4 peer-to-peer lending platforms you should know

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Reza Machdi-Ghazvini,CAIA
Last updated on 14 September 2021

4 peer-to-peer lending platform you should know

P2P lending is still considered a young asset class. However, the development of the last few years has been downright rapid. The asset class performed well, especially during the Corona crisis. As a result, the popularity of P2P loans among investors has increased strongly and continues to rise.

Would you also like to invest in P2P loans? Then you must be asking yourself which P2P platforms are the best? In order to invest successfully in P2P loans, you should invest your money on several platforms. In this article, we will introduce you to the 4 most popular platforms in Europe.

P2P platform - what is it?

Before you start looking for the right P2P platform, you should first be clear about what exactly the main task of a P2P platform is.

As you may already know, P2P lending, also called peer-to-peer lending, describes lending from private individual to private individual. The P2P platform acts as an intermediary between the two parties. The platform performs similar functions to a bank, for example, by assessing the creditworthiness of the borrowers and dividing the loans into ratings.

Depending on the business model, a platform only mediates the loans or even directly grants them itself.

Which P2P platforms are the biggest in Europe?

We would like to give you a brief overview of the 4 largest P2P platforms in Europe. You will also find a separate guide for each platform on our website, which will give you more information about each P2P platform.

Mintos

Mintos inforgraphic

In terms of loan volume, Mintos is the largest European platform (as of February 2021). Although the platform was only founded in 2015, it has grown very quickly during the last 5 years. More than 360,000 people have signed up as investors on the platform.

The rapid growth is due to Mintos' business model. Mintos, as a marketplace, offers loan originators (financial companies) the opportunity to pass on loans to investors. Thanks to this relationship, Mintos can offer investors a wide range of loans.

This is exactly the biggest advantage of Mintos. There is no comparable P2P platform that offers such a wide range of loans to its investors. The loans differ by risk, term, country, loan type and currency and cover a wide spectrum. In addition, Mintos offers most loans with buyback obligations (formerly buyback guarantees).

Of course, there are other reasons for the popularity of the platform. Mintos is free of charge for you as an investor, and the simplified tax certificate makes it very easy for you to correctly declare your profits from P2P loans in your tax return. Mintos also offers a fully automated investment function and a secondary market.

However, the Mintos business model also has its drawbacks. Due to the cooperation with loan originators, there is an increased risk of total loss for you. A total loss can occur not only in the case of bankruptcy of the platform, but also in the case of bankruptcy of a loan originator.

Basically, we can say that investors have had good to very good experiences with Mintos and that despite its size, Mintos has come through the Corona crisis relatively smoothly.

Twino

Twino Infographic

Like Mintos, Twino was founded in Latvia in 2015 and has grown steadily since then. The platform came under a bit of pressure when it faced some difficulties in its international expansion, for example in Spain and Denmark. However, the platform was able to recover quickly and continue on its growth path.

Twino's offering includes consumer loans, corporate loans and factoring loans from Latvia, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. Twino's focus is clearly on short-dated consumer loans. The vast majority of loans on Twino have short terms, ranging from 1 to 3 months.

Another feature of Twino is that the loan originators are 100% owned by Twino, with one exception. Although Twino also acts as a marketplace to mediate loans between loan originators and investors, its ownership structure allows Twino to exercise full control over the loan originators on the platform. This is a great advantage for both the platform and investors, as it means that problems with loan originators can be identified and resolved at an early stage.

The more than 25,000 registered investors appreciate the buyback guarantees and payment guarantees on the platform. The buyback guarantee buys back delayed loans after 60 days. With payment guarantees, Twino steps in for borrowers and makes their payments until they can service their loans again themselves.

On Twino, investors can create Auto Invest portfolios and invest fully automatically. A secondary market is also available to investors on Twino.

The Twino platform proved its worth especially during the Corona crisis. There are two reasons why Twino came through the crisis so well. First, Twino has full control over loan origination because the loan originators are owned by the group. Second, the focus on short-dated loans has been particularly effective during the crisis. Short-term loans often have low loan amounts and can be repaid relatively quickly, even if the borrower gets into trouble.

PeerBerry

PeerBerry Infographic

PeerBerry is the latest platform we introduce you to in this post. The platform was founded in November 2017 by a loan originator on Mintos and therefore has some similarity with Mintos. PeerBerry follows the same business model as Mintos and acts as a marketplace between loan originators and investors.

PeerBerry currently (as of February 2021) offers hundreds of loans from different countries, all offered with buyback guarantees. The more than 32,000 investors have the opportunity to invest in different loans. Consumer loans, real estate loans, leasing loans and other types of loans are offered. The vast majority of the loans offered have short terms.

PeerBerry also makes it as easy as possible for its investors to invest in P2P loans. Investors can invest in the offered loans fully automatically or manually. For investors, the use of the platform is free of charge and a tax certificate is also offered.

Unlike Mintos, PeerBerry does not display ratings for the loans, which makes it a bit difficult to assess the risk of each loan. On the other hand, PeerBerry offers a special form of buyback guarantees, which is additionally backed by a group guarantee. This reduces the risk of sudden bankruptcies of a loan applicant.

Estateguru

Estateguru Infographic

EstateGuru, a P2B (peer-to-business) platform founded in 2014, has become the market leader among real estate platforms. EstateGuru offers senior and junior real estate loans, while comparable platforms usually only arrange junior loans.

On EstateGuru you can invest in development, bridging and business loans. The loans are all rated by EstateGuru through the Loan-To-Value ratio.

EstateGuru brokers loans between real estate developers and individuals (and companies). You can invest fully automatically through the Auto Invest feature. For you as an investor, the platform is almost free. You are only charged a service fee of €1 for withdrawals, and for inactive accounts you have to pay €2.50 per month. Investors also have access to a secondary market where they can buy and sell real estate loans.

The platform is user-friendly and provides investors with a great deal of information about the loans on offer. This is also reflected in the high demand for loans on EstateGuru, which sometimes results in very few or none being offered, as the demand exceeds the supply of loans.

Since 2014, the platform has grown continuously and negative press reports have been completely absent. Comparable real estate platforms could not claim the same. While loans on the platform are not backed by buyback guarantees, the platform has been very successful in the past in enforcing the interests of its investors in the event of delayed loans.

Summary

In this article, we have introduced you to the top 4 European P2P platforms and focused on the main features of each platform.

If we were able to pique your curiosity, you can find more information about the platforms in the following articles: