A large and long-standing P2P lending marketplace with an appetite for revamping its offer
TWINO offers unsecured personal loans, business and invoice financing loans as well as real estate loans in Eastern Europe and Asia under the umbrella of a large and well-established financial group. How does it compare to other investment options out there?
|Total Investment Volume||€820m+|
|Average annual interest||10.46%|
|Minimum Investment||€10 (€100 for TWINO ventures)|
|Who’s eligible to invest||EEA residents|
|Investment Type||Marketplace Lending|
|Auto Invest Function||Yes|
|Investor Protection||Buyback & payment guar., collateral|
|Website Language||English, German, Latvian|
PROS & CONS
- The platform itself has been around for a while (launched in 2015), attracting over 26,000 investors and becoming the second-largest marketplace lending site in our database. But the parent company – the TWINO Group has an even longer track record as it entered the personal lending scene in 2009. It has remained profitable and issued over €1.2 billion-worth of loans since then.
- Investments are protected with a “standard” 60-day buyback guarantee and might have an additional payment guarantee, under which TWINO will compensate both the principal and the interest as per the original loan repayment schedule. This means you won’t have to wait 60 days for repayment but receive instalments monthly even if the borrower lags with paying back or defaults.
- In 2020, TWINO entered the real estate lending scene with a new product – TWINO Ventures. It remains to be seen how this diversification attempt will play out for the investors but it does look promising. The company announced it planned to invest more than €30 million through TWINO Ventures in 2020 and to triple this amount by 2022 but, so far, there’s little data available on the demand for and performance of TWINO’s new loans.
- TWINO’s financial reports are available, comprehensive and (unlike most) reader-friendly. Certain issues beg more explanations though. For one, TWINO’s statistics page is extremely basic and omits several crucial data points such as average historical return or further breakdown of loans by type, origin, duration, loan originator, etc. Any information on the performance of TWINO Ventures would be especially appreciated. Second, TWINO markets are a bit of a puzzle – they list a different set of markets in at least three places on the website – the loan originators section, the FAQs, and the about us section. Although there is some info on new and old markets in the financial reports, there is also some further conflicting information. All in all, it’s quite a mess and I would gladly see more clarity on which markets are active, which have been abandoned and why, and what the expansion plans are. Opening and closing branches so quickly that you can’t keep up with updating the website isn’t a sign of stability.
- Despite diversification attempts into new investment types (TWINO Ventures), there are still some issues with creating a well-balanced portfolio on TWINO. The large majority of deals are short-term unsecured personal loans and geographical diversification isn’t (at the moment) great either. Most importantly, all loan originators come from the very same parent company – which has its benefits – but also exposes investors to a major risk should the Group encounter any serious hurdles.
- Some Russian loans come with a so-called “currency exposure”. This basically means that your earnings will depend on the currency fluctuations – EUR/RUB or GBP/RUB, depending on the currency registered on your TWINO account. It’s possible to exclude such loans in your auto-invest settings but it’ll obviously decrease the number of available investment projects. Personally, I can’t see any pros of such a feature and it seems to be adding another unnecessary risk for the investor.
Who is behind TWINO?
Armands Broks is TWINO’s sole shareholder and Anastasija Oleinika holds the CEO role, having quickly climbed the ladder from a division head to CFO to COO to CEO. You can read our latest interview with Anastasija here. Besides the young and talented top management, TWINO Group employs over 300 people across their branches. As mentioned above, the Group has noted excellent results over the years and, except for the worrying tendency to enter and exit new markets disturbingly often, it seems perfectly sound.
What does TWINO offer?
As far as I can tell, you can currently invest in loans from Latvia, Russia, Poland and Vietnam, although the latter has been added recently and the volumes are still very low. There are three main options:
- Unsecured consumer loans constitute the large majority of TWINO’s offer, include short-term and instalment loans and are covered by the buyback and, optionally, payment guarantee.
- Business loans and invoice financing issued to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and come with a personal guarantee.
- Venture loans are backed by collateral from the borrower (including first- or second-ranking mortgage, a pledge, and/or personal guarantees).
How much can you earn?
The average historical return stands at 10.46% as shared with P2PMarketData by Anastasija Oleinika and the average returns seem pretty stable over the years. TWINO advertises a return of up to 12% on TWINO Ventures but it remains to be seen how realistic this will turn out to be.
Who is TWINO best for?
I wouldn’t see TWINO as a cornerstone of a P2P lending portfolio. It does, however, have some strong points, which make it worthwhile to include as a means to diversify your wallet with loans backed by a solid financial group. It’s curious how TWINO Ventures will develop – if TWINO succeeds in bringing in different types of assets, it could potentially become a good all-in-one platform and another decent option for beginners.
How to invest on TWINO
After you have filled out TWINO’s registration form, you will need to decide whether to invest in EUR or GBP – the first deposit will determine your account’s main currency (no, you can’t use both). If you realise your first deposit in EUR, all transactions under your account will be done in EUR. You can then start investing either manually or by setting up an auto-invest strategy (a recommended option).
TWINO is one of the largest P2P lending platforms in Europe, with significant investor interest and trust as well as a long and solid track record of the parent company – TWINO Group. TWINO seems to be constantly evolving, with frequent changes to the markets they operate in, introducing new investment products or, earlier on, reorganising the secondary market structure. It’ll be interesting to see where these changes will eventually lead them.
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