SOFIA (Bulgaria), December 1 (SeeNews) - Southeast Europe-active peer-to-peer (P2P) investment platform iuvo plans to continue to open up new markets both for loan originators and for investors, with a focus on European markets, a senior company official said.
"When it comes to the availability of loans on the platform, we will continue to onboard new loan originators with the same strict due diligence procedures, thus ensuring we offer only the safest and best to our investors. Opening new markets both for loan originators and for investors will be also a priority, with a focus on European markets, and interest in larger non-EU markets," Boyan Kazandzhiev, operations director at iuvo group, says.
In 2022, iuvo will be actively promoting its new product, iuvoUP and launching a couple of integrations with different e-wallet solutions, he went on to say.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Q: How would you comment on the current level of penetration of peer-to-peer lending services in Bulgaria and what are your expectations regarding the development of this market in the next few years?
A: After successfully passing the pandemic-caused stress test, the P2P ecosystem is on the high through the entire 2021. Not only did it recover from the incurred losses, both financial and in credibility, it is actually substantially growing. Regarding the Bulgarian market, currently the majority of investors are C-level executives or larger business owners. We are yet to dive deeper into the market of mainstream savers and investors and to convince people from the middle class to be more active.
As one of the bigger players in CEE, iuvo group is aiming at closing 2021 with an increase of the invested amount on the platform by 60%, of which 50% came from Bulgaria. Investments in P2P are more and more attractive for the seasoned Bulgarian investors, which are increasing the share of P2P investments in their investment portfolios.
Another good sign is that more and more inexperienced investors are progressively showing interest in P2P investments. In order to answer their needs, iuvo launched iuvoUP - a product that requires little to no time on the platform and poses very low risk offering high liquidity.
For the following years, we are more than certain that P2P investments will be penetrating even further the Bulgarian market, reaching a better chunk of the mainstream investors. At the end of the day, it is critical, that we manage to convey the message that not investing and keeping your money close to you, bears a risk as well. The risk is that at the later stages of your life you will be left dependent on the pension system with no additional sources of income.
Q: In this context, what are your strategic development goals in the short and mid-term perspective?
A: For 2022 we will be looking at further developing the existing markets, penetrating even further the middle class in Bulgaria and not only. We will be pushing our new product, iuvoUP till it becomes the preferred option for investing money and actually receiving interest. Unlike the current situation in the banks, where the interest rate on deposits is close to and most of the time even actually 0%. In order to ensure that we reach as many people as possible, we will be launching a couple of integrations with different e-wallet solutions. These are the steps on the roadmap when it comes to increasing our customer base.
When it comes to the availability of loans on the platform, we will continue to onboard new loan originators with the same strict due diligence procedures, thus ensuring we offer only the safest and best to our investors. Opening new markets both for loan originators and for investors will be also a priority, with a focus on European markets, and interest in larger non-EU markets. Our main focus will remain to keep iuvo among the leading marketplaces in Europe, through technology improvement (yes, some of our long-time investors will have some of their overdue wishes fulfilled) and integration with other partners.
Q: Iuvo launched last month a new product, iuvoUP. What market developments prompted this launch and what are its main features? What are its advantages compared to more traditional banking products?
A: The decision to launch iuvoUP was made based on both internal and external factors. Externally, it is clearly based on the latest statistical data, showing that people are looking for options to invest their savings, as banks are no longer an alternative with their 0% interest rates on deposits.
Internally, we were reaching a point where the need of a new product was becoming more and more notable based on the VOC of the current investors. As a result, we offered a less time-consuming and more secure investment product. We wanted it to be safe and self-explanatory and based on the feedback so far, we nailed it. We offer two options – a six-month investment with 3% yearly interest and a 12-month investment with 4% yearly interest. Liquidity is another one of our fortes, with a 2,000 levs monthly cap on withdrawals with no effect on the interest rate and only 0.5% withdraw tax.
Investors just need to make an investment and then choose the product and amount, from then on, our AI takes care of the rest and ensures that when the term comes, the money with interest will be back on the person‘s iuvo account. Of course, throughout the investment cycle, our clients will be duly notified of the accumulated interest. With this product we are offering an investment option which will cover the inflation making sure your money does not lose their value. We consider iuvoUP a hassle-free first step in the vast field of investment opportunities triggering interest and giving people the opportunity seamlessly to try our traditional iuvo P2P product.