Last updated on 29 May 2021 by Reza
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Although the P2P platform viainvest has only been around since 2016, it has very quickly been able to catch up with the top 5 P2P platforms in Europe. With constant growth, it is expected that the platform will soon be one of the 5 largest platforms in Europe. viainvest benefits from its affiliation with the VIA SMS Group, which exists since 2009.
The complete loan brokerage on viainvest is done by subsidiaries of the VIA SMS Group. Conflicts of interest between the loan originators and the platform can thus be minimized to the greatest possible extent. This is advantageous for investors as it reduces the risk of sudden bankruptcies of a loan originator.
Introducing viainvest as a P2P platform
The viainvest (SIA Viainvest) platform was founded in Latvia in 2016. It is owned by the VIA SMS Group, which has been around since 2009. viainvest is supervised by the Latvian financial regulator FCMC.
SIA Viainvest at a glance
- More than 20,000 registered investors
- Approx. 300 million euros in loans granted
- Lending in Lithuania, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain and Romania
- Investors can invest automatically or manually
- Average return is about 12% p.a. and you can invest from as little as 10 euros
- All consumer loans are offered with a buyback guarantee
- Secondary market is not available
- For loans from Spain and Czech Republic withholding taxes may be charged
- viainvest offers a tax certificate
Who can invest on viainvest?
As a private person, you can invest on viainvest if you are at least 18 years old and have a bank account in the EU or use an e-money payment institution that is registered and licensed in the EU.
Companies can also invest on the platform if they provide some information about money laundering protection.
How P2P loans are offered on viainvest
When mediating loans, the platform cooperates with its parent company VIA SMS Group.
The parent company owns various subsidiaries that focus on granting short-term loans. If one of these companies grants a loan, it is subsequently offered to investors on viainvest.
Example: Obtaining a loan by one of the subsidiaries of the VIA SMS Group
In Sweden, for example, loans are granted by ViaConto Sweden AB.
The platform does not grant the loans directly. If, for example, a loan is brokered by the Swedish company ViaConto, it will be offered to you on viainvest afterwards.
Ratings on viainvest
On viainvest, loans are classified according to "rating scores". The scores range from 0 to 10, where 0 stands for the worst creditworthiness and 10 for the best.
Collateralization of loans on viainvest
viainvest mainly offers the following loans:
- Short-term loans (payday loans) with a term of 7 to 30 days.
- Installment loans with terms of 3 to 12 months
- Credit lines (overdraft facilities)
These are classic consumer loans that are granted unsecured.
Although the viainvest platform has only been on the market since 2016, it has access to a very established business model via its parent company VIA SMS Group. This has enabled the platform to establish itself quickly as a P2P platform.
The parent company has been profitable for several years and extends loans through subsidiaries in various countries.
Investors can invest in loans that come from a proven business model and offer returns of 10% - 12% p.a.
Since the beginning of the platform, there have been no waves of insolvencies or similar problems.
As the parent company of viainvest has full control over its subsidiaries, there have also been no similar failures of loan originators (loan brokers) as on other platforms.
The platform is supervised by the Lithuanian Financial Market Supervisory Authority FCMC, which we believe benefits both the platform and investors.
How did viainvest perform during the Corona crisis?
The platform performed well to very well during the Corona crisis.
Chart as at April 2021
After the platform went to market in December 2016, it was able to mediate loans worth about €6 million per month to investors after only about a year. After that, the value fluctuated between €6 million and €10 million per month.
With the outbreak of the Corona crisis, the value then fell to around €4 million in March 2020. However, a similar decline was observed on all other platforms (and also classic banks).
Beyond that, there were no problems on the platform. No loan payments were deferred or no loans or even loan originators defaulted.
This development can be explained by viainvest's focus on short-dated loans.
Loan amounts for short-term loans are often very low. Borrowers take out loans equivalent to twice their monthly salary on average (comparable to an overdraft facility).
If borrowers get into financial difficulties, they can then still service the loan because they are not driven into personal insolvency by too high loan installments.
As an investor, you would not have experienced any unpleasant surprises on the viainvest platform during the Corona crisis. We believe that viainvest will benefit from the Corona crisis in the medium to long term, as the platform has proven its crisis resilience.
Advantages and disadvantages of viainvest
- viainvest makes investing in P2P loans very easy, by offering automatic and manual investing solutions
- The focus on short-term loans offers you a very attractive risk/reward ratio, the expected return is 10% - 12% per year.
- viainvest is completely free of charge for you as an investor.
- For loans from Spain and the Czech Republic you have to pay withholding taxes if you have not submitted a residence certificate.
- If the platform (or the parent company) goes bankrupt, you risk the total loss of the invested money.
Register as investor at viainvest
Get a bonus with our exclusive promo code when you register on viainvest. Find out more here.
1. Register as a user on viainvest
The registration process starts by clicking on "Register" in the upper-right corner of the website.
After that viainvest will ask you for some information. Enter your first name, last name, password and e-mail.
In the next step you will be asked to provide some personal information, such as your passport and where you live.
Enter your mobile number correctly because it is needed to verify you.
After that, you need to provide some information about your profession, income and how much money you want to invest.
2. Activate your e-mail address
viainvest will send you an email with which you can verify your email address. After clicking on the button "Verify my identity" in the email, you will be automatically redirected back to the last step of the registration process.
3. Verify your bank account and yourself
To complete your registration, you still need to verify your identity. Since viainvest works with iDenfy, you can do this online. Click on the button "Verify my identity" and follow the instructions.
After that you are registered and only need to verify your bank account. Your bank account will be verified with the first deposit to your account at viainvest.
Deposit and withdrawal at viainvest
If you want to deposit money to your account at viainvest, you only have to transfer the money to a central account of viainvest.
After you have logged in, click on the button "Add funds" in the upper-right corner. There you'll see the information you need for the transfer.
When you transfer the money you have to correctly enter the details that are displayed in the "Payment details" section. Otherwise viaInvest cannot assign the money to your account.
Typically, the money will be on your account in 3 days at the latest. If the money has not been credited on the 4th day, contact the support.
If you want to withdraw money, click on the "withdraw funds" button in the upper-right corner after you have logged in.
Enter the amount you want to withdraw and then click on the "withdraw" button.
Invest in P2P loans on viainvest
On viainvest you can invest in P2P loans very easily.
You can invest automatically or manually on the platform.
With the Auto Invest function of viainvest you can invest automatically in P2P loans on viainvest.
With the Auto Invest function you can define different settings. The most important are:
- Portfolio size (investment amount)
- Maximum investment in one loan
- Minimum and maximum interest rate
- Loan term (remaining loan term in days)
You have to keep in mind that the tighter you set the limits, the longer it can take until your investment amount is fully invested.
It can also happen that Auto Invest stops investing completely if no loans have been offered that match your settings for a longer period of time.
If you want to know more about the Auto Invest function and how you can, for example, create a conservative or risk-conscious portfolio, we have described this in detail in the article Create viainvest Auto Invest Portfolio.
On viainvest you can select each loan you want to invest in individually.
However, this is not recommended because you should make sure to spread your money as widely as possible when investing in P2P loans. If you select the loans manually, you would quickly get into the situation that you would have to analyze hundreds or even thousands of loans.
Investing manually also does not make much sense on viainvest because of another reason. The loans on viainvest are very popular. Often viainvest will show you that there are no loans offered at the moment.
This is because the Auto Invest functions of the other investors buy up all available loans directly. So you would have to be faster than the computer, which is unrealistic.
Secondary market on viainvest
The platform does not offer a secondary market. However, since most loans have very short terms, sometimes only 2 to 3 weeks, a secondary market does not make much sense either.
What returns can investors expect on viainvest?
On viainvest you can expect a return of 10% - 12% p.a. (as of January 2021).
What costs and fees does viainvest charge investors?
None, you can invest on viainvest for free. The costs for mediating the loans are paid by the borrowers.
Can I automatically invest in P2P loans on viainvest?
Yes, and in the case of viainvest you should definitely invest automatically. The loans on the platform are usually sold out quickly, and you only have a realistic chance to invest your money quickly and sensibly via the Auto Invest function.
Can I select individual loans on viainvest?
Yes, but this is not recommended. Firstly, in order to diversiy porperly, you would need to select many loans on a regular basis. And secondly, investors who invest automatically will invest in the loans much faster than you. After that there will be no loans left for you to select individually.
Risks of investing on viainvest
With P2P loans as an investment class, you must expect that the loans may default. This is not a special feature of viainvest, but part of the credit business.
You can try to limit the risk of default by investing in loans with good ratings (a measure of creditworthiness).
The risk cannot be completely eliminated, some of your loans will always default. For this reason, a certain percentage of loan defaults is always expected in the credit business, which is then included in the calculation of interest rates.
How reputable is viainvest?
The platform is very reputable. It is regulated by the Lithuanian Financial Market Authority and is part of an established company.
What are the default rates on viainvest?
viainvest does not publish default rates. On comparable platforms (such as Twino) the default rate is around 5%.
How does the buyback guarantee work on viainvest?
All consumer loans on viainvest are issued with buyback guarantees.
If a borrower's payments are delayed by more than 30 days, the investment is bought back by the loan originator. He then pays you the invested capital and the interest you would have earned during that time.
The buyback guarantee is of course only as secure as the loan originator itself. If a loan originator gets into financial difficulties, it may no longer be able to honor their guarantees.
Are the loans on viainvest protected by the deposit insurance?
No, the loans on the platform are not protected by deposit insurance such as the FDIC insurance.
Paying taxes on income earned by P2P lending on viainvest
The platform viainvest offers its investors a standardized tax certificate.
Residence certificate for P2P loans from Spain or the Czech Republic
With the platform, there is unfortunately a somewhat annoying aspect when it comes to taxes. Withholding taxes are levied on loans from Spain and the Czech Republic. To avoid this, you need a certificate of residence from the tax office (takes about 2 to 4 weeks depending on the tax office).
So you can either do the work and get this certificate of residence or you can set the automatic investment function to simply omit these countries (our recommendation).
Prepare your tax return on viainvest
To prepare your tax return on viainvest, click on "Statement" in the menu at the top.
Then click on the button "Download PDF" in the left menu under "Tax Summary".
Start investing on viainvest now
In the end you can only find out yourself if you like viainvest.