2018 has been a great year for us, as we continued to strongly grow our business and community. We became the leader in the European market for investments in loans: as reported by independent fintech website p2p-banking.com, Mintos had the largest volume of new investments among similar companies over the second half of 2018.
Our Investor base more than doubled. We started 2018 with 43,457 investors, and at the end of December we wished a “Happy New Year” to almost 100,000 investors.
2018 saw investments in the marketplace more than triple, from EUR 332 million invested in 1.6 million new loans in 2017 to EUR 1.044 billion invested in 4.8 million new loans in 2018. We reached a milestone of EUR 1 billion invested in loans on the marketplace in August and closed the year with a grand total of EUR 1.5 billion invested in 6.9 million loans since the inception of the company.
Our focus continues to be creating a great and transparent investor experience. To keep pace with the growing marketplace and maintain our high quality of service, we’re investing in the team and facilities. 23 new employees joined us in 2018, and we decided to invest in a new office to accommodate the growing team.
31 new lending companies joined the Mintos marketplace in 2018, adding 13 originating countries to the map: Armenia, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova, North Macedonia, Philippines, South Africa, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia. Investors can now diversify their portfolios across loans originated in 28 countries around the globe.
As a result of the significant growth of the marketplace, our revenue more than doubled from EUR 2.137 million in 2017 to EUR 4.647 million in 2018. We continued to invest into further expansion and future development. Even with all these investments, we have remained profitable, with a net profit of EUR 13 thousand at the end of 2018.
The profit for the year includes charges of EUR 51 thousand (EUR 45 thousand in 2017) relating to the fair value of share-based payment benefits which are being recognized over the vesting period. By their nature, these payments are not reflective of ongoing trading performance and they are not considered part of the underlying results. Excluding these charges, the result is a profit of EUR 65 thousand for 2018 and EUR 241 thousand for 2017.
We introduced many new features in 2018 that have improved the user experience: Mintos Ratings gauge the financial and operational stability of loan originators and further increase transparency for investors when making an investment decision. Auto Invest now also covers the Secondary Market and comes with three innovative Investment Strategies that help investors save time and effort. We worked hard on perfecting safety and convenience for investors, and added features like direct bank transfer and two-factor authentication to the marketplace.
We take compliance very seriously at Mintos. We’ve invested in privacy protection to meet GDPR requirements, which became effective on May 25, 2018 in the EU. And even though Mintos is not regulated in terms of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) at the moment, we have expanded our AML team and procedures. Last but not least, we introduced a new online identity verification process and screening of all users registered on the marketplace.
Our efforts have been awarded with many recognitions from international media and experts. The positive feedback from our investors culminated in the AltFi’s “People’s Choice Award” 2018, the third time in a row we received this reward after 2016 and 2017.
In 2019, we will continue growing both our investor demand and the loan supply, with a focus on diversification across geographies, currencies and the safety of the Mintos marketplace.
Mintos Group plans to launch a Mintos banking account and debit card, which will further increase the value added to Mintos customers. The European e-money license application has been submitted and the license is expected to be obtained by the end of Q3 2019. To support further development, Mintos Group raised EUR 5 million in Series A funding in November 2018.
Read more in our Financial Report 2018