Finding a jewel

More than 1000 Grupeer happy clients have invested in Promenada – a mixed-use modern building in Brest, Belarus and more development projects are placed on Grupeer Platform from Norway. But you need to know your heroes, and more precisely who is Primo Invest, a loan originator who makes all these amazing deals possible!

Grupeer has taken a lot of responsibility, first, we promised to create a “safe environment”, where clients can relax and invest because we have done “homework” for them. Now, we decided to introduce you to our trusted partners, the loan originators. We paid a visit to Primo Invest offices, located in prime location in central Riga, just opposite the famous hotel “Radisson Latvia”, here we are greeted by its CEO Harijs Egle. Here, in the comfort of his office, decorated with memorabilia and wooden desks he agreed to tell us his success story.

SIA Primo Invest was founded over 1 year ago. The short history may sound surprising, but this is the advantage. How? Well, here at Grupeer we work with young companies, but with matured professionals. The young companies may have difficulty in obtaining bank financing, but Grupeer looks at the track record of management behind them, additionally, conducting due diligence of projects they are working on. This allows us to pass the high-interest rate onto our clients. And Primo Invest has satisfied our selection criteria, as Harijs Egle has more than 20 years’ experience in his field. But first things first.

After finishing the university 20 years ago, Harijs started work in one of the biggest banks in Latvia- Swedish Hansabanka, now known as Swedbanka. Despite his young age (22 years old), he worked as a project manager in a Real Estate division. This is how his love affair with real estate projects and more precisely their financing started. In the period of 2 years, he is the team of six people have managed a real estate portfolio, which they eventually grew to more than 20 million Lats (equivalents to Eur 28 million). This experience not only sparked his interest in working in the field, but also gave him an understanding that he is good in it.

After leaving the bank, Harijs started his own business and through the years he has perfected the business model and management techniques. His latest venture – SIA Primo Invest is offering various services, but the main revenue stream is Equity Financing. Their clients have encountered difficulty in obtaining full financing, as their personal guarantees weren’t enough to secure the desired loan amount. In this event, Primo Invest steps in and if the project goes through predefined risk and investment return criteria, they offer several options. First, they can offer to finance the concrete project or alternatively they can finance the working capital requirements.

Throughout the years and acquiring experience Harijs and his team has developed a strict screening procedure, looking at the project valuation and cash flows to get a clear financial picture replicating typical bank procedures. Every team member has a role he or she is responsible for and they are very pragmatic. “We are deliberately very skeptic towards every project that comes to us, and our stance is pessimistic, rather than optimistic”, laughs Harijs, “but it has allowed us to find jewel projects”. And that’s true, take, for example, Promenada- this is not your regular building, it will be the only AAA real estate in Brest, on the historically prestigious pedestrian street. The surrounding where Promenada is standing is breathing with history and contrasts the state-of-the-art technology used the in the construction of the building. The finished property will become a luxurious home for many families, as well as a place to hang out in several modern cafes, besides that it will be address for a hotel and a commercial bank. Harijs admits that for Western Europeans Belarus still has an image of a risky country, however, the personal experience of his friends who entered this market is very positive. So, after a careful examination of potential businesses, he found this project. He says that a very good sign is that client participates in the project himself- more than 80%, this was a good guarantee that the project is very promising.

The Norwegian projects listed on Grupeer platform, were a product of perfect combination- Primo Invest uses their financing capabilities and their partner, a building company, adds more than 10 years’ experience of assembling timber houses and the skilled labor force. The unique selling point is clear- the wealthy Scandinavian nation buys a quality houses produced in cost competitive Latvia.

Harijs and his team have great plans for the future- to become a leading real estate financing company and alternative financing provider in Latvia and Baltics in the next 5 years. To do so they are constantly exploring the new technologies and one of them is p2p lending platforms, as they are beneficial for both parties- the lenders and the borrowers. Currently, Primo Invest has 4 very promising projects in the pipeline and Harijs is very excited to see the results of their work. He knows how much satisfaction and profit a finished project can bring, as he has participated in the full life circle of development projects -finding the land, construction, renting and then a sale of several supermarkets in Latvia, and many more projects! We, at Grupeer, share his enthusiasm and invite you to participate in the building of the new developments and economy, so invest with confidence!

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