It has been a long time since I first told you why I started investing on Viainvest. A lot has happened since then.
In this updated Viainvest review, I want to share my honest opinion about the p2p lending platform, my experience as an investor since October 2019 and my auto invest settings.
I’ll try my best to keep this review up-to-date, so that you can see my actual returns and account balance on a monthly basis.
Before we get started, please remember that none of this is financial advice, just my personal opinion as an investor. So always do your own research as well!
About Viainvest and VIA SMS
Viainvest launched its p2p lending platform in December 2016.
Its holding company, the VIA SMS Group, has been active in the lending sector since all the way back in 2009. Over the past 13 years, the group has grown to one of the leading consumer lenders in Europe.
VIA SMS currently operates in 7 countries: Latvia, Sweden, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Moldowa. That is also who is providing all of the loans that are offered on Viainvest.
The Viainvest platform itself offers investments into consumer loans from Latvia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania. So far, over 338 million € worth of loans were funded on Viainvest.
Licensed as an Investment Brokerage Firm
In September 2021, Viainvest announced that it received its investment brokerage firm license, issued by the Financial Capital Market Commission in Latvia. The platform fully transitioned its loan investment offerings from claim rights to regulated, asset backed securities.
The license and new regulation should provide investors with an extra layer of protection compared to unregulated platforms in the space, so this is definitely great news.
13% Interest and a Buyback Obligation?
The loans on Viainvest, which have been renamed to asset-backed securities with the new regulation, pay 13% interest per year and come with a 60-day buyback guarantee. That means that the loan originator is obligated to buy back any loan that is 60 days late, including both principal and interest.
Investors also receive interest on delayed payments, which is not always the case in the peer-to-peer lending space.
The 60-day Buyback Obligation (The Truth)
However, as some of us had to realize in 2020, while a buyback obligation is great to have, it’s only as good as the lending company that’s offering it.
Whenever possible, we want a financially stable loan originator, with a proven, profitable business model backing it.
Luckily, that’s the case with the VIA SMS Group.
Is The VIA SMS Group Profitable?
The Via SMS Group publishes its audited financial statements every year on its website.
According to the financial statements, the group has been profitable every year from 2013-2021. The year 2020 was the only exception, in which the group had a small net loss (-282.953€). Meanwhile, the group generated a net profit of €2,24 million in 2021 and €1,07 million so far in the first half of 2022.
What all of this tells me is that they’re an experienced lending company and that they know how to navigate this business profitably. That’s why I personally feel confident in my investments on Viainvest and in them upholding the loan buyback guarantee when necessary.
Ok, let’s get back to the lending platform itself.
Asset-Backed Securities (Loans Explained)
In August 2022, Viainvest transitioned all of its loan offerings to asset-backed securities.
Each asset-backed security contains a diverse pool of several loans, creating a bit of diversification within each investment.
Each newly issued asset-backed security currently has a duration of 182 days, with regular principal and interest repayments linked to the individual loans that it contains.
The actual duration of these investments can be lower, in case borrowers repay their loans earlier. However, the loan term can not be extended beyond 182 days, making things a lot easier for investors.
Does Viainvest Have a Secondary Market?
No, Viainvest doesn’t have a secondary market right now.
How To Reduce Withholding Taxes
Due to the regulation, like Mintos, Viainvest also had to introduce a withholding tax of 20% on the interest that you earn from asset-backed securities.
However, you can lower this to 10% or less by submitting your tax residency certificate, which you should do right away. Mine got approved within a few days:
Also, you should know that you’re simply pre-paying some taxes on your profits this way, as you can count these paid withholding taxes against your taxable income in your yearly tax returns.
Thus at the end of the day, you’re earning the same in interest, you’re simply losing out on a bit of compound interest as you’re paying a portion of taxes early.
My Viainvest Experience
Let’s have a look at my experience as a Viainvest investor, my auto invest settings and some things you need to be aware of when choosing what to invest in.
My investment journey on Viainvest began on October 15th, 2019.
I started with 1.500€ and increased my total deposits to 2.737€ since then, as I’ve been very pleased with the platform.
My Viainvest Returns So Far
As of October 1st, 2022, I received a total of 929,40€ in interest payments from my investments on Viainvest.
Not only that, but according to my dashboard, I currently have an additional 21,27€ in accumulated interest, which hasn’t been paid out yet. I really like this feature, I wish all platforms would offer the same (Robocash does!).
According to Portfolio Performance, this is my internal rate of return so far: 12,35% p.a.
My Viainvest Auto Invest Settings
Let’s get to my Viainvest auto invest settings and some details that you need to know about.
Don’t worry if you don’t see available loans when you visit the website. They add new loans several times per day. Just set up your auto invest, give it some time and it should pick them up for you.
Auto-invest size: Set a portfolio size that is larger than your account balance if you want to reinvest the interest payments you receive over time. I currently set mine to 4.000€.
Maximum Investments in a single issuance: The minimum is 50€. If you set it higher (I have mine at 100€ right now), then you’ll be fully invested faster, but you’re diversified over a smaller number of asset-backed securities and loans. So it’s a tradeoff.
Total Interest rate: Since September 14th, 2022, all newly-issued asset backed securities on Viainvest are offered with a 13% interest rate, which is why I entered 13% as minimum.
Remaining term: I left this the way it was set by default (0-365 days).
Underlying loan originator: Here I selected all of the loan originators except for the last one, Vamo Lending Inc. (PH).
Buyback Obligation: Yes (should be selected by default)
Now just give the Auto Invest a few days and your money should be fully invested. At least that has been my own experience.
The Auto Invest Can Be Slow Sometimes
Yes, the auto invest can be a bit slow at times. If you want your money invested faster in return for less diversification, you can always increase the maximum amount you’re willing to invest per loan.
You can also buy loans manually when you see available ones (the fastest way is via the Viainvest mobile app), if you want your money invested right away.
But really, I wouldn’t stress too much about it and just let the auto invest do its thing. You probably have better things to do.
Viainvest Review Conclusion
Alright, so here’s my opinion after 3 years as an investor on Viainvest.
Long story short, Viainvest is still one of my favorite P2P lending platforms. Here is why:
- I like the consistent interest rates of 13% per year
- the choice of countries to invest in – Sweden for example is hard to find on other platforms, especially at a 13% interest rate
- the reliable auto invest, which always keeps my money fully invested
- the transparency, financial stability and track record of the VIA SMS Group, which is important for the 60-day buyback obligation
- and last but not least, Viainvest now officially being licensed as an investment brokerage firm.
The two things that should be improved in my opinion are:
- The Auto Invest should be updated to buy loans right away when they become available. It should never be possible for investors to be faster buying loans manually instead.
- The account dashboard needs to be improved. Right now the split between Invested in Loans and Invested in Securities is a bit confusing.
Ok, that pretty much sums up everything for my Viainvest review!
1% Viainvest Bonus
If you found my review helpful, you’d like to support me and you’re interested in checking out the platform for yourself, you can…
- Sign up to Viainvest via this link to get 1% cashback on your average daily investment balance within the first 90 days after you verified your account.
How has your experience been with Viainvest? Is there anything you agree or disagree with from my review? Let’s have an open discussion in the comments!
Viainvest Review Videos
Both of these are a bit out of date since Viainvest’s transition to asset-backed securities, but I’ll still leave these here.
- My Investment Tools
A list containing all my investments in P2P Lending, the brokerage accounts I use to buy ETFs, my speculative investments in Bitcoin and my free bank accounts. It even includes the tools I use for blogging and YouTube.
- P2P Bonus Offers
A collection of all the best, currently available bonus and cashback offers in the P2P lending space. Regularly updated.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risks of losses. You should always do your own research before investing into anything. Also, some of the links are affiliate links, which help support me, the website & YouTube channel. I only link to services I use myself, none of them are sponsored.
are you OK with the company that audited the via sms group?
it’s not one of big 4 neither big 10…
Yes, BDO is a highly reputable, well-known auditing firm. They’ve been around since 1964 and made $10,3 billion revenue last year. Zero concerns from my side.
Hi, have you tried to withdraw some money from your account on VIAINVEST?
Do you know if there are fees associated, or if the process takes to long?
Hi João, there are no withdrawal fees on Viainvest. I made my last withdrawal in January 2021, and had no issues myself. According to more recent experiences I could find checking some Viainvest investor groups, withdrawals shouldn’t take longer than 2-4 business days.