Envestio Scam - What Happened, Updates, and Lessons Learned

Envestio was a platform that I invested in since 2018, and that went down suddenly in late January 2020. It is now highly suspected to have been a complete scam from the beginning. Rather than simply deleting this article, I wanted to use it to explain what happened, what are the latest updates for the legal action against the platform, but also share what lessons I learned from the whole event.

What Happened with Envestio

Envestio was a Peer-to-Peer lending platform proposing high-yielding projects, that came with a buyback guarantee. I started to invest personally on the platform in 2018, with 450 Euros to initially try out the platform. This sum grew to about 500 Euros with the interests gained from the projects I invested in. I had a good communication with their team, especially their COO Eugene, as I always like to have talks with platforms that I try out & that I want to make a review about.

In early 2020, following the shutdown of Kuetzal, another platform really similar to Envestio, investors started to have concerns about the platform but the platform issued a statement on the 21st of January, stating that it was some kind of conspiracy targeting them and that people were actively planning actions to make them go bankrupt. I personally don't believe anything from this statement, and it seems it was just to gain time and make people not withdraw money. Just some days after that, the website of the platform shut down suddenly, and they went silent on all social media channels.

I tried to contact my usual contact person (Eugene) at the platform, without any success. After waiting 2 days as I always do, I degraded my review of the platform on my site, as well as pulled any video I had on Youtube about the platform.

In terms of numbers, I lost around 500 Euros on Envestio. I did published a review about it Envestio on my website, as the platform was checking all the points of my checklist that I use to validate a platform (more about that later in this article). However, I never invested more that my initial test amount and never actively recommended the platform to be a big part of anyone's portfolio, as I believed the yields were too high to be sustainable. Even if not so many people joined the platform after reading my review (I only got 47 clicks on this article for the whole period it was up), I am still really sorry for those of you who lost money this way.

Current Updates

I also wanted to use this article to give you a summary about what is currently going on with the platform. As I mentioned before, the platform shut down suddenly and all their team members went silent, so I do truly believe it was a pure scam and the platform will never open again.

However, there is an ongoing investigation by the Estonian police after many investors reported Envestio to the authorities. I will update this section whenever I hear more about that. 

A legal action is also currently being prepared by investors that lost a lot in the story, and money was raised to support the claim from investors with the help of a law firm. Even if the collection of funds for the lawsuit is now closed, you can follow the GoFundMe campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/envestio-action-group

What I recommend is follow this Telegram thread to see the latest discussions & updates about the platform: http://t.me/EnvestioDiscussion 

Warning: there is currently a new site that is up on the Envestio domain name, with the same design as before, and promoting cryptocurrencies investments. I recommending avoiding this site at all cost, even registering on the site as it could lead to the theft of your password or of personal data. 

Lessons Learned

On my side, I recognise that this event showed me that there was a flaw of the way I review platforms, and want to take actions to avoid this happening again in the future. First, I'll change my review process to be much more strict about platforms I feature on my blog. I usually posted my initial review about a platform after 3 months investing on it, and I will now double that and wait 6 months before talking about a new platform, to have more data from my own investments to show in the review.

For the review itself, I will also spend more time checking the background of not only the platform, but also key people that are currently running it, as well as the projects available on the platform, and track that over time. I also will put more numbers inside my reviews coming from the TrackInvest project, to include what results other people have with the platform.

Finally, I will also publish an article on my website as well a Youtube video to explain step-by-step how I review platforms, to provide full transparency on the process. I will post the link to this article here as soon as it is published.

I hope that this will help you take better investment decisions in the future, and of course I would love to hear what you think about it!