Bridgecrowd is now called SOMO
Bridgecrowd rebranded as Somo during 2020. We have kept this page open so that people looking for a Bridgecrowd review can find us. But we strongly encourage you to visit our new Somo review page for the latest information and review of the company.
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Website and investment product features
What is BridgeCrowd? How does it work?
BridgeCrowd is a P2P investment site that focuses on providing short term (‘bridge’) loans secured on British real estate. Interest rates are high – typically around 10%. The BridgeCrowd loans are either 1st lien or 2nd lien (where another borrower has a priority charge on the property). LTVs are similar to other sites offering these types of loans – usually between 50-70%.
The borrowers using BridgeCrowd fall into three groups. Firstly, there are small property investors who need to raise funds quickly to fund an additional property purchase. Secondly, there are borrowers seeking to do a quick, light refurbishment and to then sell the property again. The final category is business owners borrowing against the value of their house to raise funds for their business.
BridgeCrowd is a simple platform to use. The site provides all the key information you would expect such as an independent valuation of the collateral, some information about the borrower, how the loan is structured, and some commentary. Investors can self-select loans or set up an auto-invest. We would not recommend using auto-invest for BridgeCrowd loans as we think each loan should be reviewed before purchasing. Loans are usually listed weekly on a Friday afternoon and investors are informed via email. The demand for loans is high and purchase orders need to be placed quickly when new loans are listed.
There are two elements that make BridgeCrowd different from others. Firstly, it allows a ‘lead’ investor to open and operate sub-accounts in the names of other family members. We think this is a great feature as it can be very helpful for tax planning purposes. Secondly, when a loan is listed, BridgeCrowd investors place orders, and the BridgeCrowd then manually allocates the loan to different investors. While this can lead to up to 24 hours delay in receiving confirmation of the investment, it is designed to ensure that as many investors as possible have an opportunity to invest in each loan.
We think the returns offered by BridgeCrowd are excellent relative to risk levels. The interest rates tend to be in the 10-12% region. We think is attractive for secured loans. LTVs can vary but are usually between 50-70%. Sometimes very low LTV loans appear, which will be attractive to cautious investors.
You can find the lending statistics and most recent performance here. Any investor in BridgeCrowd loans needs to understand that the risk that a loan will not be repaid by the maturity date is relatively high – this happens around 25% of the time. However the low LTVs and BridgeCrowd’s litigation protocols means that investors have never suffered a loss on any loan to date, which we think is an outstanding lending track record. So investors can have confidence that there is a high likelihood that they will recover their investment, the timing can be uncertain.
This means that BridgeCrowd is not suitable for investors that know that they will need to withdraw the funds again soon after the loan maturity date. Once a loan has gone beyond the maturity date it cannot be sold on the secondary market and the investor needs to wait for the loan to be repaid or the collateral recovered.
Our most preferred loans are those secured on mid-range residential properties that are being renovated. Our least preferred loans on BridgeCrowd are those secured against old, lower quality commercial assets.
We think that Bridgecrowd is an excellent platform. The returns available compare very favourably against other platforms – often 3-6% pa higher returns for loans with the same risk profile. Its £5,000 minimum investment in each loan makes it an option though only for investors with larger sums to invest.
We love the way that the site allows investors to set up multiple sub-accounts in the names of different family members. This can be very efficient when a family member needs to assist in the allocation of investments for their spouses / other family members due to tax planning or other reasons.
It is not the largest or most sophisticated platform operating currently. What Bridgecrowd lacks in frills, it more than makes up for in providing detailed documentation, sensible loan structuring, and strong returns. No Bridgecrowd investor has had a loss yet on any loan sold on the platform.
Loan availability has been improving. Loans no longer sell out within seconds. This makes it a much more attractive and easy to use platform than it was 12 months ago. This growth has also led to the company operating BridgeCrowd to become profitable, which is good news for both BridgeCrowd and its investors.
For P2P investors looking to invest large sums into British loans, BridgeCrowd is one of the very best options right now.
If you are interested in opening a BridgeCrowd account, we can provide you with an exclusive £100 cashback bonus. For more details on this offer, click here. It’s one of the largest bonuses available on our site currently, from one of the best platforms. This offer is not available directly from Bridgecrowd, and terms and conditions apply. It won’t change your life, but it might be worth the 10 seconds it takes to set up.
Kuflink offers British bridge loans and developer loans. It is one of the most similar sites to Bridgecrowd, but caters to investors with smaller sums to invest.
Propertycrowd offers loans secured on developments. It is higher risk, but the loans are well structured, rates are high (10-13%), and the quality of information provided is good
Proplend is one of the smaller UK sites. Investors have the opportunity to choose from 3 different risk / LTV levels, which we think is a good idea.
Assetz Capital is one of the largest British P2P investment sites. Investors can manually select secured loans, or can choose pooled, diversified investments.
Blend Network offers the highest returns available in the UK for secured loans. It does this by finding niches where there is little competition from the major banks currently. A new site but we think it has good prospects
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9 thoughts on “Bridgecrowd review”
Disappointing that the review contains the usual error. Bridgecrowd is not a P2P lending platform, it does not have the required FCA permission. It offers unregulated bridging loans and lenders are providing unsecured loans to the platform. BridgeCrowd does make this clear in its terms and elsewhere on the site. I think the exact structure needs to be made clear in your review. One implication of this is that any losses that may occur would not qualify for P2P loss relief.
A quick question in regards to the funds that are tied up in the defaults. To factor in the 25% late repayment rate, do the interest rates continue being accrued after the maturity date? For instance, if a loan is set for a 6 month term, but funds aren’t recovered for a further 6 months – which brings the total term time of the investment to 12 months, would the interest rate continue over the additional time? ie. would a £10k loan generating 12% PA that was meant to be 6 months contract and provide £600 in interest, accrue a total of £1200 if it was not paid back until 12 months after inception?
Hi Henry. Sorry for late reply. The answer is yes – it keeps accruing, and the rate is usually a bit higher then than the standard rate. As long as there is sufficient value in the property, you will get the full return expected.
Having been on a lot of p2p platforms including a few nightmares such as Funding Secure (which was ran awfully, and had its fair share of fraud problems) I can only say that Bridge Crowd is one of the best. They did like to boast about their 0% default rate, and proudly showed that on their website, however I can honestly say that late repayments are very common, and several loans I am in are stuck until Bridge crowd can sell the assets.
However their recovery team is top notch and their customer service is always there to help, the only issue I have is the starting 5,000 investment.
Thanks for the feedback Tom. Yes agree it’s definitely not a site with zero ‘defaults’, in fact it is fairly common for loans to have some kind of extension and also litigation. However in our view what is most important is whether investors have suffered any eventual losses following sale of collateral, and it is this where we think Bridgecrowd’s record to date has been extremely strong, with no realised loses on any loans (yet..!) That record will not last forever, but looking at the overall risk versus reward equation, we think their record, and the returns earned by investors so far, is very good.
I have invested in about 50 loans on this platform.
The BridgeCrowd (soon to be rebranded Somo) are a top tier P2P lending platform. Excellent experiences with them all round. They’ve been A1 in every way with me as a lender on their platform.
Simon, Louis and everyone on the team provide a supreme level of customer service.
They genuinely care about lenders and payments are on time. In this way they are quite different to the majority of other P2P platforms who are often heavily biased in favour of borrowers and constantly coming up with excuses for why lenders can’t be paid back.
I would highly recommend this very professional outfit!
Why do you take down negative comments?
Adam you have been posting extremely long diatribes about your experience as a loan applicant. The points you raise are specific to your loan, relate to being unhappy about being declined for credit, and are not particularly relevant for potential Bridgecrowd investors. We also understand that Bridgecrowd has been in discussions with you about your concerns.
Because they are only interested in taking your money and they don’t want borrowers knowing this fact.