Debitum Network Review
Debitum Network is a popular Latvian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that offers investors the opportunity to invest in loans for small and medium businesses. These investments are secured by company assets as well as buyback guarantees which are provided by the loan originator. Debitum Network is one of the most user-friendly platforms we’ve tested in 2020.
Keep reading our comprehensive review to find out more.
Debitum Network in Numbers
Debitum Network does not have any publicly-available statistics on their website, so we reached out to the team to find key metrics all investors should be aware of before investing on this P2P platform.
|Debitum Network Statistics|
|Investor's earnings:||+ €80,000|
|Total loan value:||+ €13 M|
|Amount of investors:||+ 1,200|
|Loss of investors' money:||0%|
|Average portfolio size:||€1,226|
|Latest financial report||Not available|
Luckily, Debitum Network’s customer support is very responsive. We received a detailed answer to our query within a few hours.
So, let’s dive into the stats:
Debitum Network has more than 4,000 registered investors, but it’s worth noting that as we write this review, only 1,200 investors have transferred money to their Debitum Network accounts. That’s only just over ¼ of the total number of users, which is not a great stat, especially when we compare it to competitor platforms.
Some investors might think that users’ inactivity on Debitum Network means they don’t have much trust in the platform. We’re inclined to believe otherwise: that users’ inactivity is a result of the age of the platform and the lower interest rates it offers.
On a positive note, Debitum Network’s investments are, however, secured by assets as well as a free buyback guarantee. While we cannot evaluate the risk assessment of each platform, we can assume that the risk with loans listed on Debitum Network is smaller than the risk on Monethera.
Debitum Network Bonus
If you’ve invested on a P2P lending platform before, you might be familiar with their cashback bonuses. New investors that use a special promo or referral code are eligible to receive a sign-up bonus. Often you’ll need to deposit and invest a certain amount of money to claim your bonus, and this is the case with Debitum Network.
New investors who sign up to the platform with our referral link and invest a minimum of €250 will receive a bonus of €10. Note that the bonus will be only added to your account if you leave the money invested for a period of 90 days.
You do not need a referral code to receive your bonus; simply register with our referral link.
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Debitum Network Requirements
You can sign-up on Debitum Network as a private investor or as a legal entity. The only requirements are that you’re over the age of 18 and you have a bank account in your name.
During the registration process, you will need to upload a copy of your ID or passport to verify your identity. You will also need to answer a few personal questions related to your financial situation as well as confirm your email address.
You need to pass the verification process in order to transfer funds to your account. Debitum Network accepts funds in EUR, GBP, and USD. We suggest using bank transfer as there are no fees connected to SEPA payments. If you decide to withdraw your funds, Debitum Network will charge you a €1 fee.
Debitum Network’s Risk and Return
As you might know already, there are always risks involved when investing in P2P loans. When evaluating P2P lending platforms, we always look at the securities provided by the borrowers, loan originators and the platform itself.
Debitum Network offers investments in business loans and invoice financing, and it’s worth noting that some of the loans pay out the interest at the end of the loan term. This is at least often the case with business and real-estate loans.
All the loans on Debitum Network are secured by some kind of collateral, but the type of collateral varies depending on the individual loan. Collateral comes in the form of a property, business or personal guarantee, invoice, inventory or even company stocks.
You can view the individual underlying assets when you click on the loan within the lists of assets.
Unlike Crowdestor and Monethera which list direct deals, Debitum Network collaborates with loan originators. Those loan companies are handpicked and closely monitored by the Debitum Network. In fact, Debitum Network claims to vet their applicants so thoroughly that only 10% are accepted to list their loans on the platform.
This business model is similar to Grupeer’s.
Working with loan originators will bring additional risks to your investments which are hard to evaluate from an investor’s perspective.
Debitum Network collaborates with five loan originators at the moment:
- Chain Finance from Lithuania
- Factris from Lithuania
- Mikro Kapital from Romania
- Trade backing from Latvia
- Vihorev Investments from Czech Republic
As we create this review of Debitum Network there are only loans available from Lithuania and Romania. If you want to get more information about each loan originator, just head to the loan originator section at the footer of the platform and select the company you’re interested in.
We should also mention that not all of the platforms publicly list the names of the loan originators. In fact some, like Fast Invest, don’t list any at all.
The majority of loans listed on Debitum Network are protected by a buyback guarantee that is provided by the loan originator. The loan companies invest 5% in all loans from their own pockets, a tactic called Skin in the Game.
How does Debitum Network’s buyback guarantee work?
If the borrower is late with the loan payment by more than the agreed number of days (which is usually 90), then the loan originator repurchases your claim against the borrower for the remaining principal, alongside the outstanding interest.
Additionally, if the loan repayment is late by more than the grace period (which is typically 15 days), investors are eligible to receive a penalty rate on top of the interest.
All the loans are secured by some additional collateral, which means that the risk for the investors should, in theory, be lower than investments in unsecured personal loans on platforms like Mintos, PeerBerry or Robocash.
All the loans are secured by some additional collateral, which means that the risk for the investors should, in theory, be lower than investments in unsecured personal loans on platforms likeMintos, PeerBerry or Robocash.
All investor funds are secured by our partnership agreement as we always take claim, pledge or security against the loan originator in favor of the platform. So all investor funds are secured at least 2X of their value of the platform. Additionally, we limit the loan originator via ratios.
While this is all really promising, there are downsides to investing on this platform. Debitum Network usually lists loans with an interest of 8-12%, and a loan term up to two years, and as we conduct this review, you can only find loans with interest of 7-9.5% per year. This figure is much lower than most P2P platforms at the moment.
As we’re sure you’re well aware: lower risk often results in lower returns. That’s something you should always keep in mind when investing in P2P loans.
Is Debitum Network Safe?
It’s always recommended to do your own due diligence when choosing a new P2P lending platform. Why? Well, you only have to look at the short-lived platforms Kuetzal and Envestio to see what can go wrong when investors don’t do their research...
We dug a bit deeper than most financial bloggers when doing our Debitum Network due diligence, and this is what we found:
All of them are connected to the Latvian factoring company Factris, which acquired another invoicing company Debifo back at the beginning of 2019.
Debifo was actually also one of the loan originators listed on Mintos. You can view their old financial reports, before the acquisition with Factris, here .
Martins is still the Director of Inntec which is a software company that helped build the technology for the P2P lending platform Debitum Network.
According to the Latvian business registry, both companiesFactris and Inntec are located at the same address and neight have any security debt.
Martins Liberts is popular for its interviews and talks about blockchain within the finance industry. See more relevant content below:
- How Debitum Network used blockchain technology to create a global lending / borrowing ecosystem
- Talk about smart contracts within the finance fin-tech world
Who Owns Debitum Network?
Debitum Network is operated by SIA Prosperitu which is a limited liability company that does not publicly share their financial reports.
What’s more, SIA Prosperitu is just an operator of the platform and it does not hold loans on its balance sheet, as claims are transferred straight to the investors. As a result, SIA Prosperitu’s financial statements are not informative or truly representative of the platform.
Where’s Debitum Network Based?
When looking for information about the company’s owners, we completed searches on the company’s office address but found no relevant information as the information on Debitum Network’s website differs from that on the Latvian business registry.
The company is registered at Lāceņu iela 15, Kadaga, Ādažu nov., LV-2103 (the owner’s home address) and its office location is the address indicated on the platform: Ieriku iela 15 k-3 Riga, LV-1084, Latvia. But, when we dug a little deeper, we found that there are over 30 registered businessesto this address, and none of them are called Prosperitu or Debitum Network
Also, according to the latest report, the company owes €571 in taxes.
We contacted Debitum Network to ask them about this small amount of unpaid tax. When they replied, they told us that either the data is outdated or that there must have been some payment delay, as SIA Prosperitu is perfectly equipped to pay such a small amount.
Are Their Terms & Conditions Legitimate?
We had a look through the contract to see if we could spot any red flags. We have found three claims that require further explanation, one standard clause and a couple of positive clauses that are unique to this platform. Let’s start with the suspicious:
NB: While we have read many P2P lending contracts, and we’re experts in this field, it’s worth noting we’re not trained in law and we don’t provide any financial or legal consultation.
4.9. Service Commissions
The above screenshot from Debitum Network’s terms explains that they have the right to charge users a service commission fee, according to their ‘price list’. At the moment, there is no such price list. The only fee that the platform mentions on their site is the withdrawal fee of €1.
We reached out to Debitum Network and requested further explanation, here’s their reply:
“Currently, we are updating the terms. There is no price list and no fees charged from users.”
11.11 Deduction of Your Funds
The above clause is vague. We’re not sure under which circumstances a user would cause loss to the platform, to other users and originators.
Within the Assignment Agreement, we found another person, who is associated with SIA Prosperitu - Mārtiņš Pērkons. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is an IT Project Manager at SIA Prosperitu.
Who is this person and why is he not mentioned anywhere else on the website?
We asked Debitum Network for further clarification. They told us:
“Mārtiņš Pērkons is the CEO of the operator, SIA Prosperitu, and legally it is required that his name would be on the agreements. Soon, we will transfer all operations to a new company which would make things much more transparent.”
So, that’s the suspicious clauses out the way! The following points from the terms are nothing to worry about. They’re either pretty standard, and can be found in most P2P platforms’ contracts, or they’re positive and unique to Debitum Network:
6.7. Risk of Default
As expected, the terms include a clause to warn investors that they could lose all of their invested funds.
4.6. Funds are Separated from the Property of Debitum Network
A rather positive clause is 4.6., where Debitum Network clearly explains that users’ funds are saved on segregated bank accounts. In case the platform goes out of business, investors should be able to access their funds as they aren’t connected to the company.
9.2. User Might Need to Take Care of the Debt Collection
If the loan isn’t repaid, the platform will decide to either help with the debt collection or leave this to the investor.
It’s a standard clause, used by many other P2P platforms. You should be aware that collecting debt from any loan originators might be expensive and very time-consuming, especially if you need to do it by yourself.
So, is it Safe to Invest on Debitum Network?
With our research in mind, we think so... yes!
Your investment is secured by collateral as well as a free buyback guarantee. There aren’t many platforms that offer you such a combination of securities. Up to now, none of the investors on Debitum Network have ever lost any money. This is a good indicator that the platform is able to protect your investments.
Even though we found a few points, that could have been potential red flags, the platform was able to address all of our questions, which leaves us with a good impression. Especially when platforms such as DoFinance or Monethera aren’t as responsive.
Debitum Network’s Usability
Debitum Network invested heavily in building a user-friendly platform with an appealing user interface.
The platform gives investors the choice to invest manually or with the help of the Auto Invest tool. Manual investments will allow you to find out more about the loan characteristics, while the Auto Invest enables you to automate your investment strategy.
Debitum’s Auto Invest tool gives you three predefined investment strategies ranging from 7.7-8.7% average interest. Each category represents a different list of loans, based on the credit score of the borrower.
This is something that most platforms don’t offer when using the Auto Invest feature. Most Auto Invest tools that allow investors to define the credit score refer to the credit score of the loan company rather than the borrower itself.
You can view individual credit scores with the probability of default and the average interest in the footer section of Debitum’s web application.
On Debitum Network you can also define your Auto Invest settings by yourself by choosing from the following criteria:
- Credit score
- Interest rate
- Loan originator
- Portfolio size
- Investment amount per asset
- Option to invest multiple times in one asset
- Option to reinvest your returns
Apart from the Auto Invest tool, you can also view information about your portfolio and manage your notifications.
Languages Platform is Available In
The platform is translated into several languages. If English isn’t your strongest language, you can use the platform in German, Spanish or Czech instead.
Liquidity Rates on Debitum Network
Before signing up to a platform, every investor should be aware of how long it would take to withdraw their entire portfolio. While Mintos or Bondora offer you great liquidity with their Invest and Access or Go and Grow products, most platforms don’t.
So, how does it work on Debitum Network?
Well, for starters, there’s no secondary market on Debitum Network that would allow you to sell your investments to other investors. Instead, you can only withdraw your money from the platform if you’re at the end of the loan term, you receive early repayment or if the buyback guarantee kicks in.
The loan period on Debitum Network ranges from only a few days to up to two years, and two years is quite a long time to wait if you want to withdraw your money earlier than initially planned.
While Debitum Network is not going to keep your money liquid, we can understand why this is the case. It’s hard and expensive for a platform to provide excellent liquidity, especially during a bank run, where the majority of investors will request their money back. In some cases this might even lead to the closure of a platform.
Having no access to early withdrawals should not be a k.o criteria, as most P2B investors invest long-term on Debitum Network.
Debitum Network’s Customer Support
Debitum Network has an extensive FAQ section that will answer most of your questions. If you can’t find the answers, you can reach out to them via email email@example.com.
In fact, we tested the support when conducting our review of the platform and the company got back to us with all the information within only a few hours.
Debitum Network Review Summary
Debitum Network is a good alternative to many P2P lending platforms such as Mintos or Bondora. When comparing the platforms to similar lending sites like Grupeer or Crowdestor, Debitum Network certainly gets more points for usability.
And the Not-So-Positives
Although there is room for improvement when it comes to the transparency of the platform, which is also the case with most P2P lending platforms.
The diversification within the platform is quite limited, for example there aren’t as many loans available as there are on PeerBerry or Bondora, which list personal loans.
The returns on Debitum Network are also slightly smaller as the industry average. On most platforms, you can expect to earn more than 10% per year. In the P2B segment the returns are usually even higher.
If you are interested in supporting business ideas rather than consumer loans, investing on Debitum Network is an interesting opportunity, particularly due to the higher protection of your investment.
Ready to invest? Get your sign-up bonus!
Is Debitum Network safe?
According to Debitum’s customer support, so far none of the investors ever lost any money. All the delayed loans were repurchased by the loan originators.
Is there a sign-up bonus for new investors?
New investors on Debitum Network, that sign-up with our referral link and invest at least €250 over the period of 90 days will receive a €10 sign-up bonus.
Does Debitum Network offer a buyback guarantee?
Most of the loans on Debitum Network are secured by a 90-day buyback guarantee. Investors will receive the remaining principal, penalty fee as well as the accrued interest.
How do I invest on Debitum Network?
If you are over 18 years old and hold a European bank account, you can register on Debitum Network. During the registration process, you will need to answer a few questions and verify your identity. Then, you can start investing with as little as €10!
|Address:||Ieriku iela 15 k-3, Riga, Latvia|
|Phone:||+370 6 506 16 30|
|Opening Hours:||Weekdays from 9PM to 6PM|