Interview with Vitalijs Zalovs, new CEO of Esketit
In April, one of the most experienced people in P2P loans in Latvia, Vitalijs Zalovs, joined Esketit as CEO. We sat down for a cup of coffee and discussed his previous experience and the plans that he has for the growth of Esketit.
Vitalijs, can you please expand a little bit about yourself and your experience in Fintech?
I have almost 10 years of experience in finance. I started out in banking, and for the past six years, I was a part of one of Europe’s biggest platforms for investing in loans. During this time, I have seen the massive development in investing in loans and have experienced all the possible tasks any platform has on its way of development.
How did you decide on joining Esketit?
When the founders of the platform approached me, it was an easy decision for me as it is a great opportunity. I see the gigantic potential that Esketit has – it is owned by entrepreneurs who have led their lending business which hasn’t defaulted and brought losses upon their investors even once. I think it is of great value for any potential future investor of the Esketit platform, together with our founders, to earn from businesses they already have and businesses they are developing now.
Obviously, it is important to know the source of funding when we speak about platform development. Can you please extend on how Esketit is funded?
Its owners and loan originators fund the development of the platform. We have enough cash to safely run all the operations.
Investing with Esketit
What type of product will be available for investors on Esketit? Any plans on expanding the Product Range in the future?
We will start with offering investments in consumer and business loans. We will offer short-term and installment loans first. Then, depending on investors` demand and feedback, we may add some other commonly requested products.
Apart from Creamfinance group Loan Originators, do you plan to expand the Loan Originator portfolio and place new Loan Originators? If yes, would that be Loan Originators owned by the founders of Esketit or external ones?
We plan to add loans also from other loan originators, not only CreamFinance. As you can already see on our platform, there is information about loan originators from Jordan and Sri Lanka; Soon, loans from these countries will be available to invest in. Our Founders own these loan originators.
How will Buyback Obligation work in real life? And do all of Esketit’s Loan Originators come with this feature?
Buyback Obligation usually is financed by interest rate spread which Loan Originators use to fund their business and fund payment for Buyback Obligation. All Esketit Loan Originators will have it eventually. Besides, all CreamFinance loans will also have a Group Guarantee – in case the Loan Originator cannot fulfill its BuyBack Obligation towards investors, the CreamFinance Group steps in to satisfy the BuyBack obligation.
Speaking about the thing called “passive income.” What can investors expect (on an annum basis) to gain from investing with Esketit?
Our investors can expect up to 14% annual income. However, investors need to understand that investing in loans involves some risk. We aim to offer up to 13% for CreamFinance loans and higher rates for loans from geographies where we are developing new businesses. In their 10+ years of experience in the P2P market, owners of the platform haven’t defaulted even once, meaning – they’ve never lost any investor money.
It’s no secret that you have previously worked for Europe’s biggest P2P lending platform, helping to drive it to its current success; Do you think this experience will help you in developing Esketit?
Definitely! It was a very all-inclusive experience. I have seen how the P2P market develops – it will help us in creating an excellent platform for investors with a splendid track record of not ever losing investors` money throughout the entire career of our co-founders in this field.
What benefits can investors gain from investing in Esketit, knowing that the owners of Esketit, co-founders of Creamfinance Group, Matiss and Davis, have skin in the game in all Loan Originators placed on your platform?
In our opinion, the main benefit is that the Founders of the platform allow and invite Esketit investors to participate in their journey and gain from the businesses they already have and the businesses that they are developing.
From your point of view, what are the possible risks for investors in the field of investing in P2P loans?
Firstly, investors need to understand that every investment in this world has some risk associated with it, and investors need to know what they are. Our team has created a Security & risks section, where the key risks and management have been explained in detail. On top of that, I can add that, in my opinion, the year 2020 was a year in which a lot of those risks materialized, and investors can now better understand what they need to focus on to make good decisions regarding investing. In my opinion, the main risks are related to recognizing who owns the P2P platform you’re about to invest with – the reputation of the owners and how accurately and reliably they treat investors` funds.
Secondly, it is crucial that businesses where you invest, are lead by managers who understand business from A to Z and truly know what they’re doing.
What sets Esketit apart from its competitors?
Even though the platform itself is very young, our 10+ years of experience in loan issuing and track record of never losing investors` funds are the main focus points.
What do you think the future of investing in loans looks like?
I think this type of investing is becoming more and more recognized, and I still see a lot of growth potential here.
What are the business loans that we can see are available on Esketit?
Those are loans to fund our businesses in Jordan and Sri Lanka. We are still working on placing the final loans to borrowers on the platform too. Still, for the time being, as we have demand from our close investors who have invested in our businesses previously, those loans are mainly placed there for them, they are almost entirely pre-subscribed, but other investors can purchase these loans as well.
Thank you so much, Vitalijs. Hope to talk to you again to observe the platform’s success under your supervision!
I think we’re on our way towards something great – making money by smart and safe investing is an amazing opportunity. Especially, when working with people who really know what they’re doing. I’m honored to join a team of such professionals who know how to handle their money and the money of investors.