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Website and investment product features
What is Peerberry? How does it work?
Peerberry is a multi-lender P2P investment site based in Riga, Latvia. It launched in 2017 and has since grown quickly. Originally Peerberry was owned by the Aventus Group and only offered its own loans on the site. Since then the business has been acquired by a new group of shareholders, and new lenders have been added to the site. We recently published an interview with their new CEO Arūnas Lekavičius.
The Peerberry investment site is very simple to use. It has functionality that allows investors to either select individual loans on the primary market, or use an auto-invest tool. At the moment there is no secondary market. However, we don’t think that is an issue because most loans are only 1 month in maturity currently.
The auto-invest function has all the usual options found on other sites. This includes country, loan term, interest rate, and loan originator. Peerberry provides investors a weekly email that provides simple information about interest earned, principal received from investors, investments made, and cash held on their behalf. The site has good reporting functionality, allowing investors to see all activity on their account within a chosen time period, and it can generate tax statements.
Interest rates are typically around 11-12%, but can reach as high as 15%. The majority of loans are short-term loans with buyback guarantees. However recently Peerberry has added some car loans, and also developer loans from a new lender called Lithome.
Most loans offered on Peerberry currently come from two lending groups – Aventus Group and GoFingo. The details of which lenders are part of which group is provided in our Peerberry lender ratings page. A third, small lender called Lithome also lists loans, which is connected to a Lithuanian house building company.
As most loans on Peerberry come with buyback guarantees, understanding the financial position of each lender is important. This is an area we that Peerberry has significantly improved recently, as it has provided business updates for each of its loan originators, and it has also shared additional financial information with us.
The Aventus Group was strongly profitable in 2019 with a net profit of over €12 million. We would suggest allocating investments most heavily towards the Aventus Group lenders operating in Poland, as we view this country as having less risk than others such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Some Aventus Group lenders appearing on Peerberry are extremely new and small. In most cases these companies benefit from a group guarantee, which makes them less risky than they would otherwise be.
The other lending main lending group is called GoFingo. It is a much smaller lending group and also has a mix of new and established lending operations. In early 2020 Peerberry announced that GoFingo had achieved an estimated net profit of just over €2 million in 2019.
What about the profitability of the Peerberry platform itself? Arunas Levkavicius, the CEO, has informed us that it made small profits in both 2018 and 2019. He noted that the business had been making very large investments in marketing, technology and staffing. Given that the platform is still relatively young, we think this is a good performance, and don’t have concerns about the viability of the platform as a business.
Overall we feel that the interest rates offered are appropriate.
We think that Peerberry is a good option for European P2P investors who are looking to diversify their investments across more than 1 platform. We think there are better options though, such as Mintos or EstateGuru, to be an investor’s first P2P site. Why? Because Peerberry offers loans mainly from only 2 lending groups, one of which is small.
However, we do think it has a role for European investors looking to spread their investments across multiple P2P investment sites (which we would recommend). Peerberry operates an extremely simple and effective site. We have been monitoring it since it launched in 2017 and have been pretty impressed with our experience of it to date. Their website works well, is easy to use and has a great design. Customer service is also good.
We are not surprised by the success the growth and success that Peerberry has been experiencing. They have successfully added new lenders to their platform, which has provided investors with additional investment opportunities. Peerberry is now one of the largest P2P investment sites in Europe.
Investors should use the auto-invest function. We suggest setting minimum returns to 11 or 12%, and selecting the loans from Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Once that is done, there is very little that investors will ever need to do, other than to check that their portfolio is remaining fully invested.
Overall we are positive about Peerberry, but we believe there is one area that improvements are needed. There are many loan originators that are new startup subsidiaries of the Aventus and GoFingo groups. We think that Peerberry could do a better job of explaining the group structures of both companies, and exactly how the group guarantee provisions work.
New: Our Peerberry Lender Ratings
Explore P2P has now launched its Peerberry lender ratings. On this page we publish financial data for the Peerberry lenders, as well as a rating score for each. Investors can use this information to identify and select the best, lowest risk lenders that appear on Peerberry. We also publish ratings for other multi-lender P2P investment sites, including Mintos and Viventor.
Mintos is the largest P2P investment site in Europe. It offers an excellent range of investments including secured loans. Over 50 lenders list loans on Mintos
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.
Lendermarket is a new site that has been setup by Creditstar. Creditstar has been one of our highest rated lenders on Mintos for a long time. Rates are 12% which we think is good relative to the quality of the lending group providing the buyback guarantee.
Viventor is a similar site to Mintos, just smaller. Some secured loans are available. There are multiple lenders listed on the site, but the quality can vary (see our Viventor lender ratings for details).
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.
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%)