On 7th-8th of June, 2019 Riga has hosted the first ever P2P Conference organized by Target Circle. The audience included famous bloggers in P2P lending sphere, individual and institutional investors, loan originators and, of course, the P2P investment platforms.
Grupeer had a pleasure to talk to bloggers and investors. Some questions were tricky and straightforward, some gave us valuable feedback on what can be done better or communicated louder.
What really was striking is that all P2P platforms were not competing between each other, but rather were friendly and have shared their experiences. Thanks to Invest 2019, which happened earlier this year in Stuttgart, Germany we already made connections with other P2P platforms during the dinner organized by Target Circle and Bloggers. Here in Riga we could easily come to the stand of our competitors, ask questions about their business, make a photo at the illusion stand of EstateGuru, or drink 11% beer with DoFinance (NB. 11 is for the return, not the alcohol). Our dear competitors took the bath in our golden bath full of money too, which suggests it could be real money if you invested with us.
Jokes aside, the professionalism level of all attendees was very high. Investors, who managed to fly to Riga were prepared, as this was a great chance to ask some tough face-to-face questions. We decided to reflect on the event and let our investors know what we will improve in the future.
Only good vibes
As peer-to-peer investing is a relatively young branch of alternative finance, there are many uncertainties. Some time ago when more and more peer-to-peer platforms have emerged, everyone became cautions, are we competitors or are we friends? The conference has cleared out all doubts- we definitely are friends, and it is essential for the industry right now. The industry is developing, so it is important to share common concerns and best practices, for the common good. And that is exactly what we were doing. Also, many bloggers and investors pointed out that three Baltic States have a high concentration of peer-to-peer investing platforms. That’s true- the majority of European P2P lending platforms are here, so it is even more important for competitors to have good communication, as we are neighbors after all. An idea to create P2P association came around during the conference and hopefully, this will be realized soon.
“An atmosphere is so cheerful and different from the conferences I attended about traditional finance- it’s amazing! You guys really are the community of innovative and passionate professionals”, told us private investor from Germany. Many investors who attended the conference said they could not imagine the same spirit at more traditional investment conferences.
The best part of the P2P conference was that we could meet face to face with people, who are the reason we are trying to be the best- our clients. It was very rewarding to hear any kind of feedback. It is important for us to know what our clients appreciate and what they think needs to be improved, or changed altogether. The investors came from all over Europe and some of them we knew via the internet or telephone. Some clients have asked challenging questions, getting into in-depth financial situation of each project listed on the platform. Hopefully, we have answered them all and took note of what has to be changed. Currently, we are following up on the information that we have received here in Riga at the conference.
Industry is growing
The industry is not only growing in size but in the solutions and products offered to clients. Some P2P investing platforms have prepared the launch of new product at the conference, some companies announced they are planning to create P2P funds, or enter the new markets. Overall it was useful to know what innovations are happening in the near future, especially for Grupeer, as we are also preparing the launch of the revolutionary new products very soon.
The voice of the industry
The P2P investing community would not be the same without the bloggers, who are writing about it. Because the industry is new, you can’t find the detailed information about it on the regular press, where you usually get your financial updates. The bloggers though, are making an effort and are investigating the business models of P2P platforms, the loan originators that are listed for investment and are checking if the development projects exist in real life. We had a chance to chat with bloggers, they have shared the general sentiment of our clients regarding the Grupeer platform, and told us what needs urgent improvement. Below is the list of bloggers who are the “voice of the industry”- you can get a lot of valuable reviews about the platforms and the industry in their blogs:
Lars Wrobbel- Passives einkommen mit p2p
Claus Lehmann- P2P Banking
Sebastian Worner- Hobby investor
Vincent Wilkomm- Freaky Finance
Bernhard Hummel- Bernhard Hummel
Florian Wagner- Geldschnurrbart
Thomas Kovacs- Sparkojote
Kolja Barghoorn- Aktienmitkopf
Angelo from – P2P Investing
Georg Esager Crowdlendingrocks
Work hard play harder
The second day of the conference was on Saturday and the location changed from the large conference venue to outdoor leisure park just outside Riga. The organization was fantastic, guests could enjoy cold drinks (it was very useful in the heat) and a buffet with grilled meats and veggies. The P2P platforms organized activities- from wakeboarding to beach volleyball. The attendees not only had fun and enjoyed the weather, but did more networking. Surprisingly, the informal atmosphere of the second day has boosted the heated discussions among the participants.
The P2P Conference in Riga has proved the fact that P2P community is stronger than ever. It became evident that despite the informal and cheerful atmosphere that is surrounding the P2P industry it is run by bright professionals, who are willing to disrupt the traditional financial sector. The main goal of the conference was to hear the feedback from our investors, and we got plenty of it. Now, it is time to act, hang on and you will see what great things are about to happen very soon.