I’ve been asked what I think of Peerberry countless times on Youtube, via email and on the blog. So today, in my Peerberry review, I finally want to put this subject to rest and give you my honest opinion about the platform.
I know this platform is very popular amongst the P2P lending community, with most investors speaking very highly of Peerberry.
Still, I wanted to do more research and finally tell you what I think of it myself.
Please keep in mind that none of this is financial advice, just my personal opinion as a peer to peer investor. So always do your own research as well.
Ok, let’s get into the review, starting with some background information.
About Peerberry and the Aventus Group
Peerberry was launched in November 2017 by the Aventus Group, a group of lending companies operating since 2009.
The platform itself was actually sold to two businessmen based in Lithuania in 2018, Genrik Baitiul and Ivan Butov, as the Aventus Group wanted to focus on its lending business.
According to the Peerberry CEO, the two of them only act as shareholders, don’t take any positions, don’t participate in the management and don’t make any business decisions regarding the platform.
That to me is a bit strange, but maybe the platform and the lending companies need to be separate for legal reasons.
Arūnas Lekavičius, the CEO, is the one that’s actually responsible for the PeerBerry business.
You might have already seen some messages from Rita Simanavičiūtė, their head of marketing.
Rita is very active on social media and always open to answer questions and in different P2P lending related groups. She also replied to my inquiries right away, which I really appreciated.
The Peerberry P2P Platform
As of February 5th, over 390 million euros have been invested via Peerberry in total, with investors achieving an average annual return of 11,09% on their investments so far.
And according to Peerberry’s latest published annual report, the platform itself was profitable as well.
The platform currently offers investments into these loan types:
- Short-term loans
- Long-term loans
- Real estate loans
- Leasing loans
- Business loans
The loans are from these countries:
- Czech Republic
- Sri Lanka
Four groups of loan originators offer the loans on Peerberry. The largest one is the Aventus Group, followed by the Gofingo Group, Lithome and the SIB Group.
The minimum investment is 10€ per loan.
The Buyback Guarantee and Group Guarantee
All the investments on Peerberry come with a 60-day buyback guarantee, provided by the lending companies.
That means that they have a contractual obligation to buy back any loan that is over 60 days late on its payments. Investors also receive interest on delayed payments on Peerberry.
The Aventus and the Gofingo group offer an additional group buyback guarantee on the loans that are offered by their many subsidiaries. Here’s how it works.
However, as usual, the buyback guarantee or buyback obligation, as Mintos has more fittingly renamed it recently, is only as good as the financial situation of the lending company that’s providing it.
Peerberry says that they’re evaluating their loan originators regularly, to make sure they are in a good financial position and able to fulfill their obligations towards investors on the platform.
Personally, I much prefer seeing actual numbers. So let’s see what we can find.
For that, we have to go back to Peerberry’s loan originator page, where we can see each lending company sorted by the group they’re part of.
When we click on a loan originator we get more details about them, including financial statements in most cases:
Many of them are audited as well, which is good to see.
However, the latter two, Lithome and SIBgroup are not, and they don’t offer an additional group guarantee. So I would personally skip those two loan originators, based on what little information is available.
Instead, I would primarily invest into loans issued by the Aventus Group, which is a lot more transparent about the results of its subsidiary lending companies.
The group’s financial situation seems to be quite strong as well, which matters for the group buyback guarantee that they offer. According to their website, they generated a net profit of 12,6 million euros in 2019 and it looks like they were able to remain profitable even during the difficult economic conditions in 2020.
Why There Are No Consolidated Financial Statements for the Aventus Group
According to their CEO, the Aventus Group doesn’t currently provide a consolidated financial statement for these reasons:
- They currently operate over 30 companies, so it’s not easy to consolidate
- They always look for efficiency in their group and they never spend money when it’s not needed. In their opinion, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of investors to spend lots of time & money on a consolidated financial statement.
- When operating in countries like Russia, it’s a disadvantage when companies are grouped together. In case one would lose the license, then the others can be affected as well. Thus, in certain regions, having some separation between the shareholders can be advantageous to protect the business.
- They already publish financial statements for each of their lending companies on Peerberry, which investors can check out on their site.
According to Peerberry, the Gofingo Group remained profitable in 2020 as well. However, since they seem to be quite dependent on a single market, the Ukraine, I would personally stick to Aventus loans myself.
Peerberry Auto Invest Settings
That’s also how I would set up my Peerberry auto invest if I was an investor.
Personally, I would only select the lending companies that are part of the Aventus Group:
Of course, you’re free to do things differently!
Alright, let’s get to my honest opinion.
To mix things up a bit from my usual routine, let’s start with what I don’t like for once.
What I Dislike About Peerberry
This part is of course very subjective and very personal to me, so take this with a grain of salt. Still, it influenced my perception of the platform.
1. My initial impression whenever I visited the Peerberry website since 2018, was always that it looked a bit unprofessional. The first thing I was presented with, was a massive stock photo, which I’ve seen on hundreds of free blog templates online. There is nothing wrong with using stock images, but I’m missing a bit more personality.
I also don’t like this part: “Highly credible P2P investment platform”. These are the synonyms for highly credible. The same thing goes for the German site, where the first two words below the header translate to “very trustworthy”. To me, that doesn’t sound right.
In my opinion this should be replaced with “reliable” or something else. Or something about the platform’s track record, which has been great so far!
The same goes for the About Us page, but there at least you can see the team behind Peerberry when you scroll down. Meanwhile, the statistics page, the loan originator page and the account interface look great, so I have no complaints there.
This first impression, however subjective it may be, was actually what kept me from investing on Peerberry when I started building my P2P lending portfolio in 2018.
2. I would like to see consolidated financial statements for the Aventus Group and Gofingo, to be able to judge the additional group guarantees, so hopefully we’ll see those going forward.
3. Lastly, I find the situation with the two separate shareholders that bought the Peerberry platform from the Aventus group in 2018 a bit strange and that they would only treat it as an investment, without being actively involved in day-to-day decisions.
I understand that oftentimes for legal reasons, platforms and lending companies need to be separate entities, so maybe that’s the real reason behind it.
Ok, now let’s get to the pros, the things that I do like about Peerberry!
What I Like About Peerberry
1. I appreciate that Peerberry publishes the financial statements for all of its loan originators on the website, many of which have been profitable. The platform itself seems to be profitable as well.
2. All loans on the platform come with a 60-day buyback guarantee or buyback obligation (probably the better term), which includes all outstanding interest payments.
There’s an additional group guarantee on the loans issued by Aventus and Gofingo.
3. Peerberry is actively seeking more regulation and an international brokerage firm license, which if implemented, should provide investors with more security.
4. Peerberry handled 2020 very well, especially when we compare them to other p2p marketplaces. A large number of investors seem to have a lot of confidence in the platform, as Peerberry even managed to beat its funding records over the past few months:
As of today, no investor lost money investing on Peerberry and withdrawals have always been processed quickly and without issues.
So I understand why they have become so popular and why they’re growing quickly!
Am I Investing On Peerberry?
Even though Peerberry undoubtedly has a lot to offer, the short answer is still no, at least for now.
Currently, I don’t feel like they would add anything special I didn’t already have in my investment portfolio, as I’m already on 8 other platforms.
That in itself is making the management of my portfolio complex enough as it is. Your situation may be different and you might really like what the platform has to offer.
What do you guys think, did I miss something? Do you agree or disagree with what I mentioned?
I would love to know about your own experience with Peerberry in the comments!
If you found my review helpful, you’d like to support me and you’re interested in checking out Peerberry for yourself, you can…
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