Who are the most solid lenders on Mintos? Our Mintos lender ratings

Last updated - 19 June 2020

Mintos lenders can default or close down - choosing the best lenders is important

In 2017, Mintos lender Eurocent failed, and defaulted on its Mintos ‘buyback guarantee’ commitments. Since then there have been defaults and issues with several other lenders. Over the last 3 years we have been providing the scores and data on this page – our Mintos lender ratings. Our goal is to provide investors with key information on each lender, and a rating score to help highlight those that are lowest and highest risk. 

To begin with, below we discuss some of the recent loan originators that have defaulted, or are likely to:

Mintos provided an update on Varks - investors are not happy

Earlier this year, Varks, a subsidiary of Finko Group, lost its licence in circumstances that have never been explained properly. So far only 12% of the claims outstanding have been paid to Mintos investors, which is disappointingly low. Mintos note that debt collection efforts have been impacted by local COVID-19 restrictions. We don’t doubt that this has been a factor. However we suspect that many borrowers will try to take advantage of the situation by refusing to repay their loans.

Mintos has now informed investors that Varks has been instructed by Armenian authorities to not charge any interest or fees on the loans. This means that Mintos investors will not receive any income on these loans. The news gets worse however – Mintos has given Varks until 2022 to repay the amounts owed. Some investors are asking why the group guarantee provided by Finko is not being triggered, particularly as their CEO recently boasted that the group had €18m of equity. It’s not clear where this equity sits, and how much liquidity Finko has, because the other Finko subsidiaries listed on Mintos are extremely weak businesses. Mintos says that triggering the guarantee may reduce recoveries. We have doubts about that. Mintos notes that ‘some of the equity investors in Mintos and Finko overlap.’ Mintos is going to have to work hard to convince investors that this is not the true reason behind their passive approach to the situation…

Dziesiatka is suspended

Polish lender Dziesiatka Finanse has been suspended for not settling pending payments on time. Dziesiatka has been operating for 19 years and reported fairly healthy financial results for 2019. We suspect that this situation relates to the strict, borrower friendly rules introduced by Polish authorities in response to COVID-19. Hopefully, these issues will be temporary,  and the company can recover once these payment freezes come to an end.

Authorities close down Cashwagon Vietnam

Cashwagon is an Asian loan originator operating in five countries.  One of its major subsidiaries is in Vietnam. This operation has been closed down by the Vietnamese authorities for charging excessive interest rates. The authorities have also frozen bank accounts. Press reports say that interest rates ranged up to 44% per month. This seems to be confirmed by Mintos who disclose that APR’s ranged up to 792% (which is approximately equivalent to 44% per month). So where does this leave Cashwagon, and the Mintos investors who invested in its loans? 

Firstly, if the Vietnamese authorities are correct, and the laws breach local regulations, these loans are likely to be considered unenforceable, and borrowers will not have to repay the funds. According to Mintos, Cashwagon has a loan portfolio of €10m in Vietnam, of which €6m is funded by Mintos investors. The Mintos funded loans have received a ‘group guarantee’, which means that Mintos will be able to demand that the Cashwagon group honours the buybacks when all these loans inevitably become 60 days overdue. 

It is hard to see how the Cashwagon group will be able to survive the loss of the Vietnam subsidiary. The company has not received any new equity funding since 2017. Since then it has generated significant losses, and held only €1 million of equity as of February 2020. We think that the shareholders are more likely to write off their investment than to inject funds to cover the Mintos group guarantee and recapitalise the business. Mintos has now suspended all Cashwagon loans, including those outside of Vietnam too. 

One area of weakness that this event highlights is an apparent lack of due diligence performed by Mintos. We would expect them to perform a legal review on each loan originator to ensure that the loans offered comply with local rules and regulations. This seems to have been missed in this case.

African lenders GetBucks and ExpressCredit are suspended

We have been anticipating a default by GetBucks (15/100 score) and ExpressCredit (22/100 score) for some time. Mintos have now announced suspension of both lenders due to failure to remit collections. GetBucks has been going through considerable turmoil for some time. It has been taken over by its creditors (following a debt for equity swap). Its founder and more than 100 of its head office staff were terminated. The business appears to have been run very poorly, with excessive spending and weak reporting and controls. Mintos has now agreed a payment plan with the parent company of GetBucks under which it will pay €4m during 2020 to cover outstanding payments. We will ‘believe it when we see it…’ Meanwhile it was announced that the better performing South African and Kenyan operations of GetBucks had been carved out into a new entity called Finclusion, and would receive parent guarantees from this group. 

ExpressCredit offers loans to employees of governments and other institutions. This is meant to be lower risk as the repayments are deducted from future salary problems. However there is clearly a fatal flaw – governments in places like Zambia cannot be relied on to pass these payments on. The delay has now reached 4-5 months and ExpressCredit does not have sufficient cash to cover this. ExpressCredit loans in Zambia have been suspended. We expect any future news to get worse rather than better about the ExpressCredit group.

The mystery grows around Akulaku's problems

Akulaku is a fairly large Indonesian lender. It has received funding from several funds, including (arguably) the most prestigious VC firm in the world, Sequoia. Akulaku had been losing money, but the equity injected into the business seemed sufficient to cover those losses and support growth. Mintos published a statement from the company that confirms that Akulaku has major liquidity problems, which are blamed on COVID-19, currency depreciation, and the falling oil price. However since then we have seen the 2019 financial statements of Akulaku which showed that the business had significant cash reserves ($US 68 million) and significant shareholders equity ($US 72 million). It is unclear to us why and how Akulaku is in a position to have such significant liquidity issues based on the last financial information provided by the company, and the number and calibre of its shareholders. We continue to suspect that many Mintos lenders are not hedging their currency risk at all, or are significantly under-hedged. That creates big problems when their home currencies fall against the euro during a crisis, and it is why we have been monitoring currency movements in our country risk ratings

Finitera has a €7 million obligation (that it probably can't pay )

On 6 December 2019 Mintos announced that Monego lost its lending licence in Kosovo. The Governor of the Central Bank of Kosovo has cited high interest rates, and a deviation from business plans, as the reason for revoking the licences.  

Mintos then made several announcements relating to a lending company called Finitera. Firstly, it was announced that Finitera was planning to acquire Monego, but had not done so prior to them losing their licence. Regardless, Finitera was planning to ‘cover scheduled borrower payments to investors having investments in Monego loans once these payments are delayed for 60 days‘. 

All of the Monego loans remaining are now sitting in ‘pending payment’ status. This means that there is €7 million of loans that Finitera should pay back to investors according to Mintos. In a recent interview, the CEO of Mintos said that “It is our expectation and understanding that this promise will be kept and investors will be paid back”. However we think the likelihood of this actually happening is now very low.

Mintos starts litigation against Aforti (at last)

On 7th August 2019 Mintos announced that it was suspending primary and secondary market loan purchases relating to Aforti Holdings of Poland due to non-payment of collections to Mintos. For some reason it decided against starting litigation and instead spent the next 6 months negotiating an agreement with Aforti to recover the funds. It was not made clear why this was considered an optimal strategy for Mintos investors, but presumably Mintos thought that recoveries could be higher and faster if Aforti remained in business. Mintos had agreed a timetable with Aforti to make the delayed payments but failed to fulfil their commitment.  Mintos have finally commenced the litigation process, terminated their agreement, and have notified Aforti of the claim amount. We expect this to take more than 12 months to resolve, and it is not clear at this stage how much investors will get back.

Alex Credit has paid very little since it defaulted

Small Ukrainian lender Alex Credit has been suspended by Mintos for failing to make the payments due to investors. Alex Credit has €4.5m of loans outstanding on the Mintos platform. The company has committed to make the payments due, but has only paid 2% of the amounts due since March. The company last reported their results in March 2019, which showed that the business was profitable but very small.

Key financial information of each Mintos lender

The table below captures the key financial information for each lender. This can be useful to quickly lookup the profile of each lender, and compare the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

All Figures in EUR million (profits annualised where appropriate):

Mintos Lender Reporting period Loans Equity Profit - latest Profit - prior year Profit - 2 years prior Audited
Mogo Mar 2020 196.5 31.6 2.4 4.6 8.5 Yes
IDF Eurasia Dec 2019 120.5 21.2 11.4 9.1 3.7 Yes
Creditstar Dec 2019 113.2 25.3 5.8 2.9 2.2 Yes
Capital Service (suspended) Sep 2019 29.2 3.4 0.2 -0.5 Yes
Kredit Pintar Dec 2018 4.8 8.6 5.9 Yes
Credissimo Dec 2019 21.5 16.1 2.5 3.2 5.0 Yes
Swiss Capital Dec 2019 7.0 0.5 0.1 -0.4 No
IuteCredit Mar 2020 80.1 19.0 8.1 7.3 3.0 Yes
ExpressCredit (suspended) Mar 2019 12.7 -3.4 -2.6 -1.6 No
DelfinGroup Mar 2020 32.5 9.4 4.0 4.6 2.9 Yes
Sun Finance Denmark Mar 2020 7.5 1.6 1.9 0.8 -1.0 Yes
Sun Finance Vietnam Nov 2019 1.4 -2.2 -2.4 No
Finko (Lendo, Georgia) Dec 2018 9.8 -2.6 -2.0 -8.8 Yes
Finko (Sebo, Moldova) Dec 2018 9.5 -0.2 1.8 -0.6 Yes
Finko (Ukraine, Dinero) Dec 2018 4.1 2.0 -1.6 -0.2 Yes
SOS Credit Feb 2020 2.1 1.2 0.0 0.2 0.2 No
DanaRupiah Feb 2020 2.8 2.8 No
Monego Dec 2018 4.1 0.4 -0.6 0 Yes
Moneda Dec 2019 0.7 0.6 -0.8 No
Sun Finance (Tengo, Kaz.) Dec 2018 4.1 -0.4 No
Cashwagon (part suspended) Feb 2020 27.9 1.0 -5.9 -7.0 Yes
Placet Group Dec 2019 38 19 3.0 3.5 3.0 No
Akulaku (suspended) Dec 2019 118.3 65.5 -33.9 -37.9 -22.1 Yes
AgroCredit Dec 2018 5.2 1.8 0.2 0.1 0.0 Yes
Acema Mar 2018 46.1 17.5 2.8 2.0 2.4 Yes
Wowwo Dec 2019 37.9 17.7 2.9 1.6 No
BB Finance Group Mar 2020 14 5.4 1.6 -1.1 Yes
Evergreen Oct 2019 4.2 1 0.9 0.2 No
Creamfinance Dec 2019 58.4 13.3 0.9 1.2 -0.4 Yes
Extra Finance Dec 2018 4.6 2.0 0.1 2.0 2.0 No
Mozipo Group Dec 2018 3.3 -4.8 -2.5 -1.7 0.5 Yes
Aasa Dec 2019 25.3 17.7 0.4 -9.3 No
Finitera (Kredo, Albania) Dec 2018 2.8 0.1 -0.8 -0.2 No
Aforti (In Default) Dec 2018 27.1 1.7 0.1 0.3 Yes
Creditter Sep 2019 6.7 0.7 -1000 No
Pinjam Yuk Dec 2019 7.2 5.7 1.4 No
Revo Technology Dec 2019 31.5 5.7 0.9 -1.4 Yes
Dozarplati Dec 2019 12.2 2.8 2.2 0.9 0.1 No
Capitalia Mar 2020 1.7 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.0 Yes
Credilikeme Dec 2018 0.4 1.1 0.1 -0.7 No
EcoFinance Dec 2019 8.0 1.5 -0.3 0.1 0.2 Yes
GFM Mar 2020 6.2 5.3 0.4 0.0 No
ITF Group Dec 2018 2.5 1.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 Yes
Dinerito Dec 2019 11.3 3.8 0.3 -0.2 -0.4 Yes
Hipocredit Dec 2019 6.6 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.0 No
Finko (Kiva, Russia) Dec 2019 3.5 0.6 -1.1 0.0 Yes
Debifo Dec 2018 7.8 0.1 -0.1 0.2 0.0 No
Kviku Dec 2019 16.6 2.5 0.9 0.6 0.1 Yes
Rapido Finance (In Default) Dec 2018 1.8 -1.7 -1.7 -1.9 -0.8 Yes
Finitera (Tigo, Macedonia) Dec 2019 4.7 0.7 0.7 -0.8 -0.3 Yes
Julo Nov 2019 14.3 10.8 -2.0 No
Peachy Dec 2018 5.7 -1.4 -0.4 -2 Yes
GetBucks (suspended) Jun 2019 92.1 -41.8 -51.2 -9.5 -12 Yes
LF TECH Dec 2018 15.6 18.1 7 6.8 5.1 Yes
Credius Dec 2019 13.9 8.9 1.1 0.4 1.8 Yes
Rapicredit Dec 2019 5.2 1.3 0.6 -0.5 0.0 Yes
Kredit24 Dec 2019 3.0 0.6 1.2 -0.6 0.7 Yes
Watu Credit Dec 2019 27.9 4.8 4.5 1.5 0.2 Yes
Sun Finance Latvia Dec 2019 12.9 8.1 4.3 -0.7 -1.5 No
Everest Finanse Dec 2019 96.8 67.4 9.4 7.2 -6.6 Yes
Sun Finance Poland Mar 2020 18.8 3.2 1.4 -6.9 No
Stikcredit Jun 2019 3 2.7 0.8 0.5 Yes
E-Cash Dec 2019 2.3 0.6 -1.3 -0.6 No
Esto Mar 2020 13.4 3.7 0.5 No
Zenka Aug 2019 1 1.3 -1.7 No
Mwananchi Dec 2019 9.3 8.7 1.6 2.6 No
AlfaKredyt Dec 2018 4.9 1.3 0.3 0.2 No
Mikro Kapital Russia Dec 2019 22.2 9.7 1.2 -0.3 Yes
Mikro Kapital Romania Nov 2019 18.2 3.4 0.5 Yes
Mikro Kapital Belarus Dec 2019 27.4 3.7 1.0 1.0 Yes
Mikro Kapital Moldova Dec 2019 13.9 3.0 0.3 0.4 Yes
Fireof Dec 2018 3.8 0.9 0.0 No
ID Finance Spain Dec 2019 23.3 5.4 3.3 0.1 -0.4 Yes
ID Finance Mexico Dec 2018 1.7 -1.0 -0.6 -0.4 No
TASCredit Dec 2019 8.4 4.9 2.5 1.1 No
Lime Zaim Dec 2018 10.3 3.3 0.6 0.6 Yes
Dineo Credito Dec 2018 8.6 1.3 2.2 2.8 2.5 No
Sun Finance Mexico Mar 2020 2.2 -0.4 -1.9 No
Dziesiątka Finanse (suspended) Dec 2019 9.5 3.4 0.5 0.2 0.0 Yes
Novaloans May 2019 5.3 1.1 0.7 0.6 No
Alex Credit (suspended) Mar 2019 3.1 1.3 0.6 -0.3 No
CashCredit Dec 2019 9.8 3.0 0.8 0.7 0.1 Yes

Our Mintos lender ratings

Our Mintos lender ratings are based on 5 characteristics – profitability, capitalisation, size, track record and the quality of their reporting. We have allocated marks out of 20 for each metric, giving a total score out of 100. Mintos have recently introduced their own ratings – from A (best) to D (default), which we have included as a comparison.

Note- the scores are based on historic results and track record and do not capture the recent impact of COVID-19 on each loan originator

Consider country risk too

Mintos offers loans from many different countries around the world, and some countries are more risky than others.  To help investors assess the risk level of each country, we have published a country risk ratings page. This takes into account factors such as currency risks, sovereign risk and the local business environment. We think it is worth considering these risks when building a portfolio allocation, in addition to the LO ratings above. 

Latest rating changes - June 2020

IDF Eurasia

We have obtained the audited 2019 results for IDF Eurasia, which showed a 20% growth in profits, and higher equity levels. However we still have a few concerns. The main operations are in Russia and Kazakhstan, countries which are experiencing difficult times. The company also has currency exposure. The RUB and KZT have both depreciated during 2020 which is likely to have led to losses. The company is slow to provide financial information, and lacks detail. Our score is down 4 to 59.

Finitera (Tigo)

Tigo is a small subsidiary of the Finitera group in North Macedonia. Their 2019 results were much better than the previous year - moving into profit and positive equity. However they are still overall a very weak company. Almost all of their funding comes from Mintos, and there is no currency hedging at all. If there was a depreciation against the euro this could easily bankrupt the company. Our score is 31.

New: Finko (Kiva)

Finko Group has somehow managed to suffer the loss of licences by two subsidiaries in the last 6 months - Metrokredit in Russia, and Varks in Armenia. Things are not going well. They are now lending funds in Russia through a company called Kiva. It is like many other Finko subsidiaries, small and loss making. There is a lot of uncertainty over the future of the Finko group, which makes it impossible for any reasonable investor to purchase their loans. Our initial score for Kiva is 16.

Latest rating changes - May 2020

Sun Finance

At the end of 2019 Mintos announced that several loan originators were owned by the Sun Finance group. Investors were told that these loan originators would receive group guarantees starting in 2020. When we double checked recently with Mintos that this had happened we were told "As we have promised, all subsidiaries should have the group guarantee but currently, they have not. Once it changes, the information on our website will be updated."

We think that failing to execute the guarantee raises questions about all the Sun Finance subsidiaries and the management of the company. Sun Finance has now (finally) provided fresh financial information on its operations in Poland, Denmark, Latvia and Mexico. In some cases these country groups include subsidiaries that Mintos has never provided any information previously. The Polish operations (previously known as Kuki.pl) have shrunk 

significantly. However they are no longer heavily loss making, and our score increased 11 to 33. Latvia is clearly the crown jewel within Sun Finance, with a profit of €4.3m in the last 12 months. This profit performance, and stronger balance sheet led to a score increase from 28 to 43. If Latvia is the crown jewel, the Mexico operations are the ugly step-sister. It is tiny but heavily loss making, and our score is only 9/100. 

Denmark reported satisfactory results. However our score is only 33/100 as we believe that new regulations will significantly limit the ability of lenders like Sun Finance to operate in the country. Sun Finance has not published any recent financial information from its Vietnam and Kazakhstan subsidiaries. It no longer offers any loans from Russia on Mintos. 

Cashwagon

Cashwagon's latest results are a little worrying. They have burned through most of their equity, and lost money throughout 2019. January and February saw a move into profitability, but then COVID hit in March.... Hopefully they can battle through. Meanwhile our score is cut from 42 to 36.

Watu Credit

Kenyan lender Watu Credit is on fire right now. It grew its loan book, profits, and equity by approximately 200% during 2019. Watu focuses on loans secured on assets like motorbikes which we think have a good risk profile. That is why its loan losses are small and stable relative to its revenues. The main downside to Watu is that it operates in Kenya, a higher risk country. Even still, we think Watu are becoming one of the better loan originators on Mintos. Score up from 61 to 65.

Rating confirmed: Cash Credit

The 2019 results of Bulgarian lender Cash Credit were boring. Boring is good. Stable profits and capital levels are just fine with us. Our score remains at 53.

Credissimo

Earlier this month we downgraded Credissimo for not publishing any final information since 2018. Well the good news is that 2019 results are now available. They were slightly disappointing. Profit has dropped in half since 2017, and leverage is up, due to growth in the loan portfolio and the company paying out shareholders all its 2018 profits. Our new score is 68, down from 80 at the start of the month.

Cream

Cream is one of the larger and most established Mintos loan originators. Its 2019 results were fairly stable. They still seem one of the better options available to us, particularly due to their Latvian location. Our score fell slightly due to lower profits in 2019, and slightly higher leverage. Score down 4 to 63,

DZIESIĄTKA

We've been wary of Polish lenders lke Dziesiatka recently due to the very harsh line that the Polish government took with their lenders in response to the COVID-19 crisis. However we also need to recognise that this company had a pretty good 2019. They raised some extra capital and also delivered higher profits. Our new score is 48. We have adjusted down their profit score to reflect the current circumstances in Poland.

GFM

Kazakhstan is another country that is having a rough time right now. It is an economy that relies on oil. Low oil prices + Covid = challenging lending environment. So why are we increasing the score of GFM? We had dramatically marked it down already to reflect these issues, plus the lack of recent financial information. Our score increase of 10 to 43 reflect's GFM's strong capital levels at the end of 2019, and improved profitability.

Zenka

Kenyan lender Zenka released results up to March 2020 and they seem to be performing well, growing their loan book and capital, and heading into profitability. Downsides are that the reporting quality is fairly low, and it is not clear yet whether Kenya is going to avoid a large-scale COVID outbreak, or if it is just in the early stages. Score up from 41 to 46.

Stikcredit

Bulgarian lender Stikcredit has a really strange looking P&L. The profit after tax looks good, but more than 90% of it comes from tax credits. The underlying profitability of the business seems pretty weak, and we suspect that the capital position is weaker than shown in their headline figures. We have cut the score from 53 to 48.

Rating confirmed: Dinerito

Mexican lender Dinerito is fairly 'average'. It's mid-sized, it makes some profit (€0.3m in 2019), and it has an OK balance sheet structure. It currently has no pending payments outstanding, which gives us more confidence in it than some other LOs. Our score remains at 53.

Latest rating changes - April 2020

In early April we have made too many rating changes to list them all individually, but we will highlight any key ones below. The key themes that led to changes were – macro shocks, regulatory changes, and disclosure quality downgrades for lenders who had not published financials since 2018. Our ‘watchlist countries’ currently are Kazakhstan and Russia (currency depreciation & macro issues due to oil price falls), and Poland (regulatory impact of capping loan rates/charges for the next 12 months).

New score: Aasa

Aasa has finally published results for both 2018 and 19. We had suspended our scores for a long time due to a lack of disclosure. Aasa made a huge loss in 2018 (which is perhaps why they decided to stop providing any information). Since then it has dramatically shrunk its balance sheet and broke even in 2019. We are wary of Polish lenders right now, although Aasa does have a high level of equity, giving it a stronger balance sheet than most LO's. Our new score is 41.

Rating confirmed: Capitalia

It is hard to see what the point of Capitalia is. It's a tiny business that seems to break even every year. It's one of the few LO's who don't provide buyback guarantees. We would be wary of Capitalia loans right now due to the impact of COVID-19 on the small businesses that Capitalia lends to. Our score remains at 36.

E-Cash

The business model of E-Cash doesn't seem to work. Its bad debt costs eat up half of the company's interest income. Once the company pays for all its operating and funding costs it makes a loss. In 2019 it made a loss of €1.3m, and it only had €0.6m of equity left. Score reduced from 23 to 20. High risk.

Hipocredit

Hipocredit is a small mortgage lender based in the Baltic region. We've gone hot and cold on the company in the past. We like the low LTV loans they originate. However in the past they have been guilty of selectively buying back their best performing loans and leaving investors with the non-performing. After paying out a big dividend 2 years ago they are still a bit under-capitalised. However, profits are improving. Score up from 32 to 41.

Mikro Kapital Russia

Mikro Kapital is another lender that we downgraded significantly earlier this month. They have now released their audited results for 2019 (in Russian..). Overall results for 2019 were fairly strong, with a healthy level of equity. We are still cautious about their outlook for 2020. We had been penalising their score due to the 2019 results not being available. We have increased the score from 42 to 45.

New: 3 Mikro Kapital Co's

Mikro Kapital has added 3 new subsidiaries in Belarus, Romania and Moldova. There is no group guarantee in place so we have provided individual scores. However we would note that the overall Mikro Kapital group is very large (over €600m of assets) and we would expect the group to support a subsidiary if needed. Our scores for the new subsidiaries range from 53 to 63.

Rating confirmed: Kviku

We downgraded the scores of all Russian lenders earlier this month following the introduction of new rules that capped interest rates at 4% and deferred payments for up to 6 months for many borrowers. Kviku has disclosed that 1,500 of their customers have so far taken advantage of these rules. Despite the solid profit Kviku made in 2019, we think the new lower score of 44 remains appropriate for now.

Rapicredit

Rapicredit is a small Columbian lender. In 2019 it switched from losing money to making money, and improved its balance sheet position too. This led to a score increase from 28 to 45. However keep in mind that since then the Columbian Peso has been very volatile against the Euro (up to 20% depreciation), which makes us nervous, as we don't know whether Rapicredit carries any FX risks.

IDF Eurasia

IDF Eurasia (formerly ID Finance) has long been one of our highest rated LO's. And there has been no new information or reports released by them or Mintos. However we have downgraded their score due to the likely macro impact in Kazakhstan of dramatically lower oil prices, as well as reported currency controls, and currency depreciation. This makes us very cautious about all LO's from Kazakhstan currently. Score down from 81 to 63.

ID Finance Spain

A big score upgrade for ID Finance Spain for 2 reasons. Firstly, the company was able to raise over €5m of equity in a crowdfunding campaign at the end of 2019, which significantly improved its balance sheet. Secondly, the business transitioned from breakeven in 2018 to a solid profit of €3.3m in 2019. Score up from 39 to 59.

Mogo

Mogo announced a loss of €2.5m for Q1 2020. This was driven by currency exchange losses versus the Euro. This is why we monitor currency movements in our country risk ratings, as most Mintos lenders seem to under-hedge their FX risks. It was not all bad news though, as Mogo shareholders invested an additional €5m of equity, which covered the loss and slightly reduced the leverage. Overall not a terrible result given the circumstances. Score down from 79 to 76.

Alfakredyt & Dziesiatka

Both of these LO's are very small, focused on Poland, and have never really made any meaningful profits. Both look to be at high risk following the changes to the legislation in Poland. Dziesiatka is part of a larger lending group, but it does not have any group guarantees and we would not rely on them stepping in.

Everest Finance

We cut the scores of all Polish lenders following the introduction of new laws in Poland that limits how much lenders can charge. We think Everest is going to be hit harder than most because its model is based on visiting their borrowers in their homes. Even though the business has very strong capital levels and has been very profitable in the past, the next 12 months looks very challenging. Score down from 69 to 53.

Latest rating changes - March 2020

How to deal with the messy situation at Finko?

Finko is one of the largest lending groups on Mintos. Its businesses include Varks, Lendo, Sebo and Dinero. The owners of Finko are also one of the 4 key external shareholders of Mintos.

When these loan originators joined Mintos, the relationship between the various Finko companies was not disclosed. There was also no group guarantee in place. Finko then recently announced that it was going to provide a group guarantee, and released its results for 2019. Those resulted were extremely strong, with a profit of €17.6m. The business also received an equity injection of over €8m. The group guarantee led to us rating Finko as a group, rather than each subsidiary. Based on the financial disclosures for 2019, the group score was 72.

As noted above, the most important subsidiary, Varks, has lost its lending licence, and is now in liquidation. This news means that in our view, the group guarantee now has very little value, due to the loss of profits generated by Varks, and the impact of this event on the whole group. Consequently we have decided to revert back to our previous practice of providing financial information and scores for each remaining subsidiary where we have reliable information available. We note that UkrPozyka and Kiva currently have no financial information available. We also note that the figures provided for the 2019 Varks profit and equity by the Finko CEO are much higher than those we had seen published on the Varks website. We currently have no explanation for this and will not include any 2019 Varks figures in the tables until this is cleared up.

New: Revo Technology

Klarna operates a service that is very hot right now, being similar to highly valued companies such as Klarna and Afterpay. The business provides point-of-sale finance, funding smaller purchases made by millennial customers. The company has a strong founding team, a good business model and has been profitable since Q4 2018. The one thing we would like to see is a bit more capital, as the balance sheet is quite highly leveraged. As for likely impact of COVID-19 on the business it is difficult to assess currently. On the plus side the loans are small, and Russia is less impacted (currently). However it could become a challenging environment for Revo Technology later this year. Our initial score is 65.

New: Mwananchi

The quality of the management presentation from Kenyan lender Mwananchi is very, very poor. But we forced ourselves to look beyond that, and there are some things about this lender that look OK. Firstly the balance sheet, which is mainly funded with equity. Secondly the products offered, which are based on secured loans such as auto loans, which we think is more attractive than payday loans. Mwananchi is also profitable, although we noticed that their bad debt costs went up a lot in 2019. Our initial score is 54. Keep in mind however that Kenya is a higher risk country (see our country risk ratings page).

New: DanaRupiah

DanaRupiah is yet another new and very small Indonesian payday lender to join Mintos. The management presentation provided is fairly typical of those we see from these type of Fintech businesses - nicely designed but containing no information that is really useful. We also don't understand the company structure. The borrower is a company called 'Teching Pte Ltd' which is based in Singapore. This company seems to be just an SPV as it doesn't have any operating costs in its P&L. So what is the link to DanaRupiah in Indonesia? Nothing is as clear as it should be. Our initial score is only 24.

New: Moneda

Moneda is based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the first Mintos LO from this country. It's a startup business, with a loan portfolio of only €700k. The size of the portfolio is smaller than the loss the company made in 2019. Frankly, we feel that this business is far too small and too new to be invited onto the Mintos platform. The risk is very high, which is probably why Moneda are offering investors an interest rate of 15.5%. Our initial score is 20.

New: Swiss Capital

We are more positive about Swiss Capital, which is an auto lender based in Kazakhstan. Firstly we like auto loans because defaults tend to be much lower than unsecured loans, and it is possible to recover the vehicles which reduces losses when people do default. The business has already reached break even and we expect it to be profitable in 2020. The main downside is the balance sheet - the business looks a little under-capitalised, with only €0.5m of equity against a loan book of €7m. Our initial score is 40.

Rating confirmed: Creditstar

We have obtained the interim results of Creditstar for 2019. It was a good year for the business, making a profit of €5.8m. The business grew strongly, with stable levels of bad debts. Creditstar also successfully issued two bonds in Dec 2019, locking in €20m of funding until 2021 and 2022. There is no change to our last rating, which stays at 79.

Farewell to...

1pm plc. It isn't really surprising that 1pm have left Mintos. 1pm was a highly rated loan originator that was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Mintos is just not a cheap enough source of funding for companies like this right now. However in the future we would still like Mintos to offer more lower risk, lower yield opportunities. There's a limit to how much investors can allocate to tiny startup lenders in Bosnia and Indonesia...

Latest rating changes - February 2020

New: Pinjam Yuk

Pinjam Yuk is an Indonesian payday lender. Frankly, we are not particularly convinced by the information provided. Their presentation says that they received investment from leading VC firm Sequoia Capital in 2015, yet they are still tiny, and the charts suggest that they only started operations in 2018. Secondly, the data provided shows that the business has suffered from a government interest rate cap, and it's doubtful that they are currently profitable. Lastly, their P&L does not make sense to us - particularly the zero cost for loan impairments. Our score is 41, and we think that's being very generous.

Rating confirmed: Mogo

Mogo released their results for the full year of 2019. There were no surprises. We were pleased to see that they had raised €3m of new equity in Q4 19, with another €3m planned for Q1 20. NPL ratios were stable, and Mogo increased their profits in 2019 by growing revenues and keep bad debt provisions stable. Our rating score remains at 79.

LF Tech

LF Tech are the final LO to publish their 2018 financials. We've been asking Mintos for them for several months. There's good news and bad news. The good - LF Tech continues to be very profitable, have a conservative balance sheet, and the financial statements are now audited. The bad - the audit opinion is qualified (although we don't think the matters raised are very material). The 2017 profits are also lower than Mintos had led people to believe. Our overall score has increased by 7 to 66, mainly because they no longer receive a 0 score for disclosure quality.

New: GFM

GFM is a small lender from Kazakhstan. There isn't much to differentiate them from many other lenders on Mintos. They are small, operate in a fairly high risk country, and seem to be moderately successful. The one thing we like is that they they have a balance sheet that has very little leverage. On the other hand their reporting quality is poor, and profits are modest. Our initial score is 41.

New: TASCredit

TASCredit is an auto lender from Kazakhstan. The borrower is called TAS Finance Group which appears to be a subsidiary of a larger group. TAS lends to customers at very high interest rates - around 5% PER MONTH. This seems to generate one of the highest returns on assets of any Mintos lender. While the balance sheet structure looks fine, TAS has lost marks for poor quality disclosures, fairly small size and limited published track record. Our initial score is 52.

New: Julo

Julo is a new Indonesian lender that has been backed by several VC funds. It seems to be well funded with over €10m of equity and more than a third of its balance sheet held in cash. There is one slight problem though. Their loans don't seem to be very profitable once bad debt costs are taken into account. Hopefully they can improve this as the business scales up and they get better at underwriting loans. Our initial score is 47.

Farewell to...

Invescore & EBV Finance. Invescore falls into our new 'Keyser Soze' category of Loan Originators. An LO that told us all a good story, and just like that, after 2 days, they had disappeared, seemingly forever in mysterious circumstances. Our guess is that we will never hear from them again. No loans were ever listed by Invescore. Another LO to leave is EBV Finance. They were a Lithuanian lender that focused on VAT refunds. All loans have been repaid to investors.

Ratings confirmed:

IuteCredit and Vizia/Banknote both released their unaudited results for 2019. Both lenders report quarterly and there were no surprises from either LO. IuteCredit had to write down the value of its Kosovo operations (closed due to loss of licence) but it was still able to still generate good overall results for the year, which is impressive. Scores for both remain at 77.

Now you’ve reviewed our latest Mintos lender ratings – what’s the fastest way to choose the best loans on the  Mintos Primary Market? Check out our new Mintos Loan Scanner page, which allows you to compare very quickly the current interest rates, loan availability, and ratings for each lender on the platform. We will keep it updated, so check it next time you are thinking of buying more loans, or adjusting your auto-invest settings.

Next step: consider adding these sites to your portfolio

EstateGuru logo

EstateGuru is an excellent site that offers loans secured on real estate. Rates are high - around 11%. Currently mainly focused on the Baltic region of Europe but with plans to expand into other countries.

Viventor logo

Viventor is a similar site to Mintos, just smaller. Some secured loans are available. We also provide Viventor lender ratings.

Bulkestate logo

Bulkestate is a small but growing site focused on loans secured on real estate. It offers loans secured by real estate. Their rates are the highest in Europe for secured loans currently (11-14%)

October P2P logo

October is focused on lending to small businesses in France, Spain and Italy. Rates are often a little lower than the other sites we list here, but some investors will like October due to the countries it operates in.

734 thoughts on “Who are the most solid lenders on Mintos? Our Mintos lender ratings

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    • Freeze_XJ Reply

      Nice find!
      Provides a lot of insight in what is happening over there, and it’s not good at all.
      First off, it seems that they decided in sept 2019 to wind down, and I’ve missed any announcement of that on Mintos.
      Secondly, about Mintos they state the following (translation by Google):
      “Currently, this platform is the primary source
      Company financing. To ensure mutual safety and driving comfort
      activities, the parties started talks in September 2019 aimed at reducing financial
      MINTOS involvement in CAPITAL SERVICE activities. As at the date of this report, they are pending
      talks and arrangements to work out the final solution. A company to maintain planned growth
      loan portfolio and diversify sources of financing in January 2020 concluded an agreement with
      entity operating a competitive peer to peer platform – FAST INVEST. ”
      So they’ve ran to another platform, and suddenly stopped paying somewhere in March.

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  5. Centrino Reply

    Hi,
    In an email of 19 june, Mintos downgraded Cream Finance from rating B to B- ( but without any explanation).
    As I am investing in originators of 60+ scores, my question to you is : do you maintain your score of 63 ? Or will you recalculate / lower it ?
    Thank you!

  6. Jmn Reply

    >>Mintos has not suspended Cashwagon loans outside of Vietnam.
    It eventually did.

    • Oscar Harrington Post authorReply

      Thanks – text has been updated. They should have done that immediately really…

      • Jmn Reply

        Agree. And discount were very low, like -3%, during the short lapse between VN and other suspensions.
        I received some money from Cashwagon VN right now, looks like the recovery started.

  7. The South Sea Company Reply

    Most articles in the press about the Cashwagon Vietnam debacle have been written by financially illiterate people. The situation is a bit more nuanced than simple usury. CW has two entities in Vietnam: Lendtech (which has a lending license) gives out loans with a relatively low interest rate (12% p.a. or thereabouts). Cashwagon Vietnam operates the lending platform and takes fees for its services. The fees are significantly larger than the actual interest. We can expect CW to argue in court that “interest” is simply what the borrower has agreed to pay as cost of capital, while the prosecutor will argue that any charges that depend on the amount borrowed constitute part of total interest. With a quick Google search, one can find circulars from Vietnam’s central bank and legal reviews discussing loan fees (e.g. there are requirements about advertising them clearly), so CW’s lawyers can argue that the law clearly agrees in principle that the lender can impose fees on the borrower, and that these are distinct from interest.

    While I think the risk is high that CW will lose, it is not a foregone conclusion, and it would be dumb of them to not fight the charges to the end. If CW loses, unsecured lending will become economically inviable in the Vietnamese market, meaning that the Vietnamese ventures of Sun Finance, Aventus, Twino, etc. can all be expected to close in short order.

    • Christian Reply

      Thank you for this comment, I could not agree more that most of the reports out there are just, as unfortunately very often, oversimplifying the situation to a degree that any conclusion or opinion about it is fundamentally flawed. There was at least one News article who did mention the two entities. From what I heard, the main accusation is not even the fees or interest rate, but rather the illegal data collection that allowed them to call relatives and friends in case of overdue rates etc by collecting numbers from the address book, to keep the overall default rate as low as possible. In general, payday lenders are high-risk due to the ever-present risk of losing their license or getting wiped out indirectly through competitors etc by legal (competition) or illegal (we have a friend from the government) measures…

      I wonder how long investigation will last, and whether CW will survive this…

  8. Jmn Reply

    >> and the laws breach local regulations
    the “loans”?

    I lost big on this, but i was aware they were shark lenders, and their use of extra fees and procedure costs (~40% of nominal!) were barely legal. So that’s the game.
    I sold all my other Cashwagon, and my Kredit Pintar too, since they are the exact same type of online SE asian shark lenders.

    • Jan Reply

      I think the KP is OK, but I stopped invest there as well, but for example, Watu has around 180% APR which seems to be crazy high.

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  10. Nuno Reply

    Cashwagon Vietnam has just been suspended

    Its the total meltdown at Mintos

    • Oscar Harrington Post authorReply

      This is a bad one Nuno. It has been no secret that Cashwagon were charging high rates, Mintos should have identified the potential non-compliance with local usury laws…They can’t expect their investors to be doing these types of checks.

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