P2P Lending in Germany

The German Market for Peer-to-Peer Lending

With a market share of 17.7%, Germany is the second-largest market for peer-to-peer (P2P) investing in Europe, surpassed only by France. P2P investing covers crowdfunding models where it is possible to make a profit as an investor with the largest and most famous business models being peer-to-peer lending (also known as crowdlending or marketplace lending) and equity crowdfunding.

In this article, we will present you with the latest data about P2P lending in German, market developments and a complete list of all German P2P lending platforms.

Table of Contents

Best P2P Lending Platforms in Germany

Below, you will find a list of the top peer-to-peer lending platforms in Germany. Under each platform, you will find a brief description of the platform and the type of P2P lending available for investing on the platform. The list is sorted alphabetically, but to promote platforms contributing to transparency in the market, we have placed the platforms sharing data about their funding volume and other relevant statistics on the top. If you see a platform missing, please feel free to submit the platform by using the submit formula located in the sidebar of this page

Bergfürst

Bergfürst facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending to German and Austrian residential and commercial property at a minimum investment of 10 Euro. The platform offers lending to both already built rental real estate as well as new development & construction projects. Bergfürst was founded in 2011 by Dennis Bemmann and Guido Sandler as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany, but the platform also offers Austrian projects. All loans are in Euro (EUR). You can get a first time investor bonus of 10 Euro when signing up through our link, read more below.

Bergfürst offers a €10 bonus to all new lenders, to get the bonus you must invest in a project (minimum €10). Use this link before registering to activate the bonus.

Any natural or legal person can register. Natural persons must be at least 18 years old.

German and Austrian real estate developers with a financing volume of €500,000 to €2.5 million and a duration of 12 – 36 months.

Exporo

Exporo facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending and real estate equity crowdfunding to German residential and commercial property at a minimum investment of 500 Euro (Equity at 1,000 Euro). The platform offers lending to both already built rental real estate as well as new development & construction projects. Exporo was founded in 2014 by Bjorn Maronde, Julian Oertzen, Simon Brunke and Tim Butecke as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and is only facilitating loans to German companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR). You can get a first time investor bonus of 100 Euro when signing up through our link, read more below.

Exporo offers a €100 bonus to all new lenders, to get the bonus you must invest in a project (minimum €500). Use this link before registering to activate the bonus.

Anyone who is of legal age and is fully contractually capable, can invest. As a company, it is currently necessary to contact them personally.

German real estate developers with a financing volume of €500,000 to €10 million and a duration of 12 – 60 months.

Auxmoney

Auxmoney facilitates crowdfunding in the area of consumer lending to German residents at a minimum investment amount of 25 Euro. The platform exclusively offers unsecured consumer loans to German citizens. Auxmoney was founded in 2007 by Philip Kamp, Philipp Kriependorf and Raffael Johnen as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and is only facilitating loans to and from German citizens. All loans are in Euro (EUR). 

Investors must be at least 18 years old and have a German bank account.

Borrowers must be at least 18 years up to 69 years old, live in Germany and have a German bank account with a regular income that is able to repay the loan. Loans are available from minimum €1,000 to maximum €50,000 and a duration of 12 – 84 months.

Debitos

Debitos facilitates a secondary debt marketplace for crowdfunding all kind of second hand debt in all of Europe at a minimum price determined by the seller. The platform offers both loans against individuals and corporate/public entities with or without being backed by real estate, loans from bankruptcy and litigation and in general all kinds of real estate. Debitos was founded in 2010 by Timur Peters as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany, but the platform operates throughout most of Europe. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

Any company or public entity that is interested in buying debt on the Debitos secondary marketplace can buy loans. 

Any company or public entity that is interested in selling debt on the Debitos secondary marketplace can sell European loans in the following categories:

  • Loans against corporate/public entities
  • Loans against individuals
  • Claims from Bankruptcy and/or Litigation
  • Real Estate 

Econeers

Econeers facilitates crowdfunding in the area of SME business lending to environmentally friendly German companies at a minimum investment of 250 Euro. The platform offers lending to both strengthen investments in energy transition and other sustainability projects. Econeers was founded in 2013 by Seedmatch as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates loans to green German companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

Everyone who has reached the age of 18 and holds a European bank account. Private individuals can invest as well as corporations and partnerships (e.g. AG, GmbH, KG).

German companies with a sustainability or environmentally aspect and financing volumes from €100,000 to €1.5 million.

Grundag

Grundag facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending to German residential and commercial property at a minimum investment of 250 Euro. The platform offers lending to both already built rental real estate as well as development & construction projects. Grundag was founded in 2017 by CrowdDesk as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates loans to German real estate companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

Everyone who has reached the age of 18 and holds a European bank account. Private individuals can invest as well as corporations and partnerships (e.g. AG, GmbH, KG).

German real estate companies with a financing volume from €300,000 to €5 million and a duration from 12 – 24 months.

iFunded

iFunded facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending to German residential and commercial property at a minimum of 250 Euro. The platform offers lending to both already built rental real estate as well as new development & construction projects. iFunded was founded in 2015 by Michael Stephan as a German company.The office and company is located in Germany and is only facilitating loans to German real estate developers. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

To invest you must be an individual (18+) or legal entity (i.e. a company) with a European bank account.

Real Estate developers in German with a financing volume from €100,000 up to €50 million and a duration of 12 – 60 months.

Kesington Crowd

Kesington Crowd facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending to German residential and commercial property at a minimum investment of 100 Euro. The platforms offer lending to both already built rental real estate as well as development & construction projects. Kesington Crowd was founded in 2019 by CrowdDesk as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates loans to German real estate developers. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

You must be at least 18 years old or a legal entity and have a bank account with a German bank. To invest with a legal entity you need to contact them directly.

German real estate companies with a financing volume up to €2,5 million and a duration up to 5 years.

Leih Deiner Stadt Geld

Leih Deiner Stadt Geld facilitates crowdfunding in the area of government lending to German municipalities at a minimum investment of 100 Euro. The platform offers lending exclusively to municipalities in Germany from German citizens. Leih Deiner Stadt Geld was founded in 2013 by CrowdDesk GmbH as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates loans to German municipalities. All loans are in Euro (EUR). 

You must be at least 18 years old and have a bank account with a German bank. Corporations or other legal entities can’t invest, only legal persons can lend money on Leih Deiner Stadt Geld.

All German municipalities that meet the legal and regulatory requirements. These include, among other things, the legitimacy of the political leadership and the proper integration of citizen credit in the municipal budget.

Leih Deiner Umwelt Geld​

Leih Deiner Umwelt Geld facilitates crowdfunding in the area of business lending to environmentally friendly companies in Germany at a minimum investment of 250 Euro. The platform offers loans exclusively to German companies that focuses on energy efficiency such as wind farms, solar farms, bio energy and energy efficient houses. Leih Deiner Umwelt Geld was founded in 2013 by CrowdDesk as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only caters German companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

You must be at least 18 years old or a legal entity and have a bank account with a German bank. To invest with a legal entity you need to contact them directly.

German environmental companies with a financing volume up to €6 million and a duration up to 15 years.

LightFin

LightFin facilitates crowdfunding in the area of business mezzanine lending and equity based crowdfunding to German companies at a minimum investment of 250 Euro. The platform offers both loans to German companies and equity investment (ownership) in German companies. LightFin was founded in 2013 by Michael Schanz as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates financing to German companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

Legal persons must be at least 18 years old or a legal entity and be resident or have domicile in Germany with a German bank account. Private placements within the LightFin Club are open to companies and professional investors who are based in Europe.

German startups and SME companies can get financing on LightFin if they find your project qualifying to be published on the platform.

Marvest

Marvest facilitates crowdfunding in the area of business lending to martime German companies at a minimum investment of 500 Euro. The platform offers lending exclusively to the maritime sector being shipowners for newbuildings, second-hand acquisitions, refinancing or bridge loans for working capital. Marvest was founded in 2018 by Nikolaus Reus as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only faciliates loans to martime German companies. All loans are in Euro (EUR). 

Everyone who has reached the age of 18 and holds a European bank account. Private individuals can invest as well as corporations and partnerships (e.g. AG, GmbH, KG).

German companies in the maritime sector with a financing volume from €300,000 to €2 million and a duration from 12 – 120 months.

Zinsbaustein

Zinsbaustein facilitates crowdfunding in the area of real estate business lending to German residential and commercial property at a minimum investment of 500 Euro. The platform offers lending to both already built rental real estate as well as new development & construction projects. Zinsbaustein was founded in 2016 by Frank Noe, Matthias Lissner and Steffen Harting as a German company. The office and company is located in Germany and only facilitates loans to German real estate developers. All loans are in Euro (EUR).

To invest you must be an individual (18+) or legal entity (i.e. a company) with a European bank account.

Real Estate developers in German with a financing volume from €500,000 up to €2.5 million and a duration of 12 – 36 months.

The Crowdfunding Market in Germany

The latest data on the total crowdfunding market in Germany is from 2017 and collected by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. Here, the total crowdfunding market volume amounted to €595.5 million. This can be compared to €311.8 million in €2016 and €248.3 million in 2015, which corresponds to a growth rate of 91.0% in 2017 and 25.6% in 2016.

A comparison between Germany and the rest of Europe shows that Germany has a market share of 17.7% in Europe, which makes them the second largest crowdfunding market in Europe behind France, who had a slightly higher total market volume of €661.4 million. After Germany on the list we find the Netherlands with a total market volume of €279.9 million, then Italy with €240.7 million and after them Finland with €196.8 million. If you are interested to learn more about the European crowdfunding market, please visit our article about this subject here. Compared to both France, the Netherlands, the Nordic region and the UK, Germany’s growth rate of 91.0% in 2017 was higher than all others.

In the worldwide crowdfunding market, Germany was ranked as number 8 in terms of funding volume.

Statistics About P2P Lending in Germany

In 2017, peer-to-peer lending in Germany represented €396.7 million divided between P2P consumer lending (€325.3 million) and P2P business lending (€71.4 million). This makes Germany the second-largest market for peer-to-peer lending in the European Union, surpassed only by France with a total funding volume of €410.7 million. 

Looking at P2P consumer lending, Germany’s funding volume €325.3 million represented the largest market in the EU, closely followed by France with a funding volume €293.0. However, with a P2P business lending funding volume of €87.7 million and €86.5 million, respectively, both France and the Netherlands were still slightly ahead of Germany’s funding volume of €71.4 million. If we include the UK to the European region, Germany still has a long way to go. In the same period, the UK had a total P2P funding volume of £4,660 million, so there should be plenty of room for further growth for Germany in the coming years. 

Below, you will find a graph depicting the development in German peer-to-peer lending from 2015-2017.

The high overall growth rate of the German crowdfunding market explained in the section above can largely be attributed to the large growth in peer to peer consumer lending as well as real estate crowdfunding. P2P consumer lending has been the largest business model in Germany’s market for alternative finance since 2013. 

In 2017, the P2P consumer lending funding volume grew 79% from €181.5 million to €325.3 million. However, though coming from a significantly lower funding volumethe German market for P2P business lending experienced an even more impressive growth rate of 206%, growing from €23.3 million in 2016 to €71.4 million in the same period. This growth came after a radical drop in funding volume, from €48.7 million in 2015 to €23.3 million in 2016, so it will be interesting to see how this business model has developed when a new report is published, probably in the second half of 2020.

Taxation on Peer-to-Peer Lending in Germany

Since there are no specific rules for crowdfunding, P2P Lending in Germany is taxed using the general provisions of the Income Tax Code (Einkommensteuergesetz – EStG). This means that the income generated by private investors (natural persons acting in a private capacity) is taxed as income from capital, which in Germany consists of a flat withholding tax of 25% and a solidarity tax add-on (Solidaritätszuschlagsgesetz – SolzG 1995) of 5.5%. If you are acting in a commercial capacity, you are taxed according to your personal tax rate and the 5.5% solidarity surcharge. For corporate investors, the tax on income from interest is 15% and the 5.5% solidarity surcharge.

If you are interested in learning more about how peer-to-peer lending is taxed in Germany, we can recommend this paper by Tobias H. Tröger from the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE. However, always make sure to seek counseling with an accountant for specific tax related questions.

P2P Lending Regulation in Germany

Regulation of peer-to-peer in Germany is based on general national legislation as there is still a lack of common rules for crowdfunding in the European Union. However, this might change in the foreseeable future as the European Commission in March 2018 presented a proposal for a regulative framework on crowd and P2P finance as part of their Fintech Action Plan.

Germany has had a Crowdfunding regulatory regime since 2015, which is composed of amended capital market laws and consumer protection laws. The crowdfunding regulation covers crowdfunding platforms that offer subordinated loans, intermediation of profit-participating loans, and comparable investment products. In Germany, P2P lending business models often involve the intermediation of licensed bank as these will often subject to the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz – KWG).

Something that is practical to know if you are a foreign investor who wants to invest in German peer-to-peer lending is that lenders – in most cases – only need a German bank account to invest along with other basic requirements such as being over the age of 18. For borrowers, it is only possible to be granted a loan if you are a resident and have a German bank account.

Below, you will find an overview of some of the most important aspects of the regulatory framework for crowdfunding (including P2P lending) in Germany. These highlights can also be found in the impact assessment accompanying the beforementioned document.

  • Bespoke Regime: Yes
  • Scope: Profit-participating loans, subordinated loans, or other investment products (which grant the right to interest and repayment, or in exchange for the temporary provision of funds, grant a claim for cash settlement).
  • Entry into force: 10 July 2015.
  • Passport: Yes, if MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) platforms (for transferable securities).
  • Authorisation: Platform must be an investment service enterprise providing investment advice or investment brokerage services (MiFID) pursuant to Section 32 of the Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz) or must obtain an authorization pursuant to Section 34f of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung – GewO) from the competent authorities of the federal states (Länder), usually the trade office (Gewerbeamt).
  • Minimum capital requirements:
    • For MiFID platforms: Depending on the MiFID investment services and activities.
    • For platforms with a commercial license: Professional liability insurance.
  • Services provided: Investment advice or reception and transmission of orders.
  • Financial instruments: To benefit from the prospectus exemption, instruments must be profit-participating loans, subordinated loans, other investment products which grant the right to interest and repayment, or in exchange for the temporary provision of funds, grant a claim for cash settlements.
  • KYC rules (suitability or appropriateness; AML checks): Checks regarding the suitability or appropriateness of the investment for the investor pursuant to the Securities Trading Act or the Financial Investment Brokerage Ordinance; AML/CFT rules in case platforms qualify as obliged entities under the AML/CFT Act (depends on their business activities).
  • Size of offer (limitations or prospectus requirements): Exemption from the full prospectus requirement for offers of profit-participating loans, subordinated loans or other investment products below €2.5 million. This exemption is not available where an investment of the issuer is being publicly offered using the exemption of Section 2 para. 1 no. 3 of the Capital Investment Act.
  • Maximum investable amounts:
    • If the investor has freely available assets of at least €100,000: up to €10,000 in an issue.
    • If the investor does not have freely available assets of at least €100,000: twice the investor’s monthly income, but in any case, not more than €10,000.
    • In all other cases (particularly if the investor does not provide a statement on assets and income): €1,000
    • No limits for corporate entities.
  • Disclosure to investors by the issuer: If no prospectus is required: Issuer must prepare an investment information sheet (VIB) and submit it to BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). VIB must: present essential information about the investment; contain a notice that there is no prospectus approved by BaFin; contain a notice that further information may be requested from offeror or issuer; warn about the risks. Investors must confirm that they have taken note (signature or equivalent). Civil liability of offeror if VIB is misleading or inaccurate. Also, the issuer must comply with rules on marketing of investments (warning of risks).
  • Information requirements & risk warnings by platforms: if platform provided investment advice: must provide the VIB (see above) to potential investor in good time prior to purchase of the investment.
  • Due Diligence: N/A
  • Conflict of interest: Platforms required to disclose any fees, payments or other monetary benefits that they receive from third parties other than the investors in connection with the services provided
  • Professional requirements: Reliability, expertise shown by passing exam conducted by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

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