Debitum Review 2024: Up to 15% for Regulated P2P Loans? (Consider This!)

Debitum is positioned in a very specific niche in the P2P environment. It operates as a regulated P2P platform, follows a marketplace model and it offers a buyback guarantee for secured business loans. This results in a combination that cannot be found on any other platform in this form.

However, this individual character is also accompanied by some risks. In this Debitum review you will get a bettter understanding about the current risk-reward profile of the platform and in which circumstances Debitum might be a good addition to your P2P portfolio. 

All the information that are covered in this Debitum review are based on my own personal experiences with the platform for the past years. Please make sure to do your own due diligence before investing on any platform. More information can be found in the Disclaimer.

Further analyses of other platforms can be found on my P2P Platform Review page.


Debitum Overview  

Before we get started, here is a quick summary with the most important information about Debitum.

Founded / Started:April 2019 / September 2018
Legal Name:SIA DN Operator (LINK)
Headquarter:Riga, Latvia
Regulated:Yes (Financial and Capital Market Commission)
CEO:Henrijs Jansons (January 2022)
Community Voting:2,72 out of 5 | See Voting
Assets Under Management:EUR 14+ Million (May 2024)
Number of Investors:13.000+ (May 2024)
Expected Return:Up to 13%
Primary Loan Type:Business Loans 
Collateral:Buyback Guarantee
Bonus:1% Cashback for 90 Days

About Debitum

debitum-bonus

Debitum (formerly Debitum Network) is a Latvian P2P marketplace, launched in September 2018, where retail investors can invest in business loans from SMEs, earning returns of up to 15%. Technically, Debitum is therefore not a P2P but a P2B (peer-to-business) platform.

Although Debitum is still a small marketplace, in terms of loan volume and number of investors, the platform belongs to the better-known companies in the P2P environment.

Since September 2021, Debitum is controlled and supervised by the Latvian financial regulator FCMC.

The Latvian word “Debitum” translates as “credit debt”.

The Origin Story

The idea of Debitum, then called Debitum Network, was born in 2017. The founders at the time included Martins Liberts, Donatas Juodelis and Justas Šaltinis.

Debitum-Network-Review-Founder

Before founding Debitum, both Martins and Justas set up Lithuanian company DEBIFO. This was a lender specialising in invoice financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Lithuania. The lender, which has also been financing some of its loans via Mintos, is now known as Factris.

Due to regulatory problems, DEBIFO had difficulties expanding its lending operations in other EU countries at the time. This problem initiated the idea of setting up a marketplace for similar lenders where they could offer their loans for financing. The idea of Debitum was born.

Following a token sale, which raised the equivalent of around EUR 6 million, the P2P platform was set up. The operational launch of the platform took place in September 2018.

Ownership

Who owns Debitum Investments? The Baltic-based P2P platform is operated by the company “SIA DN Operator”. This company is in turn controlled by three different shareholders. The owners are:

  • 60,66%: ZIdea; 100% controlled by the Latvian Ingus Salmiņš
  • 30,33%: Amplo; 100% controlled by the Latvian Eriks Rengitis
  • 9%: SIA WIN WIN INVESTMENTS; 100% controlled by Debitum CEO Henrijs Jansons

Debitum-Review-Owner

Debitum Management

Debitum-Review-CEOLatvian Henrijs Jansons is CEO of Debitum since January 2022.

He has already gained some industry-specific experiences in the past. This includes his work at Eleving Group (formerly Mogo) and his time at Latvian P2P platform DoFinance.

Interested investors can find more information about the platform’s team members on the “About Us” page.


Business Model & Finances

Throughout the process of due diligence, investors should also have a look at the business model of a P2P platform as well as the overall financial situation. How does the company earn money? Does the platform operate profitably? And how well is the company positioned financially? In the following paragraphs of this Debitum review, you can follow-up on those questions.

Monetization

At Debitum, revenue is generated exclusively through commission income from the lenders who offer their loans for financing on the marketplace.

The company pursues two different models:

  • On one hand, there is a classic and fixed brokerage fee, which usually averages 2% p.a. of the financed loan volume.
  • On the other hand, there is an “all-in” approach, in which a certain interest rate is fixed in advance for the financed loan volume. Debitum can then offer the interest rates variably on the platform and earn money from the interest margin. According to Debitum, this is currently between 2% and 3% p.a.

how-does-debitum-earn-money

The second model, which was first introduced by the lender Noviti Finance in February 2020, is currently also the predominantly used system for remuneration.

Profitability

Debitum-Review-ProfitabilityDebitum has published an annual report for 2023, which has been audited by Grant Thornton and checked in accordance with IFRS standards.

According to the report, Debitum achieved a turnover of EUR 350,000 in 2023, which almost doubled compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, a loss of around EUR 360,000 was the result at the end of the year. Increased expenditure on employee salaries (EUR 105,000 more than 2022) and marketing activities (EUR 112,000 more than 2022) have mainly contributed to this.

However, according to the platform, Debitum was already profitable in Q1/2024 and plans to reach the break-even point for the whole of 2024, despite further increases in growth costs.

Despite the losses in the last two years, the equity position remains positive due to the increase to EUR 750,000 in 2023. The equity ratio was 34% at the end of 2023. The development of assets under management is also positive, having grown from EUR 7.2M to EUR 11.8M in 2023 (target 2024: EUR 25M+).


Sign Up and Bonus at Debitum

In order to invest on Debitum, investors must meet two requirements: A minimum age of 18 years and a bank account in one’s own name. If these requirements are met, registration on Debitum can be completed in a few steps.

  • Register: Enter name, email, date of birth, password, etc.
  • Provide Financial Information: Planned investment amount, state citizenship, country of residence, tax residence, etc.
  • Upload Documents: Copy of identity card, proof of residence

Also legal entities have the opportunity to register on Debitum.

Bonus for New Investors

Investors who register on Debitum via this link will receive a 1% cashback on all investments made in the first 60 days after registration. Only assets with a term of 90+ days are taken into account.


Investing on Debitum

How does Debitum work and what should investors know and consider when investing on the plaform? In the following sections of my Debitum review you will find all the necessary information that you need.

Loan Offering

Debitum has been a regulated P2P platform, controlled by the Latvian financial regulator FCMC since 2021. Since this change happened, investors no longer invest in claim rights, but in asset-backed-securities (“notes”).

These are financial instruments that are composed of a bundle of different loans. The focus of Debitum is on business loans, which are offered by international lenders.

debitum-review-2023-investing

Debitum is very careful when assessing new lenders, which is why there are only a few long-term partners on the marketplace. These include Evergreen Capital (Estonia), Flexidea (Latvia and Poland) and Triple Dragon (UK). Other lenders include Sandbox Funding and Juno Finance (both Latvia).

  • Evergreen Capital: The Estonian lender, which has been on Debitum for many years, offers financing solutions for Estonian SMEs.
  • Flexidea: Offers invoice financing solutions for Latvian and Polish SMEs. Long-standing partner of Debitum.
  • Triple Dragon: The London-based lender offers flexible financing and working capital solutions for developers and publishers of mobile apps and video games. Receivables from companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon serve as collateral.
  • Sandbox Funding: Is owned by Debitum shareholders and was primarily founded to test lenders with smaller volumes (50,000 EUR to 200,000 EUR) before they appear independently on the platform.
  • Juno Finance: The Latvian lender, which has been on Debitum since April 2024, specialises in providing loans to SMEs in the forestry and agricultural sectors. Offers an interest rate of up to 15% and was previously tested with assets via sandbox funding.
  • Foresto: Also based in the agricultural and forestry sector. A company founded in Latvia in 2021, which specialises in the purchase and merger and acquisition (M&A) of small and medium-sized forestry properties in Latvia. The collateralised notes (buyback after 20 business days) are offered with up to 12.5% and a maximum term of 12 months.
  • Bono House: Subsidiary of the BONO Group (EUR 90M turnover in 2023), which was founded in Latvia in 2022. The lender specialises in the development of private house projects and the assembly construction in the real estate sector. The loans, which are collateralised with a buyback obligation, are offered with interest rates of up to 12% and terms of 90 to 250 days.

There is a fixed interest rate for the securities. This is amortised over the entire term as the underlying loans are repaid. The range on Debitum is between 8% and 13%. In some cases, it can also be up to 15%.

The minimum investment amount is EUR 50. Debitum does not have a monthly deposit limit, as is the case with Bondora Go & Grow, for example.

Debitum Notes (Bonds)

In addition to asset-backed securities (ABS), Debitum is offering notes (bonds) as a further investment product since March 2024. The difference to asset-backed securities is that the repurchase obligation no longer falls on the lender, but on the issuer’s shareholders.

Debitum-Investments-Review-2024-Notes-Bonds

In addition, payments are no longer linked to the underlying assets, but to the issuer as a legal entity. The first ten bonds were offered by Sandbox Funding, with a term of 6 to 12 months and an interest rate of between 13% and 13.5%.

Costs and Fees

There are no fees or hidden costs for private investors on Debitum. Neither for deposits or withdrawals, nor for the functionalities when investing on the platform.

Expected Returns on Debitum

At Debitum, the interest rate for loans can vary depending on the market phase and investor demand. As an active investor who invested on Debitum between June 2019 and June 2023, I was able to achieve a total return of 8.9%. According to my previous Debitum experiences, this corresponds to a realistic return expectation.

Since the change of ownership in 2023, the interest rate level has risen significantly and is mostly in the double-digit range.

Debitum Auto Invest

Debitum-Review-Auto-Invest

In December 2023, Debitum has launched the long overdue Auto Invest feature, which is one of the common functionalities of a modern P2P platform.

Investors have the option of having their investments selected automatically based on previously set criteria. These criteria include the maximum portfolio size, the interest rate, the loan term or the selection of individual lenders.

The “Auto Withdrawal” setting is particularly interesting. Here, the monthly interest income is automatically transferred to the investor’s account. However, there is a restriction that only investors with an outstanding portfolio of EUR 10,000+ can use the Auto Withdrawal function.

Debitum Buyback Guarantee

All assets offered on Debitum have a buyback guarantee issued by the lenders. This means that if the repayment of a particular loan is delay for an extended period of time (usually 90 days), the lender is obliged to buy it back and cover the remaining principal, as well as the outstanding interest.

Debitum-Review-Buyback-Guarantee

In general, this buyback mechanism has always worked well. There is an exception with the Ukrainian lender Chain Finance though, where the repayment could not be met due to the war in Ukraine. Here, the platform invokes a force majeure.

Debitum Forum

If you have questions about Debitum, other platforms or different p2p-related topics, you can join the re:think P2P Community on Facebook and engage in discussions with more than 1,000 other private retail investors.

Alternatively, you can also find the latest news and updates on my Telegram channel.


Debitum Taxes

In principle, interest income generated by loan financing is considered investment income and must be reported as such in the tax declaration. After obtaining the investment brokerage firm license in 2021, Debitum is now legally required to also withhold taxes on interest income that is collected through regulated financial instruments.

The applied tax rate is based on the country of tax residency and the tax information that are submitted.

  • 20% for investors from Latvia
  • 20% for investors outside the EU or EEA
  • 5% for investors with residency in the EU or EEA (except Latvia)
  • 0% for investors from Lithuania (tax certificate required)
  • 0% for legal entities

When paying taxes in your county of residence, the withheld taxes can usually be deducted from the overall balance. This means that the effective taxation rate will be the same as it has been before when investing into claim rights. To get access to the relevant data, Debitum offers to download tax reports and income statements from the platform.


Debitum Risks

Investors should look very carefully at the potential risk factors when evaluating a P2P platform. What is it that investors need to be aware of when it comes to Debitum? Where are the underlying risks and how are they assessed?

Corona Crisis / Covid-19 Pandemic

Debitum, like other P2P platforms, has also been strongly affected by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. While it was still possible to finance a loan volume of EUR 1.88 million in February 2020, this subsequently fell to as little as EUR 620,000 (June 2020).

However, this development is only partly due to the declining interest on the part of investors, as many lenders were able to take out SME support loans at very favourable conditions at that time – whether through EU support programmes or through national governments. In this respect, the supply on Debitum was also severely limited.

Overall, during the Corona crisis, Debitum tried to show the highest degree of transparency regarding business and company development. The monitoring and control of their lenders can also be seen as positive, as there were no payment delays or defaults as a result. 

War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has had a direct impact on Debitum. At the time the war broke out, Ukrainian lender Chain Finance had an outstanding portfolio of EUR 1.9 million on Debitum. The repayment of these loans has been frozen until further notice, citing force majeure.

Only when the war in Ukraine has officially ended, receivables recovered will be repaid (February 2023: approx. EUR 590,000 in repaid loans).

In July 2023, the platform announced a restructuring of the outstanding receivables, in which the Debitum subsidiary “DN Funding Alpha” takes over Chain Finance’s obligations to Debitum investors. As part of this restructuring, Debitum has held out the prospect of full repayment of loans affected by the war. Accordingly, the lender, which resumed new lending activities at the beginning of 2023, could service all claims.

Debitum-Review-War-Ukraine

However, the full repayment plan provides for a period of 72 months (6 years) after the war has been officially declared over. According to the new restructuring plan, only 5% is to be repaid after 36 months, or 25% after 48 months. Funds from investors, which could theoretically be paid out immediately after the end of the war, are to be tied up for another 4 years.

The fact that Debitum has taken this action independently and without consulting with affected investors suggests that there is little investor interest from the platform’s side.

Is Debitum a Scam?

Debitum had to deal with scam accusations in the past. The background is a crowdsale funding (token generation event) from 2017, from which Debitum emerged. The accusation: Many investors felt deceived by Debitum in the promise to give the DEB token a meaningful use. Instead, it was only intended to provide funding for a business model primarily based on a FIAT currency. 

Is Debitum a Safe Platform?

Investors should be aware of the risks involved when investing on Debitum.

  • There is no deposit insurance that protects the investment in any way.
  • The buyback guarantee depends on the financial situation of the issuer
  • The platform is still not profitable

On the positive side, one can point out that the platform is now regulated and therefore has to meet a higher standard of compliance and transparency.


Pros & Cons

In this section I have listed the biggest advantages and disadvantages of Debitum.

Advantages

  • Regulation: The platform obtained the Investment Brokerage Firm licence in September 2021. 
  • Diversification: Meaningful diversification options aside from traditional consumer loans.
  • Expected Return: Debitum offers loans with an interest rate of up to 15%.
  • Auto Invest: Investors can invest in loans automatically on Debitum.
  • User-friendly: Debitum is a simple and intuitively easy-to-understand P2P platform.

Disadvantages

  • Transparency: The platform does not publish audited annual reports in English.
  • Ukraine: Debitum has independently extended the repayment period for Ukrainian loans.

Debitum Alternatives

There is no clear Debitum alternative. When focusing on business loans, one could think of the crowdfunding platform Crowdestor, which is not to be recommended. With regards to the marketplace model, alternatives such as Mintos (also regulated in Latvia), PeerBerry or Income Marketplace would come to mind.

You can find other Debitum alternatives on the P2P Platform Comparison page.


Debitum Community Feedback

The community feedback for Debitum Investments has improved significantly in recent years. According to my P2P Community Voting 2024, the SME marketplace achieved a personal best score of 3.25 points (8th place out of 30; 107 ratings). Debitum also managed the second-best improvement of all P2P platforms compared to the previous year.

In comparison: In the previous years, Debitum achieved 2.72 points (2023), 2.46 points (2022) and 2.98 points (2021).

Debitum-Investments-Review-P2P-Community-Voting-2024

The most popular P2P platforms in 2024 have been Robocash, Profitus, Viainvest, PeerBerry and Esketit. The ratings are based on my P2P Community Voting 2024.


Summary Debitum Review 2024

Debitum-Investments-Review-2024-rethink-p2pWhat is the final verdict of my Debitum review and my personal opinion? 

Debitum is a regulated P2P platform from Latvia that finds itself in a transition process. Due to the change of ownership in 2023, the platform has become much more agile and innovative with regard to new developments and adaptations. In addition, interest rates have risen significantly, which, in combination with their regulation, make Debitum an attractive option for P2P investors in 2024.

However, certain issues of the platform should also be taken into account. These include a questionable restructuring of Ukraine assets, conflicts of interest between lenders (Sandbox Funding) and shareholders (Henrijs Jansons), as well as a level of transparency that could be improved.

For investors who prefer to invest in regulated platforms and who also want to diversify their loan portfolio outside of consumer loans, Debitum could be an interesting alternative.


FAQ Debitum Review

✅ What is Debitum?

Debitum (formerly Debitum Network) is a Latvian P2P marketplace, launched in September 2018, where retail investors can invest in business loans from SMEs, earning returns of 8% to 10% on average. Technically, Debitum is therefore not a P2P but a P2B (peer-to-business) platform.

✅ Who owns Debitum?

The P2P platform is operated by the company “SIA DN Operator”. This company is in turn controlled by three different shareholders. The owners are ZIdea (60.7%), Amplo (30.3%) and SIA WIN WIN INVESTMENTS (9%).

✅ Does Debitum offer an Auto Invest feature?

In December 2023, Debitum has also implemented an Auto Invest feature. Investors have the option of having their investments selected automatically based on previously set criteria. These criteria include the maximum portfolio size, the interest rate, the loan term and the selection of individual lenders.

✅ Is there a bonus for new investors?

Investors who register on Debitum via this link will receive a 1% cashback on all investments made in the first 60 days after registration. Only assets with a term of 90+ days are taken into account.

Hi, ich bin Denny! Seit Januar 2019 schreibe ich auf diesem Blog über meine Erfahrungen beim Investieren in P2P Kredite. Meine Analysen sollen Privatanlegern dabei helfen reflektierte und gut informierte Anlageentscheidungen treffen zu können. Dafür schaue ich mir die Risikoprofile der einzelnen P2P Plattformen an, hinterfrage deren Entwicklungen, teile meine persönlichen Einschätzungen und beobachte übergeordnete Trends aus der Welt des Crowdlendings.    
Mein Bestseller "Geldanlage P2P Kredite" gilt in Fachkreisen als das beste deutschsprachige Finanzbuch zum gleichnamigen Thema. Zudem versammeln sich in der P2P Kredite Community auf Facebook tausende von Privatanlegern, die sich regelmäßig über die Anlageklasse P2P Kredite austauschen. 

2 comments

  1. I have seen you have stopped with Debitum june last year.
    I am considering to start with Debitum, as one of the few business loans platforms.
    They are rated positively on other sites like p2plendingsites.com and p2pincome.com.
    Can you specify the main reason(s) you stopped with Debitum?

    It see quite a difference between your own IR results (in the end less than 6%, despite Debitum zero default rate), and what Debitum projects, 14%. That is my main concern. On paper things look good, but reality is quite different???

    1. My biggest concern is that they don’t publicly share AUM development and the performance of their portfolio. Also, some of their data displayed is clearly misleading investors and the decision with regards to Chain Finance was clearly not made in favor of investors. Now they are pushing funds for new Sandbox lender that is owned by one of their founders and I don’t like this conflict of interest. I wouldn’t rule out an investment in the future again, but prior I want to see some improvements from their new owners.

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