Live-chat with Robocash executives in summary
On February 27, we conducted an online chat with Sergey Sedov, CEO of Robocash Group, and Grigorii Shikunov, Deputy CFO of Robocash Group.
We've collected the main questions raised during the meeting, as well as the ones you left in our Google form.
New bank and SWIFT block
Could you please tell us more about the change of bank all the sudden? Did the former bank cut you off due to the current Russia/Ukraine crisis considering part of the Robocash group is in Russia?
The decision between The Latvia-based Blue Orange Bank and the Robocash management had moved to suspend the current relationship before the conflict appeared in the Ukraine. On our part, we had been continuously looking to improve the investing experience for the Robocash users. Through our research, we came to an understanding that 3S Money and Robocash can achieve a great synergistic relationship, resulting in a smooth and reliable experience for all Robocash investors.
Meanwhile, withdrawals will continue via Blue Orange Bank until we move to another bank completely. Any new deposits will automatically go to 3S Money.
If the bank change had long been in the making, how come it had been communicated a day after it actually happened?
We initially agreed to have a transition period of 30 days which is in force that also allows to withdraw funds. However, the bank's initiative was to stop incoming payments as we switch to other cooperation partner.
Could you please explain what does the exclusion from the SWIFT mean for Robocash?
Neither the Robocash platform itself, nor its loan originators (none of which are based in Russia) have any relationships with Russian banks. All related transactions, as well as loan disbursement activities of the companies are done through the respective local banks. Therefore, we assure you that none of the money invested on Robocash is in any way transferred to or from Russia, and is not affected by any political tension and resulting sanctions.
The fact that we have sent two transfers to two different banks of two different countries in the same fiscal year will have any implications for the tax return?
As per our treasury Team understanding there will be no tax consequences, however this is an area of expertise of local tax consultants.
How is your Russian LO Zaymer doing so far and how important is it in numbers right now for the whole group? Is there a group guarantee for Zaymer?
Russian business units comprise approximately 60% of Net Income of Robocash Group. But even legally Robocash Group and Zaymer are separate entities. Since Zaymer is not placing loans on the platform, it is not covered by the Group guarantee. The guarantee is applied only to the loan originators of the platform.
Do you still generate profit right now on the group level and how this event will change your plans for the future?
Yes, we generate profit on the group level, our portfolio is growing steadily and we are on track to reach our budget goal - 45mln net profit for the group in 2022. This year we will suspend our expansion and will focus even more on existing businesses - to excel them on an operational level.
The entity in Croatia is profitable and self-sustaining, as is the rest of Robocash Group and its loan originators.
How the ruble currency depreciation could affect the Robocash group?
All our assets and liabilities in Russia are denominated in rubles, so there will be no effect on that.
Are there any problems in the daily work process by the loan originators?
The daily activities of our loan originators are proceeding normally.
Can you explain where are money transfers between the Robocash Group in Singapore and Russian companies or parts of the Robocash Group in Russia? Since for example employees in Russia are active which belong to the Robocash Group.
There are no ongoing transfers between Robocash Group in Singapore and Russian companies or parts of Robocash Group in Russia and we do not plan to do it in future.
About 50% of Robocash group employees are employed in Russia. How do you manage operating risk associated to this allocation, for example salary payments, reacability etc?
All payments related to the Russian share of Robocash Group employees are made in rubles and are not affected by sanctions. The Russian business is profitable and cash-flow positive, meaning that it is able to cover all related costs.
What about Kazakhstan? What if sanctions are imposed on KZ due to its relationship with Russia? I guess that's the first place I would start moving to if I were hit by sanctions.
We are closely monitoring the political situation, and choose to refrain from making speculations. While Kazakhstan currently faces no sanctions, in the event that it were, the Robocash management is ready to mitigate potential underlying risks.
What operations are done in Kemerovo?
Our Kemerovo office hosts employees of our Russian companies - Zaymer and RoboFinance (partially responsible for IT development, PR, marketing, HR for services of the Group).
I've read that some European countries will seize some Russian companies, or owned by Russian businessmen established in the UE. Robocash is based in Croatia. Do you see any risk?
Platform is owned by EU entity AS RCG which is further owned by the Singapore entity. Shareholders of Robocash Group as UBO have nothing to do with sanctions as we are not politically exposed persons and not subject to any sanctions.
What do you think is the main risk right now for investors on Robocash and what can you do against that?
Robocash Group is legally and operationally independent from Zaymer (Russian business). The risk, implied with the current situation, remains low for investors of Robocash.
Is there a possibility of moving your office to Zagreb, Croatia in case of nationalization and similar crazy scenarios or that's not so simple?
We are operationally diversified, as our offices are located in the 9 countries of our presence. We are looking at different options considering different scenarios, for the sake of security of the business.
The platform operation
How is the withdrawal rate looking right now and what is the actual tendency?
We did observe a spike in withdrawals when hostilities unfolded, which is to be expected given increased uncertainty for the global economy. The rate has started to subdued since then, and we expect elevated, but decreasing withdrawals to continue in the coming days as investors adjust their asset allocations with their changed risk appetites and liquidity preferences. We do believe, however, that value proposition of our products remains attractive and after adjustments withdrawal rates will be back to normal.
Where do manage our investments? Is this Singapure ? Or Russia?
Investments of all Robocash users are managed from Zagreb, Croatia.
Do you think that the current situation will cause interest rates to rise again for us investors in Robocash?
We believe that interest rates will increase across many asset classes, and if this happens, our interest rates will follow the market.
Can you please explain what happened if all p2p investors withdrew there investments as soon as there commitments allowed for?
In such a case we will stop disbursements, stop placing new loans on the platform, collect money from its portfolio and pay it back to investors.
Due to the fact that there have been two announcements of interest reduction in a short time, I am confused about what the interests of the 30-day short-term loans will be. Can you clarify this question for me?
The current rates adopted on January 10, 2022 continue to apply on the platform. There will be no changes in the near future. Thus, loans for up to 30 days remain at 9%.
Thank you for your participation.
If you have any questions, be sure to write to us in the telegram chat or fill out our Google form. We want to hear from you.
We have received your questions regarding the difficulties with new payments. In order to help with your inquiry, we need you to provide us with your full name and email address used when registering on the Robocash platform. Therefore, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will solve your issue as soon as possible.