Last Updated on 10th September 2020 by Mark
Grupeer may be a scam! Investors could lose capital as loans may not be real, and many were unsecured – Grupeer P2P Review. Is Grupeer Safe? Find Out!
My Lending Experiences & most recent updates below.
What is Grupeer?
Grupeer is a leading European Peer to Peer Lender, providing loans to consumers & businesses around Europe.
Offering easy, hands-off returns between 10% and 14%, Grupeer P2P is an excellent option for diversification when investing in Euro currency loans. Grupeer also offer a “buyback guarantee” on most of their loans, which means it will buyback loans and repay principal and interest if payments are delayed more than 60 days.
Grupeer is very similar to Mintos & RoboCash where it does not originate most loans itself, but uses loan originators (Grupeer calls them “Deal Partners”) to provide most of the loans. This means that Grupeer’s loan flow is generally good, keeping cash drag to a minimum.
My Experience with Grupeer
Grupeer are either doing a very good job of scamming people, or they are trying to put things right. In April I first mentioned that it appeared like Grupeer are some kind of scam. They had not been replying to investors questions and it looked like some of their projects were fake. Through May, June & July though, we have seen on the Grupeer Blog statements on how they are going to fix this. I have also had several questions answered from their team and they still “seem” to be trying to put things right. The lawsuit is still moving forward though with some of the investors (here’s a link to a website specifically about Grupeer and the legal action).
I guess time will tell what happens next. Perhaps they just panicked when the crisis hit, and now they are trying to patch things up, or perhaps it was a scam . Only time will tell.
My Grupeer Strategy
I’m not convinced I’ll ever see my investment in Grupeer again, and if I do, I definitely won’t invest with them again after this.
The Obvious Investor – Easy-Info Table© – Grupeer Review
Overall Rating*: (3.8 / 5)
Who can invest: Loan Currencies: €
Estimated Return: Up to 14%
My Actual Return
My Calculated XIRR: 13.85%
Risk Rating*: 5/10 - Medium
Early Exit: No
No secondary market.
Min. Investment: €10
Deposit Funds: Bank account (SEPA Transfer).
Typically 1 -3 days.
Manual Invest: Yes
Lending To: Borrowers (through originators)
Loan Types: Mortgages, Car Loans, Business Loans,
Personal Loans, Development Loans.
Loan Security: Yes, with some loans.
Provision Fund: No provision fund.
See review for "Buy Back Guarantee"
and "Skin in the Game".
Loans Amortize: Some fully amortize.
Time to Invest: Fast: large loan book.
Time to Mange: None (auto-invest) to medium (manual invest)
Lender Fees: No.
Payments Received: Monthly, weekly. Various times.
Amount Lent: €60 million+
Number of Investors: 16,000+
Loan/Dflt Stats: Not Published.
Location: Rep of Ireland.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +353 1 960 1199
How to Sign Up**: Not available currently.
Grupeer – Overview
Grupeer was launched in 2016 in Riga, Latvia. They recently (September 2019) moved to the jurisdiction of The Republic of Ireland which is now their official place of business.
In the 3 or so years Grupeer P2P has been in business, it has lent out over 60€ million Euros from over 16,000 registered investors from 80+ countries. Those figures are very good for a Euro lender with only around 3 years history.
Grupeer is not regulated as the UK Peer to Peer lenders are by the FCA, however now they have relocated to Ireland, they will be actively scrutinized by the Irish regulator and also they will need to adhere to European financial laws.
With many of the European lenders, investors look more at the history of the lender and also asset security to assess the safety of a lender. Instead of relying on a regulator.
Signup Process – Grupeer Review
Opening an account with Grupeer is relatively easy. Just the usual ID & anti money-laundering checks.
They typically need a copy of your passport or ID card. Sometimes a utility bill or bank statement to show your current address will also be required.
Residents of any country which can comply with the ID checks can signup with Grupeer. You’ll also need a Euro currency bank account.
If you don’t currently have a Euro bank account with IBAN number, take a look at this post I did on Currency Exchange and Moving Money which might give you a few ideas.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Deposits and withdrawals are made by bank transfer (SEPA transfer so IBAN number required).
You will be provided with the relevant bank details when you go to the deposits screen.
Deposits usually show up in your account the next working day depending on what time you send it (although Grupeer say 3-4 days, this has not been my experience).
Withdrawals are only to a verified bank account, and typically take 1 – 2 business days.
Time to Become Invested – Grupeer Review
Grupeer now has a large loan book from over 30 originators. If you use auto-invest (as I do) then once you’ve set up your investment strategy, it usually takes just minutes for your capital to get distributed in to loans. As you can see below, you set all of the variables and then Grupeer will tell you how many loans meet your criteria.
Make sure you have enough loans available to get all of your capital distributed at the “max amount per loan” setting.
If you choose to lend manually with the regular loan listings, it will take as long as it takes you to decide on which loans you want to be invested in.
Grupeer has a couple of manual lending options. You can invest individually in “Loan Deals”, which are basically the same loans which are available in auto-invest. As you can see from the screenshot below, you can filter on similar fields to the auto-invest screen to find loans you want to invest in manually.
Grupeer also have what they call “Development Projects” which are basically Real Estate Development Project investments with different tranches you can choose to invest in.
I personally don’t use these as the rates are typically no better than loans available from auto-invest so I don’t see the point in spending the time. I think perhaps some people like to do more due diligence on the asset security etc.
Who are we lending to?
Grupeer P2P is a true Peer to Peer Lending Platform. Lenders are lending directly to borrowers. Loan agreements are directly between the lender and the borrower. Grupeer just acts as a middle man, managing loans, payments and debt collection etc.
Similar to Mintos & RoboCash, Grupeer itself doesn’t originate most of the loans like many P2P lenders. It has over 30 “loan originator companies” it works with, and they originate the loans locally, then provide the loans to Grupeer for individual lenders to invest in.
Grupeer provides loans to consumers and businesses for many different purposes. From personal and car loans to large development projects, business loans and mortgages. Just about any type of loan you can imagine. It also provides secured and unsecured business loans.
Loan Security – Grupeer Review
Both secured and unsecured loans are available on the Grupeer platform.
It is easy to see on their website which loans have security and which don’t, as well as the LTV’s (Loan to Value Ratios).
Remember the Grupeer buyback guarantee and some of the loan originators’ “skin-in-the-game” offers further security. The green shield on the screenshot below signifies that the loan has a buyback guarantee. The orange umbrella shows that the loan has asset backed security. The LTV field obviously shows the Loan to Value ratio for that particular loan.
Default Rates – Grupeer Review
Grupeer don’t publish their default rates. As most originators offer buyback guarantees they are less important than if investing though a company like Zopa or Funding Circle that don’t offer any kind of buyback guarantee or provision fund, and therefore default rates can make a significant difference to the account yield. As I was writing this review, I emailed Grupeer to ask about defaults and received this text in reply: “At the moment the compound statistics are unavailable, however, we are working on implementing it. You can download all the information regarding all your received interest and principal payments on your Account Statement. Please kindly note that for now all loans on the platform are current and have a zero default rate as well as zero delayed payments, therefore you are receiving all the payments according to the schedule.” The last sentence is obviously quite encouraging, although it only refers to current loans on the platform.
There are different types of loans on Grupeer; fully amortizing, partially amortizing, interest only and bullet loans (balloon payment).
Amortization is the paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over time. It reduces the risk of the loan compared to a non-amortizing loan in which nothing is received until the end of the loan period, or only interest is received monthly, and then the capital repaid at the end of the loan period.
To find out if a loan is amortizing, you will need to open up the loan agreement by clicking on the “PDF” icon to the right of the loan listings:
Then look towards to the bottom of the first page of the agreement:
Selling Loans and Withdrawing Capital
There is no secondary market yet with Grupeer so when you invest in loans, make sure you understand the loan term. Also ensure you have the correct settings in your auto-invest strategy for loan length. Grupeer loans are typically from 1 – 2 years.
Diversification – Grupeer Review
Diversifying capital into loans is easy with Grupeer because of the size of their loan book.
Their predefined auto-invest portfolios diversify automatically based on the settings you give them, and with the self-select loans, you decide the amount you put into each loan.
Buyback guarantees in my eyes are as good as, if not better than a single provision fund. This is because we are not relying on just one company to step in if a loan goes in to default. Each originator is responsible for it’s own guarantee which Grupeer regulates to an extent. The risk of course is if an originator goes out of business, which has happened once in the past with a Mintos originator, but not with Grupeer so far to my knowledge.
On top of that, some of the loan originators offer what Grupeer refers to as “skin in the game”. Meaning they invest their own capital in a percentage of the loan (typically from 5% – 15%) on a first loss basis. So if the loan goes bad, they lose money before the Grupeer lenders (assuming no buyback guarantee). This also helps to ensure appropriate levels of due diligence from the loan originators on borrowers and adds just another level of security.
Tax Free Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA)
No Tax Free IFISA account options with Grupeer.
Website – Grupeer Review
The Grupeer Website is simple but effective. It’s fairly easy to figure out where everything is and how to set up auto-invest strategies or manually select loans.
Grupeer return rates are very good, at an average of around 13%. Their website says the average is 13.36% as I’m writing this review. Very good rates in my opinion.
Grupeer actually used to offer interest rates much higher (up to 18%) when they first started. However recently the rates have come down due to increased investor demand and the growing safety of the platform.
My Personal Grupeer Investment Strategy
My Investment strategy with Grupeer is simple. I just choose all originators which offer a buyback guarantee (set the “buyback guarantee” field to “yes”), and set the interest rates above 13%. I choose all loan types and interval up to 24 months. Set the loan max amount at just under 1% of my account value.
I choose Bullet and Amortize repayment types and the “Valid Till Date” out to whatever the default is. Then I save it and the capital gets lent out. I never really need to touch it again.
Grupeer Review – Summary
Grupeer is certainly a viable platform for lending out Euros. Their return rates are excellent for auto-invest loans with little to no time required to manage.
I have no hesitation investing in Grupeer as part of my diversified Euro portfolio, and I can definitely recommend them as part of an overall investment strategy.
The Grupeer staff are always professional whenever I need to contact them for anything, and they all speak English very well.
Thumbs Up Points for Grupeer
Unique Diversification – focusing on consumers and businesses in many different countries in Euro currency.
Great Returns – 13%+ for loans in Euros is certainly a nice rate.
Auto-Invest – auto-invest options are nicely configurable allowing us to pick up just the loans we want in our portfolio.
Skin in the Game – many lenders have their own interest in loans so they should take more care in loans they write.
Grupeer Buyback Guarantee – most originators offer the “Grupeer buyback guarantee” and will buy back the loans if they go in to default, therefor making investments safer.
Thumbs Down Points for Grupeer
No Regulation – may make Grupeer a riskier proposition, however having a good history, asset security and multiple loan originators helps to lower the risk.
Rep of Ireland Based – for UK investors this may not be as comfortable as investing in UK companies. European investors don’t seem to see this as an issue though, and I certainly don’t.
Currency Risk – investing in a currency other than your home currency can have it’s own inherent risks if it falls. If your home currency is Euros then this is not an issue.
No retirement account – for interest free investing.
Risk Factor – 5/10 – Medium
Is Grupeer Safe? It looks like not. Grupeer has turned out to be a scam. Read more at the beginning of the review.
Even taking in to consideration that some loans are secured, originators have “skin in the game” and the “Grupeer buyback guarantee”, Grupeer is still an unregulated business with a short track record.
Who Can Invest with Grupeer?
Residents of most countries in the EU can invest with Grupeer, and also other countries that can conform to the EU’s money laundering regulations. Contact Grupeer for more information
Offers & Signup Links**
No current Grupeer cashback offers.
Who Are the Best Peer to Peer Lenders In An Economic Downturn? Would You Like A Copy of the Spreadsheet I Use for Tracking P2P Lenders? Disclaimers: * My opinions, reviews, star ratings and risk ratings are based on my personal investing experience with the company being reviewed. These ratings are personal opinions and are subjective. You should do your own research before investing any capital and not base investments solely on the opinions published on this site. ** Some of the links on this website are affiliate referral links. When you click on these links, I can sometimes receive a commission, at absolutely no cost to you. This helps me to continue to offer new reviews and monthly portfolio updates here on my website. I don’t receive commissions from all lenders and it has no effect on my ongoing opinions on lenders. Income on my investments and capital preservation are my main motivations. Platforms reviewed on this website I am currently investing with, or I have invested with in the past. You can see with full transparency on my Lending Returns page which lenders I am invested with (or have previously been invested with) at any point in time. I am not paid a fee by any of the companies to write reviews, so the reviews are unbiased and purely based on my own personal experiences. Please read my full website Disclaimer before making investment decisions.
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Who Are the Best Peer to Peer Lenders In An Economic Downturn?
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* My opinions, reviews, star ratings and risk ratings are based on my personal investing experience with the company being reviewed. These ratings are personal opinions and are subjective. You should do your own research before investing any capital and not base investments solely on the opinions published on this site.
** Some of the links on this website are affiliate referral links. When you click on these links, I can sometimes receive a commission, at absolutely no cost to you. This helps me to continue to offer new reviews and monthly portfolio updates here on my website. I don’t receive commissions from all lenders and it has no effect on my ongoing opinions on lenders. Income on my investments and capital preservation are my main motivations.
Platforms reviewed on this website I am currently investing with, or I have invested with in the past. You can see with full transparency on my Lending Returns page which lenders I am invested with (or have previously been invested with) at any point in time. I am not paid a fee by any of the companies to write reviews, so the reviews are unbiased and purely based on my own personal experiences.
Please read my full website Disclaimer before making investment decisions.