We finished the last year on a major improvement to Bondora; we introduced Bondora Rating and risk-based pricing to make investing across multiple markets easier, more transparent and more consistent. This change was imminent to accommodate the new investors, who did not have or were not willing to develop the sophistication of early adopters, but rather sought the premium returns Bondora provides.

This year marked a point in time when marketplace lending went truly mainstream with the investors on both sides of the spectrum, from retail investors to global hedge funds, joining the game. In order to accommodate the changing landscape of investors and continue on our mission of “lending beyond borders” we aim to evolve Bondora to the new level by the end of this year.

The core product will remain intact; namely, we will continue growing the supply of investment opportunities across the markets we operate, as well as remain as transparent as possible about the data we collect about the borrowers. However, the way Investors will be able to invest into loan listings will change:

Passive Investing: Bondora.com (or the web layer) will transition to being a product geared solely towards passive investors. In practice it means the following:

  • We will replace Portfolio Manager and Portfolio Builder with a new product that will be free of unnecessary complexities, such as allocations, bid amounts, etc., and will fully automate achieving the preferred rate of return at the desired risk level;
  • Portfolio Builder will be a sole option for investing (or selling your investments) through the web layer; thus, we will sunset both Primary and Secondary Markets;
  • We will consolidate reporting (such as Investment List, Transactions, Account Statement, Data Export, etc.) into a single section making it the sole “go to place” for regular or adhoc reporting purposes.

In a nutshell: Think of highly sophisticated investment engine that works towards your target return and is controllable through a single-page dashboard.

Active Investing: an API (Application Program Interface) will be introduced to support investors looking to use custom investing strategies. In practice it mean the following:

  • We will provide all investors a programmatic way (through an API) to access and invest into all loans that have passed our credit checks and scoring;
  • Similarly to the current loan listing details, the API will provide all information about the prospect borrower that we are legally allowed to provide; thus, investors will be able to apply custom evaluation models before making an investment decision;
  • We are investing into infrastructure to ensure robustness and stability of the API in the events of high volume requests what was difficult to maintain through a web interface.

In a nutshell: Think of a highly granular and extremely fast access to all investment opportunities (a fire hose) without the limitations that a web layer imposes.

Instead of building and maintaining web layer features for a narrow user base, the above will allow us to focus the efforts of our 50+ people team on things that will benefit every investor on the platform; namely, growing of supply of quality investment opportunities and further improving the credit scoring.

We have already initiated the talks with developers that will build the tools for investors based on our API. We are happy to support the developer community with our know how, user surveys, as well as feature requests that we have collected over the years, but never got to implement ourselves. If you are interested in learning more about the API please email us at [email protected].


42 responses to “Advancing Bondora to the Next Level: Platform Upgrades Coming this Fall”

  1. Hi,

    (1) Will all type of investors be treated equally or will be some more equal than others?
    (2) Do institutional investors get faster, better access to loans?
    (3) Will insitutional investors swallow complete loans?
    (4) How will your algorithm handle the fact that demand for prime loans (namely Estonia) ís higher than supply?
    (5) Who will be first to invest: Investors using the Bondroa GUI or investors using the API? Will there be a quere? Will all type of investors be in the quere?
    (6) Will your “new product” also sell my loans in my loanbook automatically?
    (7) As the secondary market is discontinued, how can I liquefy my loanbook?

    Let me put something right: You say that you make this all for investors that do not have the time or capability to look deep enough where they want to invest their money, but want to get the prime returns of Bondora. The truth is …
    … that investors that believed your return predictions for spanish, finnish and slovakian loans are sitting in big doo-doo ATM.

    YaCop

    • Hello!

      It’s too early to respond to some of your questions, but we will provide more details in the coming future on specific changes.

  2. I assume there will be about 10 different follow up blog posts explaining how this works and how people will be able to exit since this is literally a completely different investment opportunity than what people signed up for when they started with Bondora.

    • Hello, Kristi!

      You’re right, we will provide more details on the upcoming changes once we are ready to roll them out. However, the ability to sell loans will remain and will be available through both the web layer and the API.

  3. Will it be free to use API?
    You were telling that “system will set discount on SM”. Will it be so? How discount/premium will be settled?

    When preliminary start of API planned?
    When we can see draft documentation of API? I think it may be the same as you do RFP to develop it (skipping pricing part)

    When this bug on SM (filters on username) will be fixed!? Two weeks we wait it!

    Do you understand that EACH USER OF API automatically will be affected by ALL strategical bugs that Bondora do. How you will protect users? As example, start of Spain/Slovakia had a lot of bad things

    • Hello, Andrej!

      The API will be available to all investors, retail and institutional, in its full capacity and will be free of charge.

      We aim to roll out the API in Q4 of 2015, but will provide the documentation and a sandbox environment for people that want to get hands on experience with it before the roll out.

      We realize the importance of the API and therefore taking time to test it before the roll out.

  4. When will the secondary market be sunsetted? Does sunsetted mean completely removed or maintained and operating but with no more work being done to improve it? How many years of notice will be given before it is no longer available for use, remembering that existing loans have five year lifespans so at least five years is needed to avoid seriously mistreating existing investors who bought the existing product.

    • Hello, James!

      There is not timeline for sunsetting the Secondary Market; however, investor will have an option to sell their investments through both automated product and the API even after the change.

    • Let me try again: when can I expect that Bondora wiil remove the option using Bondora’s web interface and not an API or a combined main and secondary market for buyers to buy using an explicit secondary market and sellers to offer to sell with an explicit discount or premium?

      The reason I am asking the question is that I expect to sell every loan before the change to remove that feature and I want to have time for me and other investors who want this capability provided by Bondora to do it in an orderly way instead of a lot of people trying to sell a lot of investments in the typical no or very short notice time that Bondora provides.

      My preference is to not sell until loans finish their normal time but it seems that Bondora may push me to sell much faster, in days or weeks instead of years.

      Will Bondora wait until tools using the API are readily available for buyers and sellers on the secondary market (not combined with the primary market) before making the change to the web interface secondary market?

  5. I’am very disappointed because all the last changes of bondora are very unfriendly for investors. There are a lot of bugs never fixed, there are restrictions there are missing options as choosing countries. I can’t believe that it will become better with all this new plans.
    If it gets even worse as I fear I will be the next to take my money and run away.
    I’ll be not the first to do so.

    • all the last changes of bondora are very unfriendly for investors. I m not alone to think it

    • Hello!

      The API (and the tools built on top of the API) will allow for a lot of flexibility.

  6. Hello, truly revolutionary changes on the way…

    I’m missing information whether secondary market will continue through the API.

    Will you welcome 3rd party services to offer services on top of your API?

    Thanks in advace,
    carlos

    • Hello!

      The investors will have an option to sell their investments through both the web layer and the API.

      It’s too early to tell on the 3rd party services, but we hope the developer community will be able to add value on top of the API.

  7. Would like a timeframe for this roadmap ASAP. I’m also wondering in what order the changes will be released. Also, whether or not you will be capping sales premiums/discounts again.

    • Hello!

      We will provide more specific deadline in the coming future, but we aim to implement all of the above during Q4 2015.

  8. Dear Bondora:
    First of all, you should know I am typing this with my middle finger

    Pärtel, aug 08 2014 Bondora blog

    “We want to unite European countries giving borrowers and investors greater choice, transparency and options in managing their loans and finances”

    Yeah well, comments?

    • Hello, Mart!

      The API (and the tools that can be built on top of the API) will give investor more flexibility than ever.

    • Hello!

      Recent changes to the application process (verification of the data before listing a loan on the market) caused a short-term drop in the supply of loans (the loan application submitted past the change might still be in the review). As the result, current supply is almost entirely taken up by the Portfolio Managers.

    • Hello, Andrej!

      Aim to fix it with the next release, apologies for the inconvenience.

    • What is the next release? We haven’t got any meaningful deadlines from the support for more than two weeks and they even pointed to this article as “explanation” why these bugs weren’t fixed yet.

      Are you aware that while describing some distant bright future, people cannot cancel their SM asks? That the market core of the system is broken?

    • Hello!

      I understand your frustration, but please keep in mind that Bondora manages tens of million in investors’ funds, so every tiny feature or a bug fix has to go through extensive testing before it sees the light. We understand that it slows down the whole process, but we rather live with that than put investors’ money at risk.

    • You didn’t fix it since weeks! I guess bondora doesn’t want so fix it.
      I asked suppurt and it linked me to this blog entry. Why the hell?
      Sorry, but I can’t trust bondora any more.
      How should I trust an API if you can’ solve such simple problems?

  9. Hello,

    primary and secondary market just disappeared from the site…
    This is according to your unpublished road map or just another bug?

    • Hello!

      Both Primary and Secondary Market are available through the Investment Dashboard (navigate to Invest -> My Investments -> Overview).

  10. Sounds interesting. I do find the Portfolio Manager quite limiting as there are filters beyond credit risk that I would like to invest against. I assume once the sandbox environment is open we will get the opportunity to play. The main question I have is what technologies are being used to create the API and how will that be exposed to the investors ?

    • Hello!

      The API will allow developers to build limitless automation tools (as long as they are not putting investors’ funds at risk). I suggest waiting for the API documentation to learn more about the technologies behind it and the ways to use it.

  11. How easy will it be for a non techy to use this API. Will it be a web interface I can just set or does it require programming knowledge ?

    • Hi,
      It will need programming knowledge. At least how to sсript by using javascript.

  12. 60+ Days Overdue Loans Value (€) 7’538’991
    Interest paid out (€) 8’405’431

    Im wondering, if the overdue loans value will exceed interest paid out ammount. Do you have any comments, about the quality of loans given out and recovery.

    Im betting, that in one year overdue is higher than interest paid out, what is Bondoras thoughts about this problem?

    • Mart R, It’s too early to respond to some of your questions. :-)

      The API (and the tools built on top of the API) will allow for a lot of flexibility. :)

      p.s. sorry for offtopic