Estonian P2P lending platform Kuetzal has ceased operations this week. This is one of the lending platforms that I had warned investors not to invest in, due to many of the projects looking like outright scams.
I hadn’t invested in this platform myself due to that reason, and I hope this serves as a warning sign of the fact that P2P lending is risky business and while there are good profits to be made as investors, we need to be very careful with conducting due diligence on the platforms that we invest in and make sure we only invest in the best ones.
The platform was run by some of the youngest people in P2P lending, which is a concern I highlighted in my review of Fast Invest. It’s hard for people in their early or mid-twenties to really have the necessary maturity and experience to lead a complex financial platform.
All investors received the following email:
Dear Kuetzal investor,
Our team wants to apologize for delays in payments and replies to e-mails received.
Unfortunately we have to inform that Kuetzal is announcing wind-down, furthermore the company will only process withdrawals of the funds, the company is no longer accepting new project applications, investors registrations and deposits. Company’s reputation was harmed sufficiently for the past weeks, and Kuetzal management does not see a way to recover investor’s activity, therefore we may not return to usual working process. The mission of the company may not be reached anymore.
Due to high number of reports, claims and negative messages SEB Bank and PAPAYA (the only two banks that Kuetzal used) initiated the AML check and has temporarily blocked Kuetzal’s bank accounts. Kuetzal is currently unable to perform any operations for undefined period. Kuetzal management is aiming to reestablish the activity of both operational bank accounts and perform buy-backs and withdrawals in shortest terms respectively.
Kuetzal will keep the investors informed.
We have not been able to make Kuetzal a successful player on crowdfunding market. We will however aim to exit the market quietly with minimum repercussion to our customers and the whole crowdfunding market. The website functions furthermore will be limited, only the user area will be kept. All the user area functions will continue working as before.
In case of technical issues with withdrawals or other question we kindly ask to use our contact mail instead of social networks or cellphone to receive the fastest service.
Were you invested in Kuetzal? Did you see it coming?
If you feel scammed by the Kuetzal situation, you can join the Kuetzal action group on Facebook, which aims to get some recourse for burned investors.