currencies, maturities, risk scores, etc., as well as some basic info about investors. However, it’s quite striking that there are no stats whatsoever on loan performance, including interest rates, delay/default rates, etc. The platform has stopped displaying even the average historical return (it was 9.2% last time we checked), which would seem the single most basic and essential piece of information you might need.

  • Even though IUVO scrutinizes the performance of its loan originators quite thoroughly, it’s not profitable itself. It noted losses between €350,000 and €400,000 in the 2017-2019 period and a slightly better-looking loss of roughly €42,000 in 2020. The good news is that better performance in 2020 might hint that the platform is on its way to profitability. Also, given the extremely high profitability of the Group (close to €30 million in 2019) as well as the key lending companies within the Group (roughly €18 million profit in 2019 of the main lender – Easy Credit), one can safely assume that the risk of IUVO going out of business is relatively small.

Who is behind IUVO Group?

The platform is run by Ivaylo Ivanov. He is deeply entrenched in the European FinTech scene, having held numerous management positions, most recently as CEO of NewPay. Check out our interview with Ivaylo to find out more. The About us page lists another 10 employees, but it’s also clear that IUVO is closely connected to MFG’s operations.

MFG is the majority shareholder in IUVO Group with 94 % ownership. The rest of the shares are divided among key management personnel. MFG also owns the three largest loan originators on IUVO – Bulgarian EasyCredit and VivaCredit, as well as Romanian iCredit.

What does IUVO Group offer?

You can invest in unsecured personal and business loans. Maturities can reach up to 60 months but a large majority of loans are short-term – almost 90% last 12 months or less. Instalments can be repaid every 7, 14 or 30 days. Every loan is given a risk score between A (the safest, with 0-4% probability of default) and HR (over 35% probability of default). Almost 60% of loans are funded in BGN, and close to 40% in EUR – other currencies constitute less than 1% of all issued loans.

How much can you earn?

We don’t have any reliable official statistics to say for sure, unfortunately. IUVO states on their website that you can earn up to 15% ROI and that 90% of investors earn more than 8% annually. In the interview with P2PMarketData, IUVO’s CEO said the average net annual return oscillates between 8% and 10%. You might therefore expect returns in this range.

You can receive an additional 0.75% of the funds invested within the first 60 days after registration if you use this link to sign up (but no more than 150€). For investors having invested over 25,000 on IUVO there is also a 2% bonus when investing an additional 2,000 euro or more (up to 750€ bonus).

Who is IUVO Group best for?

It seems like a good, slightly safer alternative to more mainstream platforms such as Mintos. IUVO is also a great option for Bulgarian nationals or international investors who want to diversify into other currencies – Bulgarian lev specifically.

How to invest at IUVO Group?

In line with the AML/CFT policies, you’ll need to submit an identification document and contact address. You should have a valid bank account within the EU or a third country that has equivalent AML/CFT systems to the EU. The rest of the process is easy – you can transfer funds using several methods and providers and start investing manually or by setting up an auto-invest strategy.

Summary

The platform’s performance during the 2020 COVID crisis has lately been one of my key evaluation criteria as it has tested their sustainability and resilience. IUVO Group scores very well in this particular aspect – not only did they go through the crisis smoothly, but they also noted excellent growth in the second half of the year and nearly reached profitability for the first time by the end of 2020.  Backing of the MFG – a well-established, highly profitable holding company and tough requirements posed on loan originators are other strong points in IUVO’s favour. The lack of loan performance data on their statistics page is pretty much the only major, and seemingly easily fixable, concern.

Methodology

P2P Market Data are dedicated to providing unbiased reviews of P2P Lending platforms and other alternative investment platforms. We are on a monthly basis collecting funding amounts from over 90 different platforms for The Monthly Funding Report.

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). Read more about how we review platforms.

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