European investors have raised the alarm on Estonian peer-to-peer platform Envestio, which has seemingly shut down while still holding €33m (£27.87m) of lender funds.
Over the past week, worried investors have taken to social media and P2P forums to complain that the company’s website is down, and their withdrawal requests have gone unanswered. It is believed that the last payouts received by investors were requested on 12 January.
A statement on the website of the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN) confirmed that the body has been investigating Envestio – as well as fellow Estonian platform Kuetzal – since late 2019 and both platforms have now been reported to the National Conduct Authority.
“ECN has received a large number of inquiries by concerned investors who have not been able to withdraw funds from their accounts nor claim to have received any communication from the platforms,” the statement said.
“ECN cannot judge at this point in time if the platforms have acted in breach of law. But the overall situation does not seem adequate. We hope that the situation at both Estonian platforms, Kuetzal and Envestio, is temporary and wish both investors and platform a quick and positive solution.”
More than 13,000 investors are believed to be registered with the Tallinn-based platform, with the majority coming from Italy, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
Envestio launched in early 2018 and offered business loans to borrowers across Europe. In turn, investors were offered as much as 20 per cent in interest rates. The company was sold to a new owner last year.
Read more: P2P in 2019: The highs and the lows
Envestio has claimed that the website and withdrawal issues are due to a hacking attempt and slammed the media reports covering the investor complaints.
“We tend to consider these attempts as a consistent and well-planned set of actions aimed to cause significant financial and reputational damage, as a result of which the Envestio platform should inevitably begin to experience substantial difficulties with current payments to its investors,” the company said.
“We assume that the ultimate goal of all these actions is to devalue overall Envestio’s business, and the subsequent potential raider takeover of the company or an attempt to eliminate the company from the industry, getting rid of as strong competitor.”