2020 is proving to be very challenging for investors worldwide, both because of global factors affecting us all such as the COVID-19 pandemic spread and the plunging of stocks market and economy in general and factors affecting specifically P2P lending investors such as the fall of several high yield platforms early this year.
Even in the midst of all this turbulence, the best P2P lending platforms still strive for adapting to the changing conditions and deliver the best possible products and services to their clients and investors.
Today we have Sergey Sedov, CEO of Robocash Group to talk about the upcoming changes and upgrades in the platform Robo.cash and all the plans and fresh vision for this vibrant 2020!
ES – Spanish: Esta es la versión original en inglés, pero pulsa AQUÍ si prefieres leerla traducida automáticamente en español 😉
1. First of all, for all our readers that still are not familiar with your platform… What is Robo.cash? and what do you offer to investors interested in investing in P2P lending?
(SS – Robo.cash): First, it’s a pleasure for me to have this interview and share more information about our platform with you. Thank you for this opportunity! In short, Robo.cash is a fully-automated P2P platform based in Croatia, which is open to investors from the EU and Switzerland. Our offer includes consumer loans from Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia, and commercial loans from Vietnam and Singapore. The maturity period ranges from 7 to 365 days. Since March 20, 2020 we have increased the annual interest rate for investors to 14% for all loans.
It is important to add that Robo.cash is a part of the financial holding Robocash Group and works according to the “peer-to-portfolio” model. So, it only places loans issued by the affiliated companies of the group and does not work with third-party loan originators. Thanks to this, all loans on our platform are secured with a 100%-buyback guarantee from the lenders, which activates after 30 days of delay. Commercial loans are also backed by the group guarantee.
2. What are the plans for the company in this 2020?, how are you planning to evolve Robo.cash and what is your vision for the long term?
(SS – Robo.cash): To begin with, let me tell you about the original purpose of our platform and its role for Robocash Group. Since inception in 2013, the group was growing with the help of its own funds. But at some point, we realized that it was not enough, and in 2017, we launched a P2P platform to attract funding for loans issued by the group. Initially, Robo.cash helped finance consumer loans only, but over time, it has grown into something more. As Robocash Group started to focus on developing in Asia, we thought that we could use the platform to accelerate this growth. In December 2019, we started placing commercial loans from the Singporean entity of Robocash Group, which supports the management of the group’s companies in Southeast Asia. Since then, our investors have a chance to facilitate the expansion of our business in the region.
As we have plans to scale the group’s operations in Asia this year, the share of commercial loans from Singapore on the platform will be gradually growing. In the long term, we expect to bring Robo.cash to a new level and transform it into a platform, which offers investment in our business development in the first place. Nevertheless, consumer loans will still be available for investors.
3. I see you just reached two important milestones, having achieved more than 10.000 investors and 150 M€ financed loans in the past weeks… what are your goals in terms of growing for this year?
(SS – Robo.cash): Given the performance of Robo.cash in the previous years, we expect that the number of our customers will grow approximately 1.5 times, and the volume of attracted investment will exceed 15 mln EUR by the end of this year. As I have already said, Robocash Group is planning to expand to new markets – so, our investors can expect more offers on the platform this year.
4. With the new vision you are planning to implement, what would you say is the differential, strongest value you add for your investors?
(SS – Robo.cash): As our new vision is associated with increasing the volume of commercial loans supporting the development of Robocash Group, our users will see the benefit from investing on a totally different scale and diversifying their portfolios. Please note that this product cannot be compared to regular business projects offered by external companies on P2B platforms. The distinctive feature of our commercial loans is a high level of security as they are provided within the single group, backed by the group guarantee and exclude the risk of default.
It is also a good option for those who prefer not to invest in consumer loans for ethical reasons. Finally, as these loans have a longer term, ranging from 90 to 365 days, they will be a decent alternative to keep investor’s funds working and generating income during uncertain times or when the volume of short-term loans is insufficient.
5. Based on the feedback from my community, in the past, one of the things that prevented them to increase their investment in Robo.cash has been the occasional cash drag they found in the platform. Can we expect enough quality offer to cope with all the demand for the coming months?
(SS – Robo.cash): Indeed, at the beginning of 2020, we were experiencing a high demand for loans from our investors. There were some other factors that complicated the situation, such as the seasonal reduction of lending volumes, which we usually observe at this time of the year and removal of Philippine loans from the platform. Yet, the situation has improved with the introduction of a new loan originator from Kazakhstan – LLP MFI Tez Finance. Since then, the volumes of consumer loans on our platform have increased significantly. Right now, there are more than 1 mln EUR worth of loans available on Robo.cash. We are glad that we have resolved this issue and will continue working to maintain the loan supply for our investors.
6. Almost finishing, week after week we see COVID-19 pandemic spread is going to have quite a huge impact worldwide, what are your thoughts regarding the impact on P2P lending in general and Robo.cash business in particular?
(SS – Robo.cash): We do not expect that the pandemic will have a major negative impact on alternative lending. On the contrary, the deterioration in the global economy may lead to the reduction of population’s income, and in this case, the demand for short-term loans will grow. Based on our own experience, we have not noticed any negative trends either – since December 2019, the issuance volumes of Robocash Group have not reduced. Besides, services provided online, like ours will have a big advantage in the current situation as they allow customers to take a loan without leaving their homes.
By the way, at the beginning of March, we conducted a poll to find out the attitude and behaviour of our investors after the outbreak started. Most of them – 76% – said the pandemic had not affected their investment. We hope that this attitude will be preserved and at the same time, we wish our investors not to panic, always make informed decisions and stay safe.
7. Anything else you would like to comment or share with TodoCrowdlending community?
(SS – Robo.cash): I hope that the information from the interview will be useful for your readers, as it answers the most topical questions for today. Remember that we are always open to communication and are ready to answer any questions you have.
Don’t miss out our full Robocash review in this link 🙂