We receive a lot of different questions from our investors, to which we are always happy to answer. This time, PeerBerry CEO Arūnas Lekavičius answered the questions of an investor who shares his investment experience with others on his Blog GuGui P2P. Maybe these answers are useful for you too, so we invite you to read it.
In 2018, Aventus Group sold PeerBerry to a group of shareholders. What are their fundamental objectives in owning PeerBerry?
Arūnas Lekavičius: PeerBerry was established by Aventus Group in June 2017. The platform began its activity at the end of the year 2017. Aventus Group management decided to focus its business on lending and business expansion in Eastern and Asian countries. This was the reason to attract experts with extensive know-how to develop the PeerBerry platform on purpose to run high-level technology-based service to investors. The platform was sold to two private individuals with the experience in financial industry. By acquiring the platform, investors saw the great potential of the platform as the P2P sector developed and grew rapidly in 2018. Investors’ insights were right as PeerBerry operates profitably since 2018.
New ownership of the platform expanded PeerBerry possibilities to build an independent and sustainable business model and to offer more diversified opportunities to its clients to invest in loans, issued by different loan originators, including the partnership with Gofingo and Lithome.
In five years, where investors can see PeerBeery? What are your principal targets?
Arūnas Lekavičius: Our main goal is to be the most transparent, responsible, and reliable platform. We are working in this direction and after 5 years we want to be evaluated the best in terms of quality. We really don’t aim to be the biggest. As before, we strive to work only with highly reliable business partners, because only thanks to them can investors be guaranteed the highest level of investment security.
It is also important to remind that we are in cooperation with a regulator in Latvia on purpose to obtain an Investment Brokerage Firm (IBF) License. So, we aim to be a regulated market player.
Why you don’t publish your Annual Financial Statement on your website? Are they audited?
Arūnas Lekavičius: We publish financial statements of our loan originators publicly to everyone and the biggest part of financial statements are audited. Just few companies are not audited as it is not required by the law of that country where particular loan originator operates. It is also very important to mention that all PeerBerry loan originators have the necessary licenses to operate, i.e. they are supervised by the regulator in the country in which they operate.
Investors can find the financial statements of Aventus Group, Gofingo Group companies and Lithome on the Loan originators page on the PeerBerry website. The financial statement of each loan originator can be found on the page of each loan originators/brand. PeerBerry is obliged to provide financial statements to investors of all companies that participate in P2P.
Approximately half of the PeerBerry loan originators’ financial statements for 2019 have already been made public, the other part is still in the audit process and will be published as soon as the audit is completed and English translations of the reports are available.
PeerBerry is cooperating with Aventus, Gofingo and Lithome. Are you thinking to introduce new partners in near future?
Arūnas Lekavičius: Both the Aventus Group and the Gofingo Group are expanding their operations in Asia, so we are primarily concentrating on expansion with existing business partners. We are also currently negotiating a partnership with one real estate group.
The loan portfolio of Aventus Group companies at PeerBerry accounts for 80% of total loans. What is your strategy about this dependence?
Arūnas Lekavičius: This crisis has just shown us very clearly the importance of loan originators as business partners. Only having such highly responsible and financially capable business partners, we were able to handle this crisis most smoothly compared to other platforms. PeerBerry is probably the only platform that settles with investors in this crisis on time, immediately after the withdrawal request, without any delays. This is only possible with financially strong partners who are preparing for the crisis even when the economy is growing. So, our close partnership with the Aventus Group is just an advantage in our case.
It is also important to note that both Lithome and Gofingo Group are planning the expansion, so it is very likely that the portfolio proportions on PeerBerry will change in the future.
We can’t find a Rating of Loan Originators on your website like other platforms. What do you think about this important tool?
Arūnas Lekavičius: Again, I would like to return to the subject of how the crisis was handled in different platforms and what impact it had on investors. We do not rate our loan originators, but our investors have never had any problems at all, including this crisis. And all our investors can confirm this.
In principle, the ratings show nothing. The strength and capability of loan originators are reflected in its financial statements, which in our case are publicly available to investors. I want to emphasize that most of the financial statements of our loan originators are audited.
Platforms that have loan originators ratings have introduced payment deferrals for investors, taxes, and other restrictions, while in the meantime we haven’t changed absolutely anything in our operations. The crisis clearly showed what is what, when an organization faces real difficulties. Then we all realize that ratings also are just fairy tales.
On PeerBerry, there are buyback and an additional guarantee. How can investors identify the loans with an additional guarantee?
Arūnas Lekavičius: Absolutely all loans listed on PeerBerry are backed with buyback guarantee. All loans are additionally guaranteed with the Group guarantee, except Lithome, but it is different case – Lithome loans are secured by real estate. Information about guarantees our investors can easily find in our website.
Are you preparing some solution to an Early Exit on PeerBerry, like secondary market? If yes, when?
Arūnas Lekavičius: Currently, we are in cooperation with the regulator on the purpose of obtaining an Investment Brokerage Firm (IBF) license. We have recommendations from the regulator not to implement any significant changes in our activities while the platform performance evaluation process is underway.
From the other hand, most of loans on PeerBerry are short-term. So, we do not feel a great need for investors to have an early exit option. But of course, we will consider it in the future.
The documentation offered by loan is short. Is your intention to add more detailed information as legal documents and signatures.
Arūnas Lekavičius: Due to the GDPR requirements, we are unable to disclose more information about private individuals-borrowers than we do now.
When can investors access to well craft charts about their investments on the website?
Arūnas Lekavičius: We are currently working on providing more statistics to investors. More general platform performance statistics will be available on our website soon. The client account section is being improved as well. In the near future, there will also be more statistics for a specific investor based on his investment portfolio.