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PeerBerry Analysis

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Last updated in December 2023.

What is PeerBerry?

Founded in 2017, PeerBerry is a Croatian platform launched by Aventus Group, one of Europe's largest non-banking lending groups located in Vilnius, Lithuania. As an alternative investment platform, PeerBerry offers a range of debt investment products, including real estate, short and long-term loans, leasing, and business loans. These opportunities stem from Aventus Group's loan originators in Europe, CIS countries, and Asia.

Investors from countries not listed in the Financial Action Task Force Anti-Money Laundering (FATF AML) and high-risk jurisdictions of the E.U. can create a user on the platform. Since its beginning in 2017, PeerBerry has raised more than €2,23 billion, averaging a monthly volume of €65.75 million.[1] The platform boasts a community of 77,132 investors.[2]

Key Takeaways

  • PeerBerry is an Aventus Group owned platform and issues loans via co-investment contracts with its loan originators.
  • Investments on PeerBerry range in sizes of €10,000 to €20,000 across real estate, unsecured consumer loans, leasing and business loans.
  • The minimum investment is set at €10 and interest rates vary between 9% to 9.5%.
  • Current loan terms have a duration between 635 days to 731 days.
  • PeerBerry offers a buyback guarantee on all its listed loans in case of loan delays, but there is no secondary market or other options available for exciting investments early.

How PeerBerry Works

PeerBerry serves as a bridge connecting investors with Aventus Group issued loans, which acts as underwriter through various loan originators in Europe, CIS countries, and Asia. Investors enter into loan agreements with PeerBerry, which in turn functions as a lender to Aventus Group. Operating as an investment platform, PeerBerry facilitates the connection between its investor community and the loan originators, who are partners of Aventus Group, the sister company.[3]

Investors can choose from a variety of debt products such as short and long-term loans, leasing, business loans, and real estate. The minimum investment is €10, with loan durations spanning 635 to 731 days across the current 18 campaigns. Repayment terms differ based on loan type: monthly interest with partial principal payments for long-term and leasing, monthly interest with full principal return for business and real estate, and bullet repayment terms for short-term loans. PeerBerry campaigns range from €10,000 to €20,000.[4]

PeerBerry provides a buyback guarantee on the loans. If a borrower delays payment for more than 60 days, the loan originator commits to repurchasing the claim, ensuring investors may receive their principal with interest. Investors have no direct legal ties to borrowers, as they lend money to PeerBerry/Aventus Group's partners. These partners hold the loan contracts and collateral, preventing investors from making direct claims against borrowers.[5]

PeerBerry does not offer a secondary market for exciting investments early, but offers an auto-invest feature for queuing up for new investments available on the platform that naturally depends on the loan supply and demand on the platform. As PeerBerry offers investments from Aventus Group that finances loans from its balance sheet, it’s safe to assume they have somewhat control over the supply of loans on the platform made available to investors. Besides that, a mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and Android Google Play.

PeerBerry Returns & Fees

Among the 18 current investments, PeerBerry offers an interest rate between 9% and 9.5%. Since its launch, the platform has paid out over €27.8 million in interest to investors. The platform has not disclosed the total amount returned to investors. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, PeerBerry claims to never have experienced loans overdue for more than 60 days or defaulted loans.[6]

Following the conflict in Ukraine, 81.57% of the affected loans now face late payments exceeding 180 days. However, specific information about default rates related to these war-affected loans has not been provided by PeerBerry. The platform does note that 86.36% of the loans impacted by the war have been repaid, totaling €26.2 million. 13.4% of these loans, amounting to €4.14 million, remain unsettled.[7]

PeerBerry does not apply fees directly to investors. PeerBerry's fee structure imposed on investors is hard to get a clear picture of, with service and assignment fees varying based on the specific Terms and Conditions of each loan.[8] The platform primarily earns revenue through service fees and given that loan agreements are facilitated by its sister company, Aventus Group, it is reasonable to infer that they profit from the spread either in PeerBerry or in the Aventus Group.

PeerBerry Management

Founded in 2017 by Aventus Group, PeerBerry is led by CEO Arūnas Lekavičius, who possesses over 15 years of experience in the financial industry. Joining him is Rita Simanavičiūtė, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, with over 20 years of expertise in strategic marketing and communications, including a notable stint leading the introduction of American Express cards in Lithuania. Tadas Bulota serves as the platform’s Lawyer and Compliance Officer.

PeerBerry is owned by three shareholders: Andrejus Trofimovas (50% shares), Vytautas Olšauskas (25% shares), and Ivan Butov (25% shares). Andrejus Trofimovas, who holds half of the shares, also serves as the CEO of Aventus Group.[9]

PeerBerry received its initial venture round funding from Genrik Baitiul, and as of now, no additional funding rounds have taken place.[10] In April 2021, Genrik Baitul traded his shares to Igor Trofimovas, giving him a 50% stake in the company. Later, in August 2022, the current CEO of Aventus Group, Andrejus Trofimovas, acquired all the shares previously held by Igor Trofimovas.

Special Considerations

In 2022, PeerBerry reported a net profit of €663,455, marking a 160% growth year-on-year. Investors earned €7.16 million in interest in 2022, a notable increase of €1 million or 12% year-on-year. The cumulative interest earned by investors on the platform has surpassed €21 million. The platform's loan portfolio also experienced a healthy growth of 19%, reaching €101.18 million at year-end.

PeerBerry facilitated the funding of €537.5 million in loans. The platform expanded, adding 14,524 new investors in 2022, averaging 1,210 new investors per month. This represented a 30% growth in the PeerBerry community.

The war in Ukraine affected 50% of PeerBerry's portfolio. Through the Group guarantee mechanism, loan originators managed to repay €36.8 million within 14 months of the war, covering 73.3% of the total war-affected obligations owed to PeerBerry investors.[11]

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