A high-return, high-risk platform facing ongoing troubles with loan originators
Viventor has been doing well, delivering high returns and avoiding serious problems, until the pandemic-induced stress test kicked in. Last year has been marred with troubles, from ownership change and management questions to a series of defaults and not always successful recoveries. Does Viventor remain a good high-yield option after the COVID crisis?
|Total Investment Volume||€140m+|
|Average annual interest||13.6%|
|Investment Fees||A variable cost recovery fee|
|Who’s eligible to invest||EEA bank account holders|
|Investment Type||Marketplace lending|
|Auto Invest Function||Yes|
|Investor Protection||Payment & buyback guarantee|
|Website Language||En, De, Nl, Es, Lv|
PROS & CONS
- The historical return of 13.6% is well above the industry average and significantly higher than comparable marketplaces such as Mintos, Twino or Peerberry, which are already considered high-yield platforms. If you choose your investment wisely and have a pinch of luck, you can make more than that – roughly a third of all Viventor investors earn 14% or more.
- You can achieve a well-balanced portfolio, with loans available across seven countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Russia and Spain. Although consumer loans constitute a large majority, you can also diversify into invoice financing and business loans.
- Most loans come with a 60-day buyback guarantee covering both the principal and the interest. The additional payment guarantee ensures a swift capital flow – the loan originator will cover the monthly loan repayments even if the borrower is unable to pay back on time. Business loans are secured by collateral. Finally, you invest in pre-funded loans, which means they have already been issued by the loan originators. This, along with a 5% skin-in-the-game, should safeguard the quality of accepted projects.
- On the website, Viventor states that their revenue more than tripled from 2018 to 2019 from €0.1 million to €0.31 million and that they “expect to reach a break-even point in 2020”. There is, however, no updated information on the company’s financial condition as they failed to submit statements for the last two years. According to the latest 2018 financial report, Viventor recorded a loss of almost €0.12 million (down from over –€0.4 million in 2017).
- Viventor has suspended five of its 17 loan originators since June 2020, and almost €4 million of investors’ money is currently at risk. Viventor’s experience with debt recovery is mixed – they managed to recover debts from Aforti Finance and MyCredit (a total of over €0.9 million). Retrieving capital from Twinero & Presto didn’t go down so well – investors were given options to reclaim 20% of the invested principal immediately or sit it out and hope for a 100% repayment over 5 years (unguaranteed).
- Apart from not publishing financial reports, Viventor’s statistics page is rather poor. Most notably though, the ‘About us’ page with the team structure has been taken down, so we have no good idea of who’s steering the company through still not the easiest times. Transparency and communication about performance, default and recovery issues are also low – you won’t learn the crucial details from Viventor’s website.
Who is behind Viventor?
Andrius Bolšaitis used to lead Viventor until November 2020, but there’s no information whatsoever about the current management team on Viventor’s website.
The platform used to be operated by Prestamos Prima – a Spanish loan originator but was acquired in June 2020 by a Dutch FinTech investor – Lotus 597. Lotus 597 is part of the Gielen Group that also owns Atlantis Financiers – one of the largest loan originators on Viventor. This is where the fun starts – Atlantis is currently suspended by Viventor, and its loans categorized as ‘at risk’ due to ‘exceptionally high levels of credit risk’ and ‘insufficient capability to meet financial obligations’. Looks like quite a mess to me.
What does Viventor offer?
In theory, Viventor offers four loan types: consumer, business and invoice financing loans as well as a line of credit. However, the only loan originators providing invoice financing (Atlantis Financiers) and line of credit (Presto) are either suspended or defaulted. This leaves investors with two main options:
- Consumer loans constitute a large majority of available deals. They have durations between 7 days and 48 months, and interest rates are usually between 10 and 12%.
- Business loans tend to offer lower returns (7-12% for 6 to 60 months) but usually come with real estate collateral as well as a buyback guarantee.
How much can you earn?
The average historical return has been 13.6%. Indeed, most investors make between 12 and 14%, although some have managed to achieve more than 15%, and some failed to reach 8%. Ultimately, the returns depend on your investment strategy, portfolio diversification and, as always, a bit of luck.
Who is Viventor best for?
Good diversification, low minimum investment requirements, an early exit and auto-invest option, and even a demo account, where you can play with investing in loans with virtual money. All these features would make Viventor a great place for beginners who are just starting their P2P investment journey – if only not the elevated risk. Given the amount of capital at risk, I think Viventor should be only used by more experienced investors with an existing diversified investment wallet, who consciously want to add high-return, high-risk assets into their portfolios.
How to invest at Viventor?
You need to fill in the sign-up form and provide your identification documents for verification. You can then add funds and start investing, either manually or by creating an auto-invest strategy.
Viventor has without doubt lost some investor trust over the past year, which you can clearly see in the significant slowdown of their funding volumes starting around April 2020. As we highlighted in our COVID impact analysis, high-risk platforms generally fared worse. The change of Viventor’s ownership, unclear management changes, several loan originators’ defaults and a failed debt recovery process certainly didn’t help. Viventor can still make it through the crisis and emerge as a risky but worthwhile platform. However, if you choose to invest there, you need to be aware that high-yield investments are always inherently risky and troubles, as with Twinero & Presto in this case, are to be expected.
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