After a short pause to reflect on the potential of 2019, we go back to posting here, and what better way to start than to introduce our new investment, through the platform Bondora. As the number of of FinTechs we use and post about grow – we have now invested in over ten of them – there was a concern that they might start seeming very similar to each other. Luckily, January brought refreshing new experiences.
The very first platform we present here is among the most tech-friendly. What is meant by that is, they are not only focusing their offer on financial services, but they also seem to be focused on their technological offer, which sets Bondora apart from the bunch. Let us take a closer look at our perceived advantages and shortcomings.
- Easy registration, and creative communication using video and animations;
- Interesting geographical allocation, they are based in Estonia and their loans are not only in that country but also Spain and Finnland;
- While setting up an auto-invest functionality – called Portfolio Pro – that was a noticeable maximum (and no minimum) allocated amount. Whereas I didn’t set a minimum, it was still a surprise to later see that most investments in the portfolio were of no more than €1. I guess as far as diversification goes, this sort of micro-investment magnifies this type of diversification;
- In terms of communication, the platform not only maintains a complete online presence including blog, videos and channels such as Facebook, but they also offer an API for clients to develop customized investment strategies beyond what their platform already presents;
- The technological level of their platform indeed deserves praise, it has more and better features than most if not all other FinTechs we’ve seen so far. Bondora constantly reviews client’s requests for new features, which indicates how much their tech capabilities are helping customers. Also, there is a statistics tab once clients log in with plenty of interesting analysis about the portfolio, it’s far more information than one can obtain in most platforms;
- High interest rates on the platform, currently loans pay a range of 9,88% – 17,88% p.a.;
- Even before we test it and can attest this works well, Bondora offers a secondary market, so that in itself is positive.
- Time it takes for the platform to identify you sent them funds, they advertise up to two days, and I believe they took the full 48 hours in our case;
- While their communication got praise, their automatic emails do look standard, so a lot of them ended up in my spam box. It’s not a meaningful problem, but I’m sure they could do better;
- While it might be a strength for the platform’s own financial security, the lack of guaranteed loans mean that investors need to be comfortable with undertaking lender’s credit risk, unlike platforms like TWINO or IUVO;
- Most of the loans – both in amount and number – are actually in Estonia, so the current country diversification is probably indicative of where they want to go rather than what they offer at the moment.
- Initial investment amount of 500 Euros, allocated to an auto-invest for better-rated loans; - Interest rate were averaging 25,9% annually despite excluding the most risky loan ratings.
Since we took our time to start posting this month, stay tuned for a further post still in January. Don’t forget that we welcome any feedback and requests from readers in terms of FinTech topics they would like to see explored here.