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Bondster review 2020

Check out our Bondster review, and see if the platform is for you.

Overview of Bondster

Risk/Reward

4/5
We find the return compared to the safety favorable.

Beginner Friendly

3.6/5
Bondster is beginner-friendly.

Investor Protection

4/5
Bondster has made safety measures.

Return

4.4/5
Investors get an average return of 12.11%.

We Like

  • No fee for investments in EUR
  • Available worldwide
  • Decent Trustpilot ratings

We Don’t Like

  • No secondary market
  • Poorly translated website
  • Fee for early exit
  • Buyback guarantee differs from loan to loan

Summary: Bondster is an excellent P2P platform that makes it possible to invest in consumer and business loans. They have experienced tremendous growth with over 10,000 investors. Unfortunately, the English translation of the website doesn’t work that well and should be improved. The platform is available worldwide.

It’s completely free to sign up

Last updated: October 20, 2020

Introduction to our Bondster review

Bondster has over the past few years gained traction in the P2P investment community. But is it really worth using their platform? We decided to investigate.

So if you are considering investing through the platform, we recommend that you read this Bondster review first. Here we take a look at whether or not it’s worth using them. We promise you will get a better feel for the platform through our review. 

This Bondster review ended up being a bit long. You can, therefore, choose to use the navigation below to find exactly what you are looking for. Of course, you should also be welcome to read the entire review. However, we will make you aware that the review only expresses our own opinion. Therefore, do not consider the content of this Bondster review as financial advice.

Learn about the following in our Bondster review:

What is Bondster?

Bondster is a Czech FinTech start-up that enables investors to invest in loans. The loans are mainly personal loans, but you will also be able to find both mortgage, business, and other types of loans as well.

Bondster loan details

Bondster was launched in 2017 with the vision “to be #1 in the European online loan marketplace”. Since then, an increasing number of loans have been funded on the platform:

Loans funded

The loans are invested in by the over 10,500 investors on Bondster.

If you would like to join the other investors, it doesn’t require a lot of capital. With the minimum investment of €5, it is actually possible to create an account and start investing.

How Bondster works

Below, you can see an illustration of how Bondster works:

How Bondster works

A bit oversimplified, the process works in this way (from right to left):

First, the debtor applies for a loan from the loan provider. If the application is accepted the loan is granted.

Secondly, the loan provider then gets the loan published in the Bondster marketplace.

Last but not least, the loan is then made available for investment on Bondster’s website.

From here, you can invest in the loan. When the debtor then pays back the loan, you earn interest on your money.

Jana Mücková

Since August 2019, the CEO of Bondster has been Jana Mücková

Jana Mücková

Before being the CEO, she was managing a team of three Relationship Specialists and was responsible for Bondster’s expansion into foreign markets – which included pipeline, negotiations, acquisition, and onboarding of new foreign partners. But now she is leading Bondster together with some highly qualified team members.

Previously to Bondster, Jana Mücková has gained some experience from Czech Export Bank as a Senior Manager of International Relations.

All this combined makes up for a seemingly excellent CEO to lead Bondster towards its vision.

Bondster Trustpilot rating

On Trustpilot, some investors have shared their Bondster experience. 

The platform is primarily getting good reviews, and have achieved the average rating with 10 out of the 13 reviews being positive:

Bondster review Trustpilot

With this Trustpilot rating, Bondster could be worth for investors to examine closer:

Main features

In the following part of our Bondster review, we will explain some of the main features on the platform, and why they are important for you as an investor.

1. Buyback guarantee

Bondster offers a buyback guarantee of 30 or 60 days for unsecured personal loans. This buyback guarantee is provided by the loan provider and covers the invested amount as well as the accrued interest.

Before getting your money back from the defaulted investments, a 7 day protection period is applied due to payments handovering process.

The buyback feature is especially beneficial to you since it is expected that some short-term loans will default. So in your day-to-day investing, you won’t have to take those losses.

However, in the case that the lending company behind a buyback guarantee goes bankrupt, the guarantee itself gets useless as there is no one to cover the loan anymore. 

Therefore, you must remember that a buyback guarantee is only as solid as the one behind it. More on the safety here.

2. Bondster auto-invest

One of the many good things about Bondster is the auto-invest feature you will be able to find on the platform. This feature allows you to put your investments on autopilot which means that you can invest without having to select new loans to invest in every time one of your existing loan investments expires.

The auto-invest feature found on Bondster is overall very good. 

An option you won’t find on many other platforms is the option to change the diversification settings. This allows you to adjust how many percents of your total investments you want to invest with each loan provider on Bondster.

Do you want to know more about Bondster auto-invest? Then go to the FAQ on the FAQ on the website to learn more.

What rate of return can you expect?

On Bondster, the average annual return for investments in Euro is 12.11%. This return is quite average compared to some of the other best P2P lending platforms in Europe

Depending on how you choose to invest, the return you achieve might vary. This is mainly due to yield differences, which are dependent on whether you invest in loans with Czech Koruna (CZK) or Euro (EUR).

As you can see in the following, the CZK loans on Bondster marketplace are distributed very evenly by yield (with exception to the large amount of 7% yield loans):

Structure of loans by yield CZK

But if you then take a look at the EUR loans on the marketplace, most of them have very high yields:

Structure of loans by yield EUR

Therefore, if you invest evenly in EUR loans you will probably get a much higher return than by investing evenly in CZK loans.

You can find an updated overview of the structure of loans by yield, on the statistics page on Bondster’s website.

Who can invest via Bondster?

It is possible for both private individuals and companies to invest via the Bondster platform.

Individuals

To create an account as an individual, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a least 18 years old
  • Have a bank account in the European Union

If you meet the above requirements, it is easy to get started at Bondster. Simply follow the steps below, and then you should rather quickly be able to invest:

  1. Create an account
  2. Add funds to your account
  3. Invest in loans from the loan list

Companies

It is also possible for companies to invest via Bondster. After having clicked “register” on the website, simply select “legal entity” instead of “individual” in the signup form. This will give you a slightly different registration form. But from here, the user creation process is straight forward. 

Available countries

According to the FAQ on Bondster’s website, it is possible for any citizens of any country as well as legal entities to invest via the platform. 

At the end of 2019, Bondster had investors from 73 countries (marked in red below):

Bondster available countries

If you are in doubt in regard to how you can invest, we recommend that you contact Bondster. You can find the contact information on their website.

Do you meet the requirements to sign up as an investor at Bondster? Then press the button below to get to their website. Here you can quickly create a free account and get started investing:

How safe is Bondster?

One of the most important things when investing your money online through Peer-to-Peer investment sites is that security is in order. Therefore, in this Bondster review, we have taken a look at the security on their platform. We have looked at the following 2 areas; how safe the investments are, and how solid the company is.

How safe are the investments?

The first thing we looked into when creating this assessing Bondster, is how secure the investments are.

Loan provider risk

On Bondster’s platform you will be able to find quite a few loan providers:

Bondster loan providers

Interestingly, some of these loan providers are also to be found on other respected P2P platforms like Mintos and Iuvo Group

KVIKU HOLDINGS LTD (Kviku) is one of these providers, and it is accounting for around 36% of the loan volume on Bondster. Kviku has been profitable since 2015 and according to its Mintos rating, this company is in the “moderate risk” category with a B-rating.

Apart from the “shared” loan providers, a lot of the loan originators on Bondster are from the Czech Republic, but you will also be able to find loan providers from the Philippines, Mexico, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and more. 

Before the loan providers are accepted on the platform, they have to pass the due diligence methodology created by the risk department of Bondster. This methodology consists of two steps:

  1. Quantitative analysis
  2. Qualitative analysis

In the quantitative analysis, financial analysis of the company and the quality of its credit portfolio is conducted. If the loan provider doesn’t live up to the requirements of the quantitative analysis, it is simply getting rejected. Otherwise, the risk department moves on to the qualitative analysis. 

To make the qualitative analysis, the risk department takes a closer look at numerous factors including:

  • Country of operation
  • How risk is managed
  • How the scoring model works
  • Structure of the company
  • Business plan

Based on these factors, an internal rating is assigned to the loan provider.

Most emphasis is put on the quality of the loan providers’ credit portfolio.

In order to make sure that the loan providers are continuously going to serve the investors on the platform, the risk department at Bondster is performing quarterly checks of each loan originator. Here, they assess the credit portfolio and the financial health of the loan providers. 

Furthermore, Bondster is also monitoring changes in regulation, court proceedings, developments in the political and economic scene, and much more.

Based on all the factors stated above (and probably even more), Bondster is adjusting the exposure to each particular loan provider on its platform. If a loan provider is deemed as unfavorable for Bondster and its investors, it will be discontinued.

You can learn more about the loan providers on the platform by visiting Bondster’s website. Here you can see templates of the loan agreements, financial statements, and more.

Buyback guarantee

On Bondster, some of the loans are covered by a buyback guarantee. This means that your investments will be repurchased by the loan provider if the borrower doesn’t repay the loan. 

The terms of the buyback guarantee are dependent on which loan originator the particular loan is from. Usually, it takes 30 or 60 days as well as a 7 day protection period which is applied due to payments handovering process. 

You can see the loans that include a buyback guarantee with the “buyback” icon in the Investment Offer list.

As previously mentioned in this Bondster review, you must remember that a buyback guarantee is only as solid as the one behind it ie. the loan provider.

How solid is the company?

Bondster Marketplace s.r.o. is owned by CEP Invest Private Equity SE – a larger investment company with over 5 companies in its portfolio.

The fact that Bondster is a part of an experienced investment company gives us confidence that they are in a very solid position as a company.

Conclusion of our Bondster review

Bondster is a good P2P platform with a fine track record. And in a market where most platforms are born in the Baltics, Bondster makes it possible to diversify some of your P2P investment portfolio into the Czech Republic. 

While the return is not very high if you invest with Czech Koruna, the projected return is on par with other platforms if you invest in loans with Euro.

Bondster has a high level of seriousness when it comes to selecting loan providers. All the loan originators are carefully selected and monitored as previously outlined in this review. 

Unfortunately, the usability of the website on the English version is not very good, and often you risk being redirected to the Czech version of the website if you click on links in the navigation bars and other places.

When it comes to the auto-invest feature, you actually have some really great options that make Bondster stand out from most of the crowd.

Did you enjoy our Bondster review? Then consider signing up with Bondster. You can do so by pressing the button below. From here, you will be taken directly to Bondster’s website, where you can create an account: