Sunday 12 January 2020 Important email message from Kuetzal recieved:
Kuetzal has announced that its winding-down
Unfortunately all investors that have put money into Kuetzal, recieved a letter today announcing a wind-down of processes. This is disappointing and also worrying news for current investors who have placed thousands of euros in their care. What will happen to the funds? No-one knows at this point yet. The letter did specify that buy-backs and withdrawals will be performed when possible, but other people have suggested that these may not happen at all. For the moment we will have to wait and see as to how management responds. Here is the information that we were provided in the letter:
- Kuetzal will now only process withdrawals of funds. They will receive no more investors or deposits.
- Kuetzals bank accounts are blocked and are facing AML checks after a high number of claims and reports.
- Kuetzal is unable to perform any actions while the accounts are blocked.
- Kuetzal management is aiming to re-establish the activity of both operational bank accounts and perform buy-backs and withdrawals in shortest terms respectively.
- Kuetzal aim to exit the market quietly with minimum repercussion to our customers and the whole crowdfunding market
The reason for the above
Following on from the report about Alborg Petrol released by Explore P2P (see the report here), many investors looked further into the projects issued by Kuetzal. Jørgen from Financially Free did some research and found 8 concerning issues (his report here). This then sent Facebook into a frenzy, and many people contacted every company with any connection with Kuetzal (i.e. borrowers, banks, management, past management), which now looks to have crippled the company. Additionally, the CEO left near the end of 2019 and took some of the staff as well. Even the European Crowdfunding Network (which Kuetzal was apart of) has reported the platform to the NAtional Conduct Authority.
An interesting review between Roasted Peer Duck and Explore P2P discusses the possibilities of what will happen next. The interview can be found here.
If you have concerns, Kuetzal’s e-mail is: [email protected]
What Is Kuetzal?
Kuetzal is a P2P investment platform (you can read more about those here), providing a connection between businesses requiring financing and investors. Investors can be attracted to such loans as they provide a much higher than interest compared to a bank account. Kuetzal currently offers various investments with returns up to 21%.
Kuetzal (www.kuetzal.com) is an Estonian P2P platform created in 2018. The platform works in a similar way to Envestio (see my review here), connecting investors with businesses seeking project funding. Kuetzal currently offers only a few projects (under 10 at the moment) that seek between € 110,000 and €3,500,000 in funding. Projects span many industries including cryptocurrency, infrastructure, and real estate. Some projects through Kuetzal offer a buyback guarantee and projects can be bought back (at a 10% fee) if you can’t wait until the maturity of the investment. If you hold onto the investment, there are no costs or fees. There are no restrictions on European residency so everyone can invest through Kuetzal. There is a minimum investment of € 100 per project. Minimum withdrawal is €10. As with other P2P platforms, transfers will work best through TransferWise or Revolut.
- Kuetzal OÜ is a private limited company founded 4 July 2018.
- Paid out interest: Unknown
- Average Interest rate: Projects range from 6% – 21%
- Registered Investors: 1,000
- Total funds invested: Unknown
Account Set Up
Registration with Kuetzal is fast and simple. Once you have filled in the form with your details (name, email, date of birth), you are registered.
Initially there are no requirements to attach identification documents, however, you will need to do this before withdrawing money.
For the Investor Account verification purposes, investors will need to provide photos or scans of identification documents and proof of residency (generally a bill of some kind).
What type of loans are available through Kuetzal?
The platform offers a wide variety of loans, in projects including:
- Real Estate (housing, apartments and retirement villages)
- Company Growth (through brand awareness, marketing)
- Crypto mining infrastructure
- Increasing company stock
- Electronic Money Institution licences
So far, funding has been provided to projects in various countries including Latvia, UK, Poland and Estonia.
Kuetzal offers an investment buy-back for some of its loans on the platform. Look for the “Buy-back” tag on the investment picture.
In a “worst case scenario”, Kuetzal guarantees to cover 100% of the investment within 2 months of a loan default (on selected projects). Generally funds would be returned in 1-2 weeks.
Investment Return (Investor Buy-back)
Most of the investments offered have an investment buy-back option selected. This tool will allow the investor to always be able to request invested funds to be returned from the project. The request must be through email, and Kuetzal takes 10% of the withdrawn amount as commission.
Kuetzal Care is a guarantee that a certain project will receive the required funding. This means, that regardless of the amount of funding the project already has received, Kuetzal will make sure the project is fully funded. Investing in a project supported with Kuetzal Care allows investors to start receiving interest instantly, starting from the next day they have made the investment.
Investment and Withdrawal Amounts
Through Kuetzal, the minimum amounts an investor can:
- invest is 100 €
- withdraw is 10 €
No fees have been advertised to the investor, apart from a 10% commission if the investor chooses to sell their share of their investment back to Kuetzal.
Kuetzal is a very new platform that is tracking in the same footsteps as Envestio (including a very similar referral system).
When looking at investments through the platform, the important thing is that you choose projects with the investor buy-back guarantee. The guarantee helps to protect you in case the loan defaults. Additionally, it is good to see that Kuetzal also offers a repurchase guarantee as well. However, be aware that the platform will take 10% of the sale if you sell it before maturity. Basically, it means that if you get 6 months of payments of a project paying 20%, then decide to sell. You lose nothing (except time).
I think it will be rare for many projects to default, so if you diversify, and invest in projects with the buy-back, then you should be OK. I would not count it as a loss if you have invested in 10 projects paying out 15-20%, and on one of those you only get 90% of your investment back.
Kuetzal care is pushed a lot through this platform, however, I don’t think it will be of much use when investors start to pile into the platform. For example, look at Envestio. In the early days, Envestio had many projects that would be on offer for weeks, paying 18%-21%. Now, Envestio projects are sold out within a couple of minutes.
I have had email contact on two occasions where the CEO Alberts Čevers responded to my questions very quickly.