Kuetzal decided to wind down its operations and is closed for new investor registrations after many allegations made about some fraudulent projects. The platform turned out to be an outright scam. They sent an email to investors saying they intend to return the money back to investors but I don’t believe I will receive any of my money back. I am leaving my Kuetzal review up for now for transparency.
What Is Kuetzal?
Kuetzal is a new business crowdlending platform based in Tallinn, Estonia which offers secured and high-yielding investment opportunities in European businesses. The platform was presented publicly in the middle of November 2018. It is similar to Envestio and Crowdestor but with some unique features like Investment buy-back and Kuetzal Care that we will get into detail in this post. These features make the platform a very interesting option four our portfolio. The loans on the platform are listed in EUR and the minimum investment is €100 EUR.
Most of the loans on Kuetzal offer high yields that can be as high as 21%. Usually, loans published have rates around 18%. There are of course loans published with rates as low as 10% or as high as 21%.
All loans on Kuetzal are for business loans and the terms are from 12 to 48 months. You can also check the screenshot above to see the purpose of those business loans. All loans are non-amortized meaning you will receive monthly interest payments and maturity payment at the end of the loan period. For example, you invest 100EUR in the “Velox Homes” project, it has an 18,5% rate and a 12-month duration. Every month you will get interest = 1,542EUR and on last month you will get interest + maturity payment = 101,542EUR.
Kuetzal is a pretty liquid platform. They publish around 4-5 large projects every month and most of them are not subscribed very fast. You also get a email letting you know about the project one week before it gets published so there is plenty of time to transfer funds on the platform to invest.
Kuetzal offers a 60-day buyback guarantee to all loans that have the “buy-back” tab on them. So, they will return the investment back to the investors if the loan is protected with “Investment Buy-Back” 2 months after default with interest.
Kuetzal Care program
One of the main selling points of the platform, -apart from the high rates- is the Kuetzal Care program. All of the projects come with it and it means that If the project doesn’t reach its funding goal, Kuetzal involves its own funds to cover the difference between the invested amount and funding target. Kuetzal also has agreements with investment funds, banks and private investors who are ready to invest in their projects. This creates an additional warranty that every project will eventually be funded plus you actually start earning interest from the moment you invest instead of having to wait for the project to be funded.
Kuetzal does not offer the option of auto-invest but this is not a real issue since projects are limited and quite large.
Since Kuetzal offers most of the loans with “Investment buy-back” the risk is whether they will be able to fulfill its promise to you. No loans have defaulted yet but we are talking about a very young platform here so I don’t know if we can call this a “proven” track record. For more information about the risks from peer-to-peer lending activities please check my “What Is Peer-to-Peer Lending” article.
There is no Secondary Market, however, you can sell your loan back to Kuetzel at any time if the loan comes with “Investment buy-back”. Keep in mind that this is an expensive option since they keep 10% of the withdrawn amount as a commission for the service.
There is a 10% penalty if you wish to sell the loan back to Kuetzal before maturity, other than that, there are no other fees that they charge.
Kuetzal Review – Conclusion
With the combination of the rates offered by the platform and the fact that most of the loans come with “Investment buy-back” Kuetzal is a great option for investing in business loans after Crowdestor and Envestio.
Two things that I don’t like about the platform is the lack of a Secondary Market and the high fee that you have to pay to exit a loan early, so if you invest in the platform, make sure that you will not going to need the money for an amount of time equal to the term of the loan.
With the recent events at Kuetzal and the accusations made by some investors regarding some of the platform’s projects being fraudulent or insufficiently researched by the platform, I would recommend against investing in the platform until the dust settles.