Last January, Kuetzal and Envestio shutdown their fraudulent operations. After that, Monethera and Grupeer also defaulted on their promises. Based on business model similarities also Wisefund was in my problems list. With the lack of interest payment last July 31st, I’m writing down my investments and urging any other investor in the platform to take action.
One Recognizable Business Model
After the hard lessons learned with Kuetzal, Envestio, and Monethera it was easy enough for any investor familiar with these platforms business model that Wisefund could be the next one. Even so, in March the platform was actively searching for companies to finance, paying for press release promotion online, as you can read here and here, just as examples.
But checking the lessons learned, let’s do a quick checklist:
People. Who are they? Can you verify them?
When the platform started their operations, these were the faces presented to the public:
Olga Bobrova as founder, Rinalds Ters as Chief Executive Officer, Ingus Linkevics as Chief Marketing Officer (later taking the responsibility for Legal and platform Operations, being also CEO of Andromo, a mobile app builder), Georgijs Bodonenko as Chief Technology Officer (even if no experience can be associated to his profile), Diana Ozolina for Customer Support, and Dmitrijs Gamajunovs as Head of Partnerships (with no online presence).
From the initial team, only Ingus and Diana remain, with Ingus surprisingly assuming the ownership of the company. A young and inexperienced CEO and a sudden change of ownership of what can be understood as a hidden shareholder structure is a combination for disaster.
Company Background. Structure & Network
Wisefund states a partnership with Nord Capital Markets, for due diligence of projects, but no clear evidence of such partnership is available online. Other relevant link to this discussion is the buyback guarantee by a third-party, Best Treasure Limited. This was later abandoned in the beginning of the year, with may answered questions. Without a clear online footprint, it is almost impossible to understand the company background, structure and network.
Marketing over Finance & Tech
Simply… yes! Secure investment? Easy, I can confirm that is very easy to invest… but secure? Only if I get my principle back!
Customer Service & Communication
A big mess. From initial availability to join every single investor channel, over the last 4 months the information is scarce and unreliable. The updates on the platform are random and replies to investors are copy/paste from one to another.
Loans that don’t make sense
Looking to some of the companies that received loans, it is very hard not to start checking information and realizing that most companies are recent, one man operations with a very small online footprint. Find out more here.
Bank Accounts & Interest Payment Methods
After the problems opening a bank account… Withdraws of available money work almost instantaneously. However, just last week, some investors reported the payment of interest in multiple projects, while others didn’t received anything. The payment of interest seams to be random and made to divide investors opinions on what is really going on with the platform. In my particular case, I did not receive any interest payments from my investments.
In the past I was among the bloggers that promoted these type of P2P platforms. If you are among the investors that decided to invest in them following my posts, I’m deeply sorry about all this mess. Part of my decision to restructure the entire blog is exactly to get things right. I just hope everyone is able to receive their investments back and I’m wrong in classifying Wisefund as a fraud.
A group of investors is collecting information from all interested in proceed with a legal action. You can find the instructions here, and the questionnaire here. And if you want to be informed on all the activity, my recommendation is for you to join the dedicated Telegram Group.
We, as investors, should do the same, as Killer Mike urged protesters to do in Atlanta: “plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize“. Then act!