APRIL 2020 UPDATE: GRUPEER HAS TEMPORARILY DISABLED WITHDRAWALS FROM THEIR PLATFORM. DUE TO THIS DEVELOPMENT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND SIGNING UP WITH THE PLATFORM AT THE MOMENT.
Since I started investing in P2P lending in Europe in 2016, I have used a few different platforms. In 2018, I started diversifying my P2P lending investments even more and this was when I tried Grupeer for the first time.
Grupeer was founded in 2016 in Latvia and has since given out loans of 69 million EUR to investors from over 92 countries. Grupeer offer business and project loans, which makes it a bit different from other platforms, since you don’t give loans to private individuals.
I believe Grupeer is one of the more serious alternatives to Mintos that could get you a higher return than is currently seen on the platform. It has grown quite significantly from 16 million EUR in funded loans when I started investing in them to four times that amount.
The loans mostly have terms above 12 months with 23 months being the highest loan term I have seen so far on the platform. At the time of writing the lowest interest rate of a loan on the platform is 14% and the highest is 15%. They have reported an average of 14.42% in pre-tax returns to their investors so far, which I consider good compared to other platforms.
As one of the few P2P lending platforms in Europe, Grupeer has more than 20 loan originators (22 to be exact) registered on the platform. I like it when you can diversify your loans and spread your risk across different loan originators on a platform. On top of this, Grupeer offers a buyback guarantee on all loans and the possibility of using autoinvest. The platform doesn’t have a secondary market, although it is stated clearly it will be introduced as the platform matures.
Grupeer has received quite good reviews on Trustpilot since their launch with a TrustScore of 4.2/5.0:
Overall, I have been very happy with Grupeer so far with an average return just below 14% pre-tax (I made an autoinvest error in the beginning, so I got some loans at 12% while loans at 15% were available – lesson learned). I believe the platform is one of the best in Europe, but it still has some room for improvement.
Before you start investing in any of the European P2P lending platforms, I suggest you check out my comparison of the best European P2P lending platforms.
My first impressions of Grupeer’s P2P lending platform
Grupeer is a traditional P2P lending platform that matches borrowers and lenders. The lenders deposit money on the platform, select the business loans they want to fund (manually or through autoinvest) and then receive interest on the loan. In the case of Grupeer, the borrowers are only businesses and the lenders can be both individuals and businesses.
Using the Grupeer platform it is clear the loan amounts are bigger than platforms offering consumer loans. This also means that there are fewer loans, although there’s still plenty of opportunities to diversify your investment across different loans.
The sign-up process was very easy and efficient and took 3 days in total from I registered, deposited money, my account was verified and the money was in my account ready to invest:
The Grupeer platform has a very intuitive interface with just the functionality you need (there’s no fancy bells and whistles here).
The ‘Invest’ dropdown gives access to loans and development projects (essentially in the same overview) from where you can invest directly, a secondary market that is under development and the autoinvest portfolios. The other links are pretty self-explanatory and mostly gives you nice overviews or enable you to deposit/withdraw.
One of the key differentiators of Grupeer compared to other platforms is that they offer very detailed information on each business loan and development project. Regardless of what you invest in, you can read a very (!) detailed description of the company/project you lend your money to and what the purpose of the loan is. You can even see pictures of the development projects. This is an example of what I’m talking about:
You see what I mean when I say it is detailed? Oh, and if you click on ‘Loan information’ you can read exactly what the money is being spent on (in the example above it is used for the interior for the apartments). For investing 10-50 EUR in a loan this is more information than I could wish for – and I love having transparency of what my money is used to fund 🙂
Overall, I believe the platform is easy to understand and give good information, but I believe Grupeer could become better at reporting your returns in a more detailed way. Currently, you can access an overview of your account balance and income in EUR, but the platform currently lacks a visually appealing net annual return including a breakdown of the components.
What has my return been with Grupeer so far?
Since I started investing with Grupeer I have made a return of close to 14% before tax. I believe this could have been even higher if I had set my autoinvest settings correct from the beginning. At the time of writing, Grupeer has a few 15% loans available, and I consider this good and competitive compared to other platforms where my returns have decreased lately (e.g. on Mintos where I have a return of ~12% annually).
Even though the platform has fewer (but larger) loans than others, my money has been 100% invested without any cash drag while I have used the platform. I hope they can keep this up as the number of investors keeps increasing.
How to make the first investments using Grupeer
It is super easy to make your first investments using Grupeer. As soon as the money is deposited you are good to go. The first step is to filter for the loan deals and development projects you would like (e.g. interest rate and term intervals). I have decided only to invest in loan deals and development projects above 12% interest rates with more than 3 months to go (I prefer it when my loans do not have to be re-invested frequently) and I accept all 14 loan originators:
I placed my first 10 EUR investment manually to test out the platform. I chose a loan deal at a 12% interest rate with a 16 months term. Once you click “Invest” you enter you can enter the amount you wish to invest in that particular loan:
When you click on the blue suitcase, your order is added to your basket:
Before you confirm the order you might also click on the loan ID to dive further into the loan details, borrower details/project details, investments and loan schedule. Once you are ready to confirm a loan you navigate to your basket to confirm the order:
The only thing you should be aware of is making sure you choose the loans with the highest interest rate possible (of course only if you are willing to accept the same risk as I am). Grupeer now does not offer the possibility to sort the loans by interest rate. This means you have to manually search for high-interest rate loans and gradually decrease the minimum interest rate to find the highest interest rate loans.
Should you invest using the autoinvest feature?
The Grupeer platform offers the possibility of autoinvesting in business loans and development projects.
You can create different autoinvest strategies with quite differing settings – and it is possible to prioritize between the different strategies (I love it when platforms offer this!). Here are the settings I use and a screenshot of my only autoinvest strategy:
- Loan type: I select all five loans types (mortgage loan, car loan, personal loan, business loan, and development project – for now only the latter two have available loans)
- Country: I select all available countries
- Loan originator: I select all loan originators (I wouldn’t know how to check them properly for now)
- Interest rate interval (%): I use an interval of 12-25% as I would like the returns to be higher than 12% and it is working well
- Term interval (months): I use 3-36 months as I don’t like the very short-term loans and I don’t mind the very long-term ones as I don’t need the money withdrawn soon
- Strategy auto-invest limit: I don’t have a maximum Grupeer can invest in this strategy
- Max amount per project: I like to diversify my investment across loans so I keep this at 10 EUR
- Repayment type: I would prefer amortized loans only, but since non-amortized are common in development projects, I choose both in this of Grupeer
Why do I only use one autoinvest strategy? As I understand it and have experienced it, Grupeer automatically selects the highest interest rate loan available within your interest rate interval.
If Grupeer had not automatically selected the highest interest rate loan, I would have had to create multiple autoinvest strategies while gradually lowering the interval in each. I would then have to prioritize the strategies to make sure the strategies with the highest interest rate interval were executed before the strategies with lower interest rate intervals.
Does Grupeer have a secondary market?
No, the Grupeer platform doesn’t have a secondary market yet, and this is one of the few drawbacks of the platform.
By looking at their website, however, it is clear that they are working on this and will be launched in the future. Until then it is important to note that you cannot cancel or sell your investments once you have committed to a loan. Once you committed to a loan you have to wait until it expires to withdraw your money.
Interesting latest developments and new features on the Grupeer platform
Grupeer has been growing and is now one of the more serious players in the P2P sphere. The company is moving step-by-step, implementing new products and services. Here’ some of the most interesting latest developments.
The company is constantly adding new loan originators and development project. Currently, Grupeer offers loans from 22 loan originators, and they expect to add a few more in the near future.
The process of getting new partners is not fast and easy. Almost 70% of loan originators are rejected because they do not meet Grupeer’s requirements. An experienced due diligence team has designed the platform’s rating system, which allows them to evaluate the relative risk level of Grupeer’s loan originators. The rating goes from A to F, where A/B is considered the category with the lowest risk. This rating allows investors to make more responsible investment decisions.
New referral program
The terms of the internal referral program have been renewed. New terms are beneficial not only for the investor who invites his or her friends but also for the invited friend who gets a 10 EUR welcome bonus.
Lately, the P2P industry has been going through a challenging period. Openness and transparency is becoming an increasingly important issue and something I believe Grupeer takes seriously. Grupeer has declared 2020 to be a year of transparency and is open to any questions that come from investors. Also, the company posts videos, attends the most significant industry events and is ready to invite investors and bloggers to follow them.
What is the Grupeer Stability Fund?
I stumbled upon a new investment option on the Grupeer website as I wrote this review. Grupeer has not launched it yet, but the Grupeer Stability Fund offers you to buy shares (square meters) in already finished real estate projects. By doing this, you will become an investor in real estate projects and get a stable rental income of 4-8% yearly.
Will it be good? I’m not sure. The income of 4-8% doesn’t sound mind-blowing compared to the other options on the platform, but then again, the details have not yet been disclosed. For example, will you get a share of the real estate price increases too? This might make it a better deal.
No matter what, I like the concept and I am looking forward to having a closer look at it when it is launched.
What are the pros and cons of Grupeer?
Grupeer is one of my favorite P2P lending platforms in Europe with many great advantages, but there’s also some room for improvement. You get the sense that the current platform is a great first version and that the team has many more things coming in the future.
The advantages of the Grupeer platform are:
- Competitive and high interest rates up to 15%
- Very detailed loan information
- Great possibility to diversify across multiple loan originators
- High transparency of what your money is funding
- Very intuitive and beautiful platform
- Effective autoinvest functionality and strategy prioritization
- Buyback guarantee on all loans
- Fast sign-up process and great customer service
The Grupeer platform has some room for improvement, but nothing that should discourage you from investing:
- Investment return overview could be better and more detailed
- No option to cancel your investment
- Lack of a secondary market to shift ownership and enable early withdrawal
- Currently only business loans available
- No short-term loans available (less than 12 months)
- Fewer (but larger) available loans than other platforms
- Loans are primarily non-amortized
- No possibility of sorting loans (e.g. descending interest rate)
- Lack of information and credit ratings of loan originators
Overall, I have been very happy with Grupeer, and I believe the many advantages of the platform outweigh the improvement points. I am also confident we will see many of these things fixed shortly if the team behind Grupeer continues improving the platform at the current rate.
What are the risks of investing in Grupeer?
Investing always comes with a risk of losing all your money. This is no different when you invest in P2P lending platforms such as Grupeer. I never invest more than 5-10% of my net worth in high-risk investments such as this.
This being said, with high risk is often also the potential for high reward, and crowdlending has so far been the area in which I have made the most consistent high returns since I started in 2016.
Being aware of the risks is important, so it is important you know three of the biggest risks of investing in P2P lending:
- The borrower defaults on the loan
- The loan originator goes bankrupt
- The platform goes bankrupt
Using Grupeer, the first risk is somewhat eliminated by the buyback guarantees. However, loan originators and Grupeer itself might go bankrupt and this is where your money is at risk of being lost. If this happens, normal bankruptcy procedures will kick in and you might/might not get your money back.
So far I always do my due diligence of the platforms before I invest my money in them, and I suggest you do the same to make sure you also believe the risk matches the potential reward 🙂
Who is Grupeer for?
Grupeer is one of my favorite P2P lending platforms and I believe it is one of the best platforms for new and experienced investors alike. The platform offers above-average returns of more than 14% (roughly 2% higher compared to what I currently make on Mintos) and great user experience with new investment options and functionality being developed as we speak. Also, if you have already invested in one of the bigger platforms that are now showing decreasing interest rates, I believe Grupeer is a natural option to consider.
The final verdict
Grupeer is a super P2P lending platform. It is so good I even rank it as my second favorite platform in Europe. The whole package with high returns, great functionality, detailed loan information, great diversification possibilities, and fast consumer support is hard for other platforms to compete with. The platform does have some things to work on (e.g. the secondary market under development), but nothing that would keep me away from investing with them.
Note: A few images have been edited and details omitted to maintain my anonymity, but all opinions are 100% honest and unbiased.