Rahapuu blog estonian readers already know that investors had a meetup on last Friday in Tallinn (9th of May). We got together in Baieri kelder (pub), grabbed some beers and discussed about peer-to-peer lending in Estonia. Oh, and we also invited Bondora to our meetup. Gladly Karl Anton from Bondora agreed to join us.
This was a really good evening, mainly because of investors were able to see inside Bondora. Well, sort of, I mean.. not literally.
First complaint from investors side was transparency. Or should we say lack of it? Bondora tend to change gaming rules bit too often and therefor investors consider investing environment rather unfavorable. On the other hand, Karl pointed out that they received licence from FCA and this should make Bondora more reliable in the long run. In shorter perspective Bondora is still filling empty seats in its team and it will take some time to set things in place. Just a year ago Bondora employeed less than 10 people, but they have expanded to over 30 people for today. Everyone agreed that though systems doesn’t work yet as expected, Bondra should provide more transparent communication with investors.
Other concern from investors side was institutional investors. Lending Club and Prosper (both US) are taking more and more institutional investors aboard, because there are not enough private investors to fill loan applications (by the way, Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, came up with new name for peer-to-peer lending – marketplace lending, yup, because of p2p turning into something non-p2p). Will the same happen in Bondora? Karl told us that there is no need to worry – Bondora prefers small private investors to institutional ones. There are some understandable reasons behind this. Also it was nice to know some brief numbers regarding overall maximum portfolio size, investors origin and etc.
Another question was simple and catchy: „Why Bondora? Why not to continue with isePankur?” To estonians isePankur is easy to say out loud and it does really mean something in here. But hey, we are just a small fraction in European frog bond (1,3 million people in Estonia vs 500 million in EU) and outside Estonia name isePankur says to people .. well, basically nothing. But try to market isePankur outside Estonia! (Talking of marketing – Bondora run some marketing ‘tests’, gathered information of most efficient marketing channels and found out that they were able to get the same results with much-much lower marketing budget)
Our main focus was after that pulled to south countries (Spain and etc). Bondora+ service is mainly aimed to southern countries [Oh, I would like to say that I somehow believe in Bondora+, but that is another story]. Today loan volumes are standing still and it should take some couple of months to get back to the growing side with volumes again. As much as I understood from Karl, this standing still is intentional.
I got some good ideas from the meetup. Though for me personally there were some minor setbacks, I consider the whole 4+ hour meeting successful.
Overall – investors were happy to discuss with Bondora and there may be another meetup coming. Anyone cares to arrange next investor-meeting with Bondora? 🙂
Oh, please do not hesitate to write your comments – every ideas are welcome!