iuvo is an Estonian based P2P lending platform, that offers highly secured loans. They are working closely with loan originators in Bulgaria and Romania, who offer a large portfolio of consumer loans from these two countries.
Individuals as well as businesses can sign up to the iuvo platform, and not just from within EU. Investors from almost any country around the world can tap into the high European returns through iuvo.
Although it is possible to manually pick and choose individual loans, iuvo’s auto investment feature makes active management unnecessary for most investors.
The feature offers a long list of filter options, allowing you to select only loans that suit your particular requirements. For example shot term high interest loans for the time restricted investor, or long term loans for those who are looking to invest for the future.
Overseas investors allowed
Investors from outside the EU can sign up and invest through iuvo. This is an attractive opportunity for American investors in particular, where peer-to-peer lending returns are much lower than in Europe.
At the time of writing this review, iuvo has close to 4,500 investors from 101 countries.
The iuvo secondary market provides an opportunity to dig for great loan shares at reduced rates.
Occationally one or more investors are looking to liquidate their money, for personal reasons. If they are in a hurry, they often offer their shares up at a discount.
Benefits of investing in iuvo
Buy-back guarantee on all loans
All loan originators provide buyback guarantee on all loans sold through iuvo. If a loan is delinquent for 60 days, the loan originator will buy back all loan shares at full value.
This obviously lowers risk, as investments are contractually guaranteed, although at the cost of lower interest rates as described in this article: What is Buyback Guarantee?
A significant benefit of buyback guarantee is that there are no formal losses for the investor. In many countries losses on P2P lending are not tax deductible. This often means that you are obligated to pay taxes on interest income, but can’t deduct any losses. With buyback guarantee this issue is bypassed, as losses are transferred to the loan originator.
30 % skin in the game
iuvo loan originators are obligated to keep a 30 % so-called ‘skin in the game’. Skin in the game is a term often used within the finance industry, and crowdlending in particular.
The term refers to when the owner or originator of an investment keeps a stake in the investment. The intention is for them to maintain an interest in the outcome of the investment.
On iuvo loan originators are required to sell no more than 70 % shares of each loan. For example, if they issue a EUR 10,000 loan, only EUR 7,000 worth of shares can be sold to investors.
On most P2P lending platforms, the skin in the game is usually between 5 and 13 %. Setting the minimum at 30 % means that the loan originator has a bigger interest in loans issued.
Possibility of high returns
You can earn an annual return of up to 15% on your investments. While the average return is 8.9 % you can choose to invest in only high interest loans. Setting a minimum interest rate in the auto invest feature will ensure that only high interest loan shares will be purchased.
In most P2P lending platforms EUR is the only available currency. As the euro is a widespread currency, this works well for many investors, but it also somewhat limits the currency scope and makes you more vulnerable to the decisions of the ECB.
Investing in multiple currencies allows for some diversification as well as the potential to make (or lose) profits from fluctuating exchange rates.
iuvo is currently only covering two countries. While Bulgaria and Romania are high interest countries, they may not be enough to build a well diversified portfolio. Offering only consumer loans is also a drawback in terms of diversification.
Although, sometimes spreading oneself thin means that more things can go wrong. By sticking to a relatively narrow scope of P2P lending, we would also expect a higher degree of expertise within iuvo’s particular field.
While iuvo is an attractive platform, it could potentially be supplemented with one or more platforms that offer investment opportunities in other regions, in order to rely less on localized financial circumstances.
What distinguishes iuvo from other platforms?
One of iuvo’s primary focus points is high security. All loans are currently secured by the 100 % buyback guarantee. If a loan is 60 or more days delinquent, the originator will repay all invested principal.
In addition, the required 30 % skin in the game keeps loan originators interested in loan performance after loan shares have been sold off.
iuvo is easy, automated and provides access to multiple currencies. Although limited in geographic scope it’s an attractive option as part of a diversified P2P lending portfolio.