Four months already with Kuetzal. Kuetzal is a crowdlending platform I included in my portfolio in March 2019. In this review, I share my initial experiences with the platform.
As usual, the first half of the review contains key information, including my own opinion of Kuetzal and its rating. The latter half provides a detailed walkthrough of the website.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Key information Kuetzal
Kuetzal is a business crowdlending platform based out of Estonia. The company was founded in August 2018 and started operations in November 2018. So far 18 projects have been launched. The projects so far are mostly in Latvia and cover different industries. Learn more about the projects here.
A few key figures to get us started:
- 2,800+ investors, primarily from all over Europe
- Over € 4,2 million capital has been raised
- Interest rates up to 21%, average rate 16,3%
The minimum investment is € 100. All projects come in Euro and pay monthly interest. A unique feature of Kuetzal is Kuetzal Care, which ensures all projects get funded. The platform explains Kuetzal Care as follows:
Kuetzal Care guarantees a certain project will eventually be funded, no matter how much funds investors on Kuetzal have invested. If the project doesn’t reach the goal, Kuetzal involves its capital to cover the gap between the invested amount and the targeted amount. Kuetzal has agreements with authoritative investment funds, banks, and private investors who are ready to get involved in Kuetzal projects at any moment. This creates an additional warranty that every project will eventually be funded on the targeted amount.
There is a project on Kuetzal that is having a goal to collect 100,000EUR. The deadline had come, but only 45,000EUR were invested. Kuetzal involves it’s own or third-party funds to cover the 55,000EUR deficit and transfers 100,000EUR to the project owner.
The platform intends to publish its financial statements for the public annually.
The three latest projects launched by Kuetzal.
How risky is Kuetzal? As I always like to stress: P2P-lending inherently comes with risk and it comes down to the risk mitigation measures that are in place for investors.
Kuetzal mitigates risk as follows:
- Thorough due diligence of the loan applicant
- A personal guarantee from project owners and in some projects collateral (mainly real estate)
- The platform provides a buyback guarantee on some loans
- Possibility of an early exit at 10% penalty
The buyback guarantee covers both the principal amount and interest and is paid after two months of delay. It remains difficult to assess whether Kuetzal will be able to honor the buyback guarantee in the unlikely event a project defaults.
Kuetzal is a start-up and its track record of successful projects exits is non-existent. My first exit is planned for March 2020, for others, it might be a bit earlier.
Pros and Cons
- High-end returns, up to 21%
- Full buyback guarantee on some projects
- Monthly interest payments
- Start earning interest the moment you invest
- Possibility to exit early at 10% penalty
- No Auto Invest
- No secondary market
- No 100% buyback guarantee on all projects
- Limited track record
- Website usability is limited
- Investing from € 100.00
My Kuetzal Investments
I became an investor with Kuetzal in March 2019 by investing € 3,000. Ever since I have made several deposits. At the time of writing, I have deposited a total of € 14,300.
Kuetzal is becoming increasingly popular, but not as popular as Envestio or Crowdestor (yet). The primary reasons for Kuetzal gaining traction are its high-end returns, monthly cash flow and buyback guarantee on some projects. The interest rates on my investments range from 17.5% to 21.0%.
All interest has been received according to the schedule. You start earning interest from the day you invest.
See my current Kuetzal portfolio here.
Kuetzal deposits over time.
Kuetzal income over time.
My Opinion and Rating
Kuetzal is most definitely still a start-up. The platform is building its investor base and doesn’t have a track record yet when it comes to successful exits. Despite having risk mitigation measures in place, it is difficult to assess how the platform will react in case of a default. This applies to quite a few business crowdfunding platforms honestly.
The website is fairly basic, it doesn’t have an Auto Invest function or secondary market and investing starts at € 100.00. All of this personally doesn’t bother me too much, but I can see how this might be a problem for some. On that note, Kuetzal told me the user area of the platform is being upgraded shortly.
Having said that all that, I have decided to take the plunge and I do not regret it. All interest payments have been received in full and on time over the last four months. Diversification between platforms and projects is key.
If you have a certain risk appetite and make sure to diversify, I suggest trying Kuetzal. It is the platform that has provides the highest average return in my portfolio as can be seen here. If Kuetzal can keep launching attractive projects, I plan to keep grabbing a slice of it. It has served me well so far.
My Kuetzal rating is 3.5/5.
Once a more solid track record has been established, I see Kuetzal receiving a higher rating.
If you’re considering becoming an investor with Kuetzal I appreciate it if you sign up through this link. Signing up through my link and using the promo code INVESTMENTJOURNEY provides you a €15.00 sign up bonus and a 0.5% cashback bonus for 180 days.
Additionally, Kuetzal’s cashback marathon is still running and lasts until 31-08-2019. The cashback campaign works independently of other sign up bonuses. The cashback is immediately credited to your account after investing, but be aware you can not split the sum over multiple projects, € 500 in two projects does not qualify but € 1,000 in one project does.
It works perfectly, I have profited from a 1% cashback twice myself. By signing up through my link and investing € 1,000 in the Row-House in Marupe you receive 21% interest with a buyback guarantee. Not too shabby if you ask me.
If you are doubting still, why not subscribe and follow Kuetzal through my monthly updates?
Becoming a Kuetzal investor
Becoming an investor with Kuetzal is fairly easy. It starts with entering your email address and several personal details.
Anyone who meets the following criteria can become an investor:
- Over 18 years old
- No geographical restriction although citizens from blacklisted countries are prohibited
- A bank account in your name in line with European KYC and AML regulation
Investor registration process detailing what information needs to be provided.
Navigating the Kuetzal website
The website is fairly basic, but let’s navigate the functionalities available to us.
The main menu consists of six options:
- My Account
The Dashboard page is the landing page and provides a quick overview of your balance, platform total, earnings, the total amount invested and the repayment schedule. The status of the repayments is displayed as well.
The landing page including the overview of your account details and repayment schedule, including paid interest.
The Invest page at the top of the dashboard leads to a page that lists all projects, active and funded. Details such as interest rate, term, and target amounts are displayed as well as a short description.
Every project has a detailed page and provides you more information. Below I have provided some of the available information on the High-end Row-House project in Marupe, such as the investment summary details, key benefits, and funds distribution.
Additionally, a detailed project description is available which I have not completely posted. You can think of information such as general information on the company, details on the location, a market overview, development plans, and building sketches.
The six latest projects launched by Kuetzal. The icons tell you the status, active, buy-back and funded.
Every project has a page that provides more detailed information on the investment.
“My Accounts” contain your details. You would expect this under Profile, but Profile leads to the landing page. A bit confusing, however not a big deal. Once provided you can’t change this unless you contact Kuetzal Support at email@example.com.
The Investments menu provides an overview of all your investments. Details such as Investment Date, Closing Date, Interest Rate, My Investment, Accrued Interest, and Status is displayed.
My first investment will close on the 5th of March 2020 and is Velox Twinhouse. All accrued interest has been paid according to schedule.
The menu My Investments list your projects and various details.
The Documents menu is the section where you upload documents to become a verified investor. As mentioned before, you will need to go through an identity verification process in order to withdraw funds.
The verification process requires you to upload an ID card or passport and proof of residency
The Documents menu which details what kind of documents are acceptable to upload.
The Statistics menu is not available yet. The message ‘Coming soon’ has been there for the last four months. However, speaking to Kuetzal Support I have learned they are most definitely working on upgrading the user area as we speak. Let’s hope we will receive a statistics section!
The Statistics area is being worked on.
Every registered user receives a referral link with attractive conditions as Kuetzal wants to grow its investor base.
How the referral program works.
Share your experience
Are you an investor with Kuetzal? Please share your experience in the comments below.
If you are looking to start investing with Kuetzal, please consider using this link. Signing up through my link and using the promo code INVESTMENTJOURNEY provides you a €15.00 sign up bonus and a 0.5% cashback bonus for 180 days.
Check out all signup offers here.