What is LendSecured?
As for all crowdlending platforms, LendSecured
is a financial platform that matches borrowers with investors, that will lend money on the platform in exchange of interests on loans. LendSecured is a relatively new platform, as it was founded in 2019. They are based in Riga, Latvia.
What makes them different from other similar platforms is that they offer investors to invest in real estate (like houses or land), but also in agricultural projects in the EU - like financing harvests for example. This is something I never saw before on such a platform, and I believe it makes it really interesting.
They currently have over 400 investors, with nearly half a million Euros already invested on the platform.
What returns can I expect from investing on LendSecured?
The returns you can expect on LendSecured
completely depend on which projects you invest in, which I will tell you more about when we'll see how to use the platform. Currently, you can get up to 14% returns on the platform, and they advertise an average annual return of 11.7% for investors.
Is it safe to invest on LendSecured?
The question of the safety of the investors funds is central when investing on a crowdlending platform, as they will be managing all the money that you deposit on the platform and invest it in the projects. When checking a new platform, I look at three things: what the platforms offers in terms of guarantees, the company itself (and their team), and finally the originators of the projects present on the platform.
Risks & guarantees on LendSecured
, all projects present on the platform are backed by assets, that will be taken in case there is a problem with the project. This can be the property itself for real estate projects, or grain in case of the agricultural projects.
They also only put projects with low LTVs (Loan To Value) on the platform, meaning that the amount of the loan of a given project is always much lower than the value of the asset attached to the project. This means that in case of a problem with a project, the asset that will be sold to cover the loan will be more than enough to give the money back to investors & to cover all the legal costs associated with the sale. They advertise an average LTV of 37% on the platform, which is really low in the field and an additional guarantee for investors.
They also do a very strict process of cherry-picking the best projects that they put on the platform.
It also worth noting that all investments on LendSecured are held on a segregated account from LendSecured funds in one of the biggest French banks (BNP Paribas), which adds an additional layer of safety for investors.
In addition to that, many projects also come with additional guarantees, like personal guarantees from the borrowers or insurances on the harvests.
The company & the team
As I mentioned earlier, the company is operating from Latvia, and as for all platforms I add to my portfolio I checked if the company was officially registered in Latvia, and it indeed.
They also are completely transparent about their team on their website, with a complete description of the role of each person in the team, which is also something I appreciate seeing on a platform.
I also check the profile of their CEO, and his LinkedIn page shows he has experience in the financial services field for over 10 years, which is a good sign as well.
It's also worth noting that the core of the LendSecured team has been working together for 7+ years on other brands - so it's not a team that was created out of nothing just for LendSecured.
They also confirmed to me that will apply for the European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) license whenever it will become available, probably at the end of 2021.
I also always have a close look at where the projects on the platform are coming from, as this is usually where a platform will start to have issues if anything bad happens like a financial crisis.
What I like on LendSecured
is that there are completely transparent about who the borrower is for each project, and it is really easy to find that recipients of those loans actually exist, which is not the case on all similar platforms. For projects related to investment in land for example, it is really easy to check in the official register in Latvia to check that those pieces of land exists & check who is the current owner.
Getting started with LendSecured
It is actually really easy to get started with LendSecured
and have your money start generating interests on the platform.
The first step is to open an account and get verified. This was done really quickly, and including the ID verification part it was all done in under 5 minutes.
Next, you will have to deposit funds in your account to start investing in loans and generate interests. This is also really to do with LendSecured, as you can do it via a bank transfer.
Once this is done, you can actually start investing in loans on the platform. For that, the first option is to check the primary market:
From there, you can immediately see what projects are currently available, and get some details about the loans like the annual return, LTV, and term. Note that the minimum investment amount is 50 Euros, which is great as it is in the lower range for similar platforms.
If you want more details, you can simply click on the projects you want to get more information about it:
On those pages, you will find much more details about the project, like details about the borrower, why the money is needed, and also what additional guarantees are provided.
The nice thing about LendSecured
is that they also have a secondary market, where you can buy shares in projects that are already running. When I first started to use LendSecured, there was a large amount of projects available on the secondary market:
Note that for now, there is no auto-invest function on the platform, so you will have to select projects manually. After talking with their team, they also confirmed to me that the auto-invest function should come after they get the European Crowdfunding Service Providers license, as this license will define technical standards that the auto-invest function will have to follow.
As for all the platforms I review, I also tried to withdraw money, and the money was back on my account in just 2 days.
My Results so far with LendSecured
I only invested in one agricultural project so far on LendSecured
, and it should give me a return of 12% annually. It is of course too early to talk about long-term yields on the platform, but I can say that so far everything went smoothly and I will definitely invest more on the platform in the future.