Envestio review – Flying to Riga to meet the team

This Envestio review is 100% unbiased and based on my own experiences only.

What is Envestio?

Envestio works in the field of providing bridge financing/equity replacement loans to the owners of investment projects. At the moment, main industries are real estate development, energy production, urban mining, and production of equipment/hardware for crypto-mining.

Envestio started as a private investment fund in 2014 and decided to go public in the end of 2017. A total of 22 projects have been successfully completed. 5 active projects are currently available on the website.

At the time of writing 736 active investors have raised 1.246.273 EUR on the platform.

Is Envestio a scam?

Good question! Investment rule #1 is “Never loose your money”.

Scammers usually shy away from personal contact. So what better way to find out, than flying to Riga and meeting them in person? Let’s see if the people fits the pictures and if the information on the website can be trusted.

Spoiler alert: Envestio is not a scam. They are a legit company trying their best to build a good investment platform with premium returns.

Traveling to Riga

On June 28th I boarded a Bombardier CS300 and traveled from Denmark to Riga, Latvia to meet the Envestio team.

I invited my mom to come along because she also invest in different projects and platforms. Short trips like this is a good opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

As you can see from my savings rate, I don’t spend much money on luxury. However, when I travel I like to spoil myself a bit with a nice meal on the plane. It usually costs 11-16€ per meal, but I enjoy it so much, it’s worth every cent to me.

Even though we are saving up for financial freedom one has to enjoy the present and not only focus on the future.

Appetizer: Smoked salmon with lime, potato pancake and salat. Main course: Oven roasted chicken breast with fried potatoes, bread, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and sweet peas. Dessert: Dark chocolate cake.

Arriving in Riga

When we arrived in Riga I opened my Taxify app, which is the Baltic version of Uber. I found and used this app when I was visiting Bondora’s office in Tallinn in January 2018. Taxify is a great and cheap way to get around.

A few minutes after plotting our pickup and final destination into the app the driver arrived. The 30 minute from the airport to the hotel ended up costing us 8,50€. In Denmark, it would cost me the same in starting fees, just to enter the taxi.

The hotel

Monika Centrum Hotel was going to be our home for the next 2 days. It’s a nice hotel within walking distance to the “old town” in central Riga.

Evgeniy (I call him Eugene), the COO of Envestio, was so kind to welcome us at the hotel, just to say hi and to tell us about the schedule for the next day. We would meet at 10:00 the next morning in their office about 1 km down the road. After a small office tour, we would go on a day trip to see 3 finished crypto currency mining projects and 3 actual real estate and development projects which are already available for investment on the platform.

When everything was clear, we said good-bye for now and parted. Now we were ready to explore Riga on our own and get some dinner.

Monika Centrum Hotel in Riga, by night

Dining in Riga

When I’m traveling I’m always using TripAdvisor to find good restaurants. I’m searching for restaurants nearby and filter the results by highest rating. I’ve never been disappointed with the experiences, all the restaurants have been absolutely incredible. This was no different!

The highest rated (and probably the most expensive) restaurant is called Vincents. We didn’t go for this one though. From experience, it’s almost impossible to get a table on the highest rated venue with a few hours notice.

The second highest rated restaurant in the area is Milda. I called them and I was able to reserve a table, so we decided to try it out. We ordered a 3 course menu with wine and it was a very pleasant experience.

Restaurant Milda Riga
If you enjoy finer dining, I would definitely recommend traveling to the Baltic countries. The food is delicious and the prices are very affordable.

Team Envestio

The next morning at 10:00 AM we met the Envestio team in their office in Riga. It’s a really nice office space that they acquired 3-4 months ago.

Envestio office Riga
Envestio’s headquarter is based just outside Tallinn in Estonia but they have an office in Riga as well on Elizabetes eila 85.

We spent about half an hour talking and asking questions. Most of my questions had already been addressed in the endless stream of emails I had sent to Eugene in the weeks prior to the meeting. But it was nice to meet them in person and have a little chit-chat.

Envestio review
From left: My mom (Investor), Evgeniy Kukin (Senior Project Manager, Head of Finance), Liene Meldere (Investment and Development Advisor), Valentins Kisels (IT Development Advisor)
Envestio review
From left: Evgeniy Kukin, Liene Meldere , Valentins Kisels
Envestio review
Me and Evgeniy doing the famous president handshake 🙂

Finished projects

The first stop on our day trip was to see some of the finished crypto currency mining projects.

The mining container in the picture below hosts hardware, assembled and sold to the client “Baltreit” SIA. In the list of finished projects these are labeled “Mobile Mining Unit A03”, Mobile Mining Unit A04”, and “Mobile Mining Unit A05”.

Please remember, that Envestio provides funding to companies which are looking for capital to expand their current business. Envestio is not involved in any crypto currency mining activities itself.

Envestio cryptocurrency mining container
The mining equipment is directly attached to a power plant for cheap electricity.

Current projects

You can read a lot more about the current projects on the Envestio webpage. Click on Projects in the top menu.

The next stop on our day trip was to see the “Power Plant – Development” project.

The power plant was originally built in 2012. Envestio co-funded an expansion in the first half of 2015 (April-May), where the second phase went into operation. Now, in 2018, it’s ready for further development.

The power plant is an effective, environmental-friendly facility that uses modern equipment and renewable energy source (wood chips) for production of thermal and electric power. The power plant provides hot water and electricity to the nearby municipality.

Especially during the summer, the power plant produces excess heat and energy that is not currently monetized. This is why they want to build a new grain drying facility that could make good use of the excess heat. The money raised by Envestio participants will fund this purpose.

Envestio power plant
A big pile of wood chips in front of the power plant.
Envestio power plant
This is the second section. It looks almost identical to the first section.
Envestio power plant
The wood chips are burning within the walls of this orange framed oven.
Envestio power plant
A live animated illustration of the combustion process is shown on nearby computer screens.

Investors get a nice 18% interest rate for investing into this 10 month project. The first 3 interest repayments have already been returned to the investors.

Construction of Modern “Slowfood” Street Market

The second stop was to see the location of the Modern “Slowfood” Street Market, which is now available for investment on the platform.

Latvian company SIA “Zelta Jumts” owns a land plot with a total area of 815 m2 in the very centre of Riga at the corner of Bruninieku and Kr. Barona Streets, surrounded by historical buildings and well-developed infrastructure. They have received a construction permit to build a number of 1-2 story wood pavilions with total useful area of 300 m2.

The company is looking forward to attract 350,000 EUR through bridge-financing from Envestio participants. Valuation of the land plot without construction is 870,000 EUR.

Investors get 17% interest rate for investing into this 9 month project. The first interest repayment was already returned to the investors.

Envestio slowfood market
Current state – Construction is scheduled to start in October.
Envestio slowfood market
Architectural drawing – The tree will be preserved and is a key design element.
Envestio slowfood market
Architectural drawing – Expected final result. I look very much forward to eating here next time I visit Riga.

Barona 72

The third project is located just on the opposite corner of the Slowfood  Street Market project described above.

SIA Baltic Real Estate Holding, an experienced Latvian real estate developer, is launching the construction process of 2500 m2 apartment building at Krisjana Barona Street 72, Riga and is planning to attract  medium-term mezzanine financing for 24 months.

Barona 72 (the official name of the project) will be a modern 22 apartment property, located on the cross of two historical streets in the central part of Riga: Krisjana Barona Street, which is a pedestrian devoted vibrant boulevard with lots of restaurants, cafes, and small shops, and Bruninieku Street – quiet and cosy avenue which is perfect for a slow walk among Riga art nouveau heritage.

Investors get 18% interest rate for investing into this 24 month project. The first interest repayment is scheduled for 15.07.2018.

Envestio Barona 72
Current state – Construction is scheduled to start in October.
Envestio Barona 72
Architectural drawing – Expected final result

Envestio review – Conclusion

My first impressions of Envestio and the team are very positive. They are kind, helpful, professional people with a great attitude.

Even though that platform is quite new, Envestio’s private investment fund has operated since 2014, so it functioned for 3,5 years before going public. The amount of completed projects shows they know what they’re doing.

The key distinction from many other Crowdinvesting and P2P platforms is that they are financing real business ventures that brings tangible added value to the economy, instead of simply refinancing personal loans. I really like that.

On top of that, the interest rates offered are very generous. Currently from 17-22% per year. And because the platform is young, it’s actually possible to get a share in the projects. Other popular platforms have too many investors and not enough projects.

Overall, I’m very positive and truly excited to see what the future holds for Envestio.

If you sign up and invest with Envestio through my referral link, you will get a 5€ bonus when you deposit at least 100€. In addition, you will also get a 0,5% cash back on all your investments the first 270 days. That’s 9 full months!

Envestio review part 2 is coming

I will make a part 2 of this Envestio review at a later stage. The second part will be about the platform itself and I will show you how everything works in more detail.

If you would like a notification when the post is published, make sure you’re subscribed to the blog.

Various pictures from our trip to Riga

This was my first trip to Latvia. It’s a really nice country! Have you been in Riga? If not, I will finish this review with a small photo collage for you to enjoy.

Riga canal boat tours
Canal boat tours are available. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to try it.
Riga by night
Restaurants and café’s have heated terraces. It’s very cozy in the evening. If you ate too much, a bicycle taxi driver will happily transport you to your hotel.
Statue in Riga
Excuse my ignorance. I’m not sure who this statue is.
Romantic boat ride Riga Canals
I was lucky to capture this shot of a guy giving his girlfriend a romantic boat ride experience. The canals light up in the evening. The colors change seamlessly between blue, green, red, yellow etc.
Lighthouse Riga
A beautiful lighthouse next to the spring in the canals of Riga
Latvian flag Riga canal
I’ve never seen a flag this big. Compare it to the Radisson Blu hotel buildings right next to it. The flagpole must be close to 50 meters high.
Bridge Riga Canal
Did you know that Envestio, Mintos, Grupeer, Robocash, Crowdestor, Twino and Swaper all have offices in Riga? I will probably come back another time to visit all of them.

More stories, more pictures?

Some people say I have a lot of numbers on my blog. For this reason, I tried a different approach this time and created a post with a lot of pictures and shared more details of my journey with you.

If you liked it and would like future posts to be more like this, please hit the like button below! Are you here for the numbers or do you appreciate personal stories as well?

Share your experience

Have you invested with Envestio? Do you have any questions or concerns? Please share your experience or thoughts on the platform below.

As investors we are all equal, small or big, it doesn’t matter. Let’s unite and prosper from the combined intelligence of our community!

45 Replies to “Envestio review – Flying to Riga to meet the team”

  1. Really cool post. Thank you for sharing all this information about Envestio, living in the south of Europe it would be hard to make this trip so your perspective and experience is very important!

  2. Money on the way to you – I just joined via your referal link.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Hey Jorgen, thanks for the review. I really liked it!

    I will transfer funds to Envestio soon. All the best

    By the Way: i think Crowdestor also has an office in Riga, but i am not completely sure about this.

  4. Hi Jorgen (I use English Keyboard),

    Thanks for the deep research. Somehow I came across your blog recently and immediately started following you. I like the way you presented the Envestio. In fact, I also read your Crowdestate post. I signed up for both platforms and have started using/testing them.

    Looking forward to more interesting stuff from you!

    1. Hi Kalyan,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Comments like yours is what keeps me motivated to spend countless hours on writing new blog posts.

      I will do my best to provide interesting content to all of you.

  5. Hello Jørgen,

    Do you know is it possible to invest in Envestio as a company?
    I didn’t find that option in Envestio registering page.
    How do you invest in crowfunding sites, as private investor or as company?

    1. Hi EP,

      I asked Eugene (coo@envestio.com) a similar question on 31.07.2018 and this was his reply:

      “Some people are asking about multiple accounts, also business accounts, so there will definitely be a possibility of having more than a one.”

      So it’s definitely in the cards, but I don’t know if it’s possible yet. If you want to start investing as a company just drop him an email.

      I’m investing as a private person. Maybe I will switch to a company later on.

  6. Thanx for interesting story. Ended up here by coincidence. Will look closer on the companies you write about! Regards, T
    Ps. The statue is Alexander Pushkin. The Russian author.

    1. Hi Toscananext,

      Pleasure is mine! Feel free to look around and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

      Thanks for enlightening me. In a way it makes me feel less stupid. I have not read any books by Russian authors. Maybe I should!

      Best regards,
      Jørgen

  7. Great review. Finally someone who goes directly to the source. I’ll use your link to get an account there. 😉

      1. That’s for sure. It’s always better to have a look for yourself.

        Greet your mother. 😉

  8. Hi Jørgen,

    Have you tried to withdraw money from Envestio? I did not readily find any info on their website (e.g. processing time/potential fees).

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers

    1. Hi Asbjorn,

      I have not tried to withdraw money yet but I’m not concerned about it. For whatever it’s worth, I have tried to use the buyback guarantee (sell an investment) and receive 95% of my principal back into my account. That worked like a charm.

      There are no fees for investors on Envestio and I guess the processing time will be 2-3 days like all other P2P platforms.

  9. Hi Jørgen.
    When will you post the second part of the review of Envestio? I’m looking forward to read it!

  10. In estonian group there is also a discussion about Envestio, https://www.facebook.com/groups/finantsvabadus/permalink/2643239132567378/?comment_id=2645578342333457&notif_id=1536369274631626&notif_t=group_comment_reply

    And people are worried, that for example DAGRE Ltd, that have got few loans from Envestio, have only 1 (one) employee, and other investments looks like to be owned by Envestio owners

    I also started invested there, but some things, like a 20-21% interest looks strange

    1. Hi Eduard,

      Thanks for sharing your concerns. It’s good to do some research to ensure everything is like it should be.

      Is it a problem that Dagre only has 1 employee, if the company relies on one advanced machine to extract the precious metals from the equipment? I don’t think so.

      Which projects do you think are owned by Envestio’s owners? Please make sure to post links to the sources when making statements. Such rumors could be created by competing companies. We need facts, not rumors 🙂

      20-21% interest doesn’t look strange if you understand how bridge financing works.

      1. Hi Jorgen,

        At the moment these are only rumours yes, I havent done any deep research by myself, so I also hope that Envestio is a good company. If everything goes well I am planing to invest up to 10% of my portfolio there. Also waiting for the possibility to invest as a company, because in Estonia company doesnt pay income taxes until it start to pay dividends, and as a private investor I have to pay taxes every year

    2. @Eduard – I checked the VAT numbers and history of the companies – so far all seems legit. Some of the companies operate since 1996 or 2008, others are at least 3-4 years old.

  11. Hi.
    I have been using Envestio for about 2 months now. Interest are coming and all looks good. My question is have you tried to get your money transferred back to your bank account? Is there any fees?

  12. Hi Toni,

    Asbjorn asked the same question last month. See my answer from 06/09/2018 AT 14:15 (or press CTRL + F and search this page for “buyback”).

    Best,
    Jørgen

    1. I don’t mean buyback. I mean getting your money back from Envestio site to your bank account.

  13. Hi Jørgen,

    I’ve started to receive my first interest payments from Envestio, and I must say that this is by far the most promising platform that I’ve tried. I really like that you get a monthly payout, which will allow me to re-invest my interests every month. Do you know of similar platforms (that payout the interests on a monthly basis)?
    I like the real estate projects, so I’m looking for a site that can rival envestio, both in terms of interest rate and in amount of projects.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Nick,

      I couldn’t agree more. Monthly interest payments and high interest rates and buyback guarantee ticks all the right boxes for me.

      Crowdestor is the closest rival I can think of. They haven’t released as many projects though. And there is no buyback guarantee.

      Crowdestate is another good option, they have several projects released every month. The interest rates used to be high, but lately, most projects give around 11%. No buyback guarantee here, but very high success rate.

      Grupeer is a great option as well. Several business and real estate projects are released every month. Interest rates up to 15% and you get a full buyback guarantee on the platform.

      Jørgen

      1. Yea, I noticed Grupper as well pays monthly interest on the loans. Current projects are “only” at 13% though, but I can see historically that 15-16% loans are also issued via Grupeer. I’ll keep my eyes open for new investment opportunities at Grupeer 😉
        I really like Bulkestate too, but unfortunately, they don’t pay out monthly interest on the projects, so I’m reluctant to invest too heavily in that platform at the moment. They do however give incentives if you invest a certain amount in their projects, which I have received already on my first project (although it was 1 day late – I wrote to them wondering when the incentive payouts was going to arrive – and they then arrived on the next day…Coincidence? I don’t know.)

  14. Signed up through your link and made 2 nice investments. 🙂 I do have 1 question though: why is their office and most of the projecst located in Latvia, but is the company from Estonia?

    1. Thanks Bart, I appreciate it! I think it’s mainly because of regulation, if they could have headquarters in Latvia they would have preferred that. Try to email their support, then you’ll get a more precise answer 🙂

  15. Hi Jorgen, thanks to you I have an Envestio investor and was wondering about the so-called new investments that appear in the platform. For instance, this “Fruits wholesale – factoring 6” is from the same borrower (SIA MERKURS-RIGANTE) as the “”Fruits wholesale – factoring 5”; the same happens with projects from “SRR JSC” – Renewal of freight containers – Tier N.
    So, what seems to be happening is that
    – in the first case the company is rolling over their debt, as soon as one loan ends, another one comes
    – the second case is similar but the loans actually overlay: Tier 8 is 100k and started Nov 7th and Tier 9 is 90k and started 14th Nov, so actually 190k of loan amount!

    This seems strange from a risk management perspective and not very reassuring for the investor, shouldn’t the new projects come from different companies? And what about the same company with 2 active loans? What are your thoughts on these issues?

  16. Their buyback promise seems a bit strange to me. If they have cash to immediately buy back 95% of all investors’ investments at any time, why would they need to collect retail investors’ money in the first place… And if they don’t have such pile of cash, then they’re promising something that they won’t be able to deliver under a negative scenario (too many investors triggering buyback). Am I missing something?

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