When a week ago I saw investors exchanging messages in the ViaInvest Investors telegram group, most of them sounded like this:
New loans available […] Loans have reappeared […] Fresh loans.
Obviously, ivestors manually checked whether there are any loans left on the p2p lending platform. They inform each other to quickly invest in these loans before others.
I caught interest in this and started investigating.
According to members of the community, cash drag is a serious issue for investors on the ViaInvest platform. It means that available funds cannot get reinvested immediately due to a lack of offered loans on the market. It harms a long term investment strategy where rewards should be reinvested in order to benefit from compounded interest. The phenomenon is well known and occurs especially in the beginning of a year on p2p lending platforms, and not only on ViaInvest.
Have a look at the general ViaInvest platform statistics. You can see that the charts of the published and funded loans are nearly congruent. That implies that the primary market is very illiquid. Investors are looking for more loans than the borrowers.
Where resources are scarce, but demand is high, sharp competition is a natural consequence. Yet investors do not only compete for loans when investing manually. When you are too slow for the loans, the auto-invest feature of all other investors try to have their piece of the cake 🍰. For your own auto-invest, that means you may never invest in hardly any loans as you cannot control when the algorithm distributes a free slot to your portfolio.
Luckily, I could come up with a workaround for that.
The straightforward answer to the problem is: let the machine do the job!
I programmed a bot that checks every ten minutes whether new loans are available on the platform. Instead of investors checking manually, the bot is simply publishing a notification in the beyondp2p telegram channel.
I quickly came up with the idea, as I am currently working on all kinds of scrapers for p2p lending sites and its public statistics.
The bot itself is running every ten minutes as a scheduled task in our backend. We could confirm what investors actually observed manually in the group. ViaInvest is publishing loans from 7:30 to 22:30, every three hours, ever day. That results in: 7:30, 10:30, 13:30, 16:30, 19:30 and 22:30. Give it a margin. Sometimes loans are published a bit earlier. Sometimes no loans are published at all.
My guess is that ViaInvest itself is running a scheduler that publishes available loans according to the rhythm. I believe that via an internal API, the loan originators can enqueue fresh loans to be published. And then a consumer job is taking these loans and releases them to the public. But of course, if there are no loans available, no loans can be published. That explains why occasionally no loans are published, although we would expect it.
Finally, it is surprising that the platform itself does not come up with a solution for this. Either they should massively increase their loan volume. Or they should at least inform the investors themselves if there are loans available. However, in the meantime, I am confident that the bot will do a good job 😀👍
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