Loan Originator Marketplace by Financially Strong Holding Company Robocash Group
Robocash is a relatively new Peer-to-Peer lending platform by the financially strong Robocash Group. This loan originator marketplace targets European investors with a range of short-term consumer loans originating mainly from emerging Asian economies. Is it safe? Is it worth putting your money in? Here’s our full review.
|Total Investment Volume||€201,4m+|
|Average annual interest:||12%|
|Who’s eligible to invest||EU and Swiss|
|Investment Type||Consumer Loans|
|Secondary Market||Yes – restricted to long-term loans|
|Auto Invest Function||Yes|
|Investor Protection||Buyback Guarantee|
|Website Languages||English, German, Spanish, Russian|
PROS & CONS
- The platform offers a buyback guarantee for all the investments. Although it isn’t a novelty in itself – many platforms do, Robocash’s buyback guarantee is a level-up. The payback period is only 30 days (60 days on most platforms) and you get both the outstanding principal and the interest for the delayed period. So, you can keep earning interest even if the borrower is late with their payments or has defaulted.
- You can lend money to consumers in Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Singapore and Spain, which provides a unique geographical diversification opportunity, compared to traditional offers of European platforms.
- Robocash, unlike many P2P lending platforms, is a part of a bigger financial holding. The Robocash Group has a proven track record, solid year-to-year financial results and a very good level of transparency.
- All loan originators available on the platform are part of the Robocash Group, which means if something goes wrong, you have “all your eggs in one basket”. Also, despite the interesting geographical exposure, few options are available. Ninety-five per cent of borrowers are based in Kazakhstan and Singapore, only a small fraction of loans come from Spain, and there are currently no investment options from Vietnam.
- A secondary market has been recently introduced, but you can only sell and buy loans with the maturity of one year and which you have owned for at least six months. For the majority of loans, you need to disable your auto-investment strategy and wait for the loans to mature if you want to recoup your capital.
- Robocash offers a very simplistic interface, which can be a good thing. However, this often comes at a cost of low website transparency and poor user-friendliness, not to mention occasional translation slips. Keep it simple but improve!
Who is Robocash best for?
Some perceive Robocash ideal for beginner P2P investors, due to its simple interface, limited investment options (only auto-invest) and low minimum investment threshold. However, relatively poor diversification opportunities arguably make Robocash an imperfect option for a single-platform strategy.
So, choose Robocash primarily if you want to diversify and expand your portfolio with a platform backed by a strong financial holding and with exposure to non-European markets.
What does Robocash offer?
As the name suggests, Robocash is all about automation. The platform does not allow for manual investments at all. Instead, it focuses only on the, quite decently developed and adjustable, auto-invest option. Two types of loans, both always denominated in Euro, are available:
- Microloans or payday loans comprise the vast majority of available loans. Usually, borrowers vow to repay those when they receive the next paycheck. Thus, they are typically for just a few hundred Euros at the most and last less than 30 days.
- Instalment loans can take from one month up to one year. Unlike with microloans where you get all your money and interest back at the end of the term, these offer fixed monthly repayments until the loan is settled.
Who is behind Robocash?
Robocash Group launched in Russia in 2013 under the leadership of the founder and CEO Sergey Sedov. As of November 2020, the Group has served 11.7 million clients in eight countries in Europe and Asia (Croatia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam). The Robocash platform is now headquartered in Zagreb, Croatia, having moved from Riga, Latvia in 2019 (quite an unusual move for a P2P lending platform).
The excellent financial performance of the Group, as well as the availability of transparent financial reports and, is a strong point fostering the legitimacy of the platform. The profits in 2019 reached almost $16 million (up from $11.6 in 2018), and the company managed to hit over $10 million profits in the first half of 2020, amidst the global pandemic.
One potential red flag is that Robocash’s Latvia-based bank – BlueOrange Bank, was previously fined over anti-money laundering violations, and has been associated with clients mainly from former Soviet Union countries.
How much can you earn?
Virtually all loans available on the platform have an annual interest rate of 12% so, assuming the full buyback guarantee holds, this is exactly what you can expect to earn.
You can get up to 1% extra return taking part in the loyalty programme – the more you invest, the more extra return you’ll get. It’s also good to keep an eye on the available benefit schemes, such as the Refer-a-Friend programme or the cashback campaign (recently expired).
How to invest on Robocash
To start investing with Robocash, you need to complete a four-step registration process, add funds to your account and create a portfolio with preferable parameters. The system will then take care of choosing the most suitable loans for you.
If you find your portfolio too Europe-focused, Robocash offers a good diversification opportunity. It is backed by a solid (non-EU) financial holding and exposed to some very unique markets. Impeccable track record and great financial results of the Group fairly ensures investment safety. Committing a big share of your money might not be the best strategy though – if the holding company gets into trouble, things might go spectacularly wrong.
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.