How "DEBITUM NETWORK" is overcoming COVID-19 and Financial Crisis.by Lars Wrobbel & Vlad Filimonovs.
Updated: Mar 27
P2Preferee – Vladislavs Filimonovs and Passives Einkommen Mit P2P – Lars Wrobbel continue to raise more awareness to community and as a result we choose to deep dive into one of very promising Platform – Debitum Network to understand their plan of actions during COVID-19 and Financial Crisis. Interview was conducted on Monday 23.03.2020. Attendees were: • Martins Liberts – Founder Debitum Network • Sergei Demchuk– CEO Debitum Network • Lars Wrobbel – Passives Einkommen mit P2P • Vladislavs Filimonovs (myself) – P2Preferee.com During the interview we raised 12 Main Questions, please see below (full video interview will be available on Tuesday – 31.03.2020 in both resources: P2Preferee and Youtube Channel – Passive Einkommen mit P2P . o What are your real statistics in regard to deposits and withdrawals during this time? Also, can you expand on your over KPIs at this moment? Sergei: Results for Q1 are very promising: 1. Portfolio increased by nearly 50% (started year with 1,4 million – currently 2,1 million). 2. Onboarded 3 new Loan Originators. 3. Withdrawals equals to less than 5 % (which is not that significant increase in comparison to “normal conditions”). o Can you expand to the community your plans on overcoming challenges with massive withdrawals and removal of Auto-invest Strategies? Is it affecting you as well? What you are planning to offer to investors that could/should motivate them to re-activate Auto-Invest and move part of their Portfolio to Debitum Networks? Sergei: AUTO-INVEST de-activation did not affect Debitum Network that significantly as it is still equals to 35% from Total Invested amount. Meaning that most of Debitum Network investors are using manual investments vs AUTO-INVEST. Which means there is no need to do extra measures to re-activate AUTO-INVEST at this stage. o You just on-boarded 3 new loan originators. Does this crisis kill your expansion plans for the rest of the year? Sergei: Too early to say, of course some changes were done already to our Pipeline. I expect to get a better picture with LOs within 2-month time. Ideology did not change, Debitum Network clearly understand with whom we wants to work. Good example here is new LO that was on-boarded recently “TRIPLE DRAGON” who is providing finance to Mobile Aps Publishers, Debitum Network expect that this segment will grow even further during lock down/Financial Crisis.
o Speaking about competition on the Market and increased Average Annual return , that is mainly driven by PDL Loan Originators, are you also planning to increase the Average % rate for investors in your Platform? Martins: Debitum Network looks at this situation from different angle. If LO wants to increase their % rate, obviously they are looking to collect more funding and then the main question why? For any growth perspective with solid potential, Debitum Network supporting these initiatives. As an example, with “TRIPLE DRAGON” – they increased % rate to collect more funds, get more liquidity as during COVID-19 they are planning to lend more funds to Publisher, as people stay at home and as government said – “stay home – play games”. From the other side Debitum Network can see negative reasons why somebody wants to increase liquidity – to decrease the debt, borrowers are not paying back which leads to gap in portfolio. So Debitum Network is really caution if somebody want to increase rate which is irrational from Business Perspective. To sum up, Debitum Network is not planning to join competition on increase Average % Rate, there might be slight increases for legit LOs to collect more funding for growth based on business model. o You are issuing business loans which are massively affected these days. Some platforms also working with a suspension of payments for the next 3 months. What about your loans at the moment? Martins: Debitum Network understand that it may happen that some LOs might be affected directly or by Government Regulations. However, LOs that are placed on Debitum Network are fully monitored. All potential risks are understandable, and platform keep all information up to date. In regard to LO, situation is below: 1. TRIPLE DRAGONS – portfolio should grow and massive opportunity for them to gain market shares. 2. CARDEC FACTORING – underlying assets are promissory notes of state agency, so the risk is only if Dutch government is not able to pay (which is very unlike to happen) 3. FACTRIS – most of the portfolio is insured, meaning if borrow is not paying back, insurance company step up and cover these loses. 4. NOVITI FINANCE – their loans might be affected the most but good thing that they have (EIF) European Investment Fund guarantee that in worst case scenario will cover that debt. 5. MIKRO KAPITAL – SME Loans might be late, but more than 50% of their portfolio is in Agro loans. This Segment is not expected to go down because food production will be in demand in any case and price for food will even increase, so agribusiness will not expect to go down. Debitum Network very carefully selecting LOs for their investors, but it will be “stupid” to say that there will not be any delays, of course there might be late payments, but platform fully understand how to deal with each individual case. o Taking into account current situation, with COVID-19 and Financial Crisis, what elements of your Due Diligence you will adjust to make sure that your LOs can remain stable during this time? Sergei: Debitum Network scheduled weekly communication with all LOs where we check: their liquidity, financial sustainability and plan of actions during crisis. Apart from that detailed monitoring frequency was changed, prior to COVID-19 it was done on Quarterly basis, now it switched to Monthly basis where we also now checking carefully non-performing loans. Another element Debitum Network adjusted is that now every single loan ,to be placed, is fully reviewed vs prior Debitum Network was randomly checking some of them from overall batch to make sure they are legit.
o What measures have you taken to overcome this crisis? Sergei: Debitum Network have small team in total 10 Employees (Full Time + Outsourcers). Most of IT resources work Part-Time but always available on request. Apart from that employees are working from home now; we negotiate a pricing for rent (which will be significantly reduced due to current situation). So, Debitum Network even before crisis kept OPEX small and in worth case scenario they have sufficient funding (if Crisis will continue) to cover all operational expenses for next 12 month. o Sergei, you recently Joined Debitum Network as CEO, can you expand, what competitive advantages you can bring into Debitum Network under your management? Sergei: "Debitum Network specialise only on SME Lending with great details on Risk Assessments and I have advanced experience in that field by launching several Micro finance institutions in different countries. Prior to that I obtained a solid Banking experience." So main competitive advantage that I brought to Debitum Network is my experience that is broadly used and support Debitum Network in conducting even more advanced Due Diligence for LOs. As a result, it creates a very good synergy with Martins. My experience with Financing and Martins experience with IT&Invoice financing creates Debitum Network a strong player in P2P Segment.
o I would like to know from you both personally: what are you doing at this time with your free money? Do you invest in the stock market? Martins: “My investments are in Marketplaces, mostly in Debitum Network. What I like the most in investing into P2P Segment is that there is fixed income with fixed term, in comparison to other financial instruments. Real estate investment, not my choice as it is Long Term and Unpredictable. Stock exchange is good alternative but issues that you are only allowed to withdraw funds in period of high volatility if you need to withdraw money, you will lose a lot. That is why you can not predict time and return. o Debitum Network is demonstrating some good initiatives by introducing Tokens for Investors which is good gamification as well. Can you maybe tell some other initiatives you are working now? Martins: Gamification was planned already in the beginning of Debitum Network. In the beginning we realised that priority is to work on Business side of building sustainable platform, but team was constantly thinking about introducing tokens to our investors. And now it is right time for doing it, so several tokens were introduced: 1) Follow Top Investor – there is opportunity to filter Top investors by multiple categories (largest revenue, number of assets etc.) 2) Liquidation of late asset. And Debitum Network wants to collect any suggestions from Audience, what else can be introduced for investors. o Why should investors continue their P2P investment also during the COVID-19 Crisis? Sergei: If investors are going to deep dive more on where they are planning to invest, how stable are LOs it could save them from losing their investments. Investors funds have to work, you have to get Profit from them, so as a suggestion to choose more conservative Platforms with less risky Assets like Debitum Network always had. Debitum Network Top investors are not influenced by this panic, they still keep investing as usual by carefully choosing Assets that is interesting for them and not withdrawing their funds. o What message you would like to send to Community? Martins: As a Community we should avoid unnecessary panic as it may damage P2P/Crowd Segment. Money should work, if you are not fully confident in anything just ask and if answer will be sufficient make your decision either to invest or switch to another Asset Class. To sum up, Debitum Network management looks legit and they are fully understanding rules of the game. I personally admitted their professional skills and non-risk mindset. Debitum Network is not offering High Returns (average interest rate is 9.5 %) and it is up to you to choose either to take high risk and target for 20%+ or take moderate risk by investing into Debitum Network. Martins and Sergei are very open for any conversations with new and existing investors, feel free to ping them in LinkedIn and I am confident you will get a reply. Apart from that, specifically, for me and Lars, Debitum Network is offering special prize for best idea on what tokens Platform can introduce to make it even more interesting for investors to consider that platform. All you need to do, is just comment under this post with your suggestions and one of you may become a winner.