After the 2020 crisis, with the explosion of the coronavirus pandemic and the fall of some crowdinvesting platforms, secured lending has undoubtedly gained traction, with more and more users increasing the weight of this particular asset in their portfolios.
On top of that, among the secured lending platforms that began operations after the Covid-19 pandemic, there is one that is receiving almost universal praise for the way in which it is developing its investment proposal, its professionalism, transparency and its ability to listen to its growing community.
Yes, we are talking about LENDSECURED, a crowdfunding platform focused on agricultural projects with different collaterals, such as: grain, machinery or land plot (mortgage loan).
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing its CEO Nikita Goncars, welcome to TodoCrowdlending, Nikita!
1 – First of all, for all our readers that still don’t know about LendSecured, could you briefly describe the platform, it’s investment proposal and why should we consider it for our crowdlending portfolio?NG – LendSecured is a crowdfunding platform focused on agricultural projects, helping farmers improve their farms and productivity. We’re focusing on low LTV and offering our investors diversification between 3 asset classes, such as: grain, heavy machinery, and land (mortgage loan). The team behind LendSecured has been working together for almost 10 years, so we deeply know each other’s strengths and we are sure that, in the short term, we will become the leading agricultural platform in Europe. LendSecured launched in summer 2020, but we actively count that we began in 2021. In the first year, we issued more than 1.8 million in loans and attracted more than 700 investors from 40 countries. We have an in-house debt collection team, and we regularly send notifications to investors about each loan and its status update. We offer realistic returns from 10% to 12% plus different bonuses.
2 – I personally think one of the main appeals of the platform is it’s focus on agricultural loans and the possibility to diversify our investments with these kind of assets. Can you tell us more about this type of loans and the main benefits for us investors?NG – Yes, it’s not only diversification we offer our investors, it’s the possibility to invest in such an important sphere as agriculture. Based on the survey published Nov.2020 by the European Investment Bank, the financial gap for agriculture sector has been estimated to be in the order of EUR 19.8 to EUR 46.6 billion for the EU 24. The gap represents financing sought by economically viable enterprises and that is not granted. Small-sized farms, young farmers, new entrants, and innovative investments find it harder to access financing.
We think it’s a huge number and if we can do something, it’s take a part and help farmers access finance to grow their farms, attract employees, modernize their technical parks and be more productive, so the whole of society will benefit from that.
Here are the benefits for investors:
- All the projects are asset backed, land (pledge), machinery (commercial pledge) or grains (personal guarantee, 3- way agreement (grain buyer, client and LendSecured).
- Low LTV, we treat investors funds as ours so we keep avg. We try to keep avg. LTV below 40 %.
- LendSecured have segregated accounts, which has been achieved by partnership with LemonWay. All investments on LendSecured are safely held on a segregated account from LendSecured funds in one of the biggest French banks – BNP Paribas
- We have anchor investors – which means that we guarantee that all open projects will be fully funded, before meeting the deadline, ensuring investors that deadlines will not be prolonged and projects will not be cancelled, because of insufficient investment amount.
3 – I see LendSecured gaining a lot of traction lately, being for example among the top platforms in the relative growth categories, both by volume invested and by new active users, in our latest statistics report, what do you think are the reasons for this extraordinary success amongst fierce competition in the crowdinvesting niche?NG – It’s great to hear. We’re glad that investors appreciate the service we provide. I think it’s mainly because we’re the platform where investors can diversify their portfolio, get a realistic return, be in touch with our support team daily, and see potential in the platform. And this is just the beginning. Soon we will expand into new markets, so new projects will be published more often that attract new investors too.
4 – One of the things my community is always eager to know is the portfolio performance of each of the platforms we review in our blog. Can you share with us LendSecured portfolio statistics in terms of delayed loans, losses, average net return?NG – We have issued 127 loans.
Only a few are delayed (18.02.2022):
4 loans > 30 days
2 loans > 60 days
None or defaulted, and zero capital is lost.
Our in house debt collection team has over 10 years of experience and is actively working to resolve delayed loans. If borrower defaults, he/she will be contacted by our debt recovery department. If sides cannot reach a solution, the liability stipulated in the loan agreement occurs and investors got their money back from recovery of loan via action in court, auction of the pledge, etc.
In case of default: all our loans are collateral backed with low LTV, so with a very high probability full loan principal will be recovered, including interest for the delayed period.
Avg. Net Return is 11.36% + different bonuses (cashback, referral, etc.)
5 – I see a lot of activity around LendSecured in the latest months, with an upcoming rebrand process (Lande), possible introduction of stablecoins, launch of an equity round… what are the main driving forces in the pipeline for this year and what are your goals for 2022?NG – We plan to finish the full rebranding in Q2 2022, as we already have a brandbook a huge step has been taken. There won’t be major changes as we are merging two brands we already have. Part of the team is working on the introduction of stable coins and the equity round should be finished in Q2 2022 as well. We work hard to achieve our goals and we know that 2022 will be a magnificent year for LendSecured (future LANDE). By the way, we are working on connecting with the new payment partner as well. I would say that the main goal is to run an equity campaign and issue 5M on existing markets and establish lending operation on the new ones.
6 – Regarding regulation, in another example of things properly managed, you recently received an approval letter from FCMC giving you permission to operate while waiting to receive the new ECSP (European Crowdfunding Service Provider) license, can you tell us a bit more about deadlines for this and how is it going to affect us as investors of the platform?NG – Every crowdfunding platform is required to have an ECSP license starting from November 10, 2021. Considering that ESMA only on November 10th, 2021, published technical standards on crowdfunding, which is basically a rule book on how to implement ECSP regulation, Latvian regulator has not yet made their own internal regulation and legal basis on how to license crowdfunding platforms. This is the case in many EU member states, where there was no internal crowdfunding law before ECSP regulation.
We are planning to submit application and all the required documents for receiving ECSP license in February 2022, and hope that our regulator will be able to review these documents and license us in a timely manner. This process will not affect our investors in any sense.
7 – Anything else you would like to comment or share with TodoCrowdlending community?NG – In March we will introduce investors with our new logo. We’re working actively to enter Lithuania market so our investors will find new projects more often. Now we are actively working on the seed round and investors will have an opportunity to take part in the equity campaign very soon.
Feel free to join our friendly community by follow us on social media and Telegram (https://t.me/LendSecured ).
Thanks very much for your time, Nikita!NG – Thank you, Jesus!