Kuetzal is having a crisis and I'm pulling the plug

So much has happened with Kuetzal recently. People have requested me to write my own thoughts about the platform and perhaps now is the right time to do that.
If you haven't read my Kuetzal review, please do so as well.

Is Kuetzal too good to be true?

I've always thought Kuetzal to be high-risk, high-reward kind of platform. Although some of the loans are around 20% interest rates with buyback guarantees, no-one should ever assume it means less risk. It just means the risk materializes differently.

As I've stated before, whenever you see "guarantees" like the kind from Kuetzal, you should think:
"How can I lose my capital on this?"
As Kuetzal seems to be having a crisis, this question is on the minds of so many. Including myself of course. I have over 6,000 € invested on Kuetzal.

What is the Kuetzal crisis about?

Are all projects legit?

Investors and bloggers are losing trust on Kuetzal.

While it still seems that most of the projects on Kuetzal seem completely legit, there are some that don't add up. The case that started the buzz was on the question whether Kuetzal had lent money to a non-existing company. After a while, Kuetzal agreed to conduct an external audit on the project in question, but we're still waiting on that.

I thought that was a great call. I'm hoping they follow through on that promise. Not doing so will be much more awful than finding out the project was a scam.

The case has raised concerns of the due diligence Kuetzal does on their projects. For a short while they changed their terms and conditions to state that they are not to be expected to do any due diligence. The outrage this caused made them to reverse that statement and reassure that they are doing due diligence, always have and always will.

Who works for Kuetzal and where?

It seems increasingly difficult to know who is working for Kuetzal and who is not. The previous CEO has left and it's been said the old team "followed him to his new role". Considering the old CEO was a young guy, barely out of university, I find that claim a little hard to swallow. A more plausible reason could be that they lost faith and all of them left. The previous CEO Alberts still has no new role on LinkedIn. I'm be curious to see what that will eventually be.

Kuetzal used to be located in Riga, but that office is now closed with the old team left. Luckily the new office will be in Tallinn, which is about 80km from where I live. Maybe I'll visit them one day?

It could be that Kuetzal is going through a complete re-birth, with everyone in the team being replaced. Considering the shit-storm they're in the middle of, I wouldn't be surprised if they went for a fresh start.

Who owns Kuetzal?

The company is registered to Viktoria Gortลกak, but it seems difficult to actually get a hold of her. It is rumored that perhaps the real owner is a person named Andrei Korobeiko. This rumored owner is committed laundering 99,000 USD in 2010.

Two sides of fear

Fear can be good

Let's start with the positive.

Assume that despite all the dubious stuff, Kuetzal has actually taken my money and invested it in  real estate development projects. If that is the case, then investors selling back their investments with a discount could help Kuetzal. They could, in theory, use their "Kuetzal Care" to finance the sold loans again. As they are discounted by 10%, this should be easy. Again, assuming there's no shady business.

And let me highlight here that most bloggers seem to agree that most of the projects are real. Some of them might be destined to fail from the get go, and at least Alberg Petrol could be a scam. (Good thing Alberg Petrol isn't covered by the buyback guarantee).

A pretty elegant scheme could be to deliberately cause fear so that Kuetzal could buy back loans with a discount. Have you thought of that? That would be pretty smart, 

Fear can be destructive

If there is no "Kuetzal Care" or anything to buy back loans, what happens then? Selling back loans with a discount puts pressure to Kuetzal to come up with the money. Kuetzal has admitted in an interview that the buyback money comes from their own pockets. That pocket cannot be endless and if the money cannot be found, everyone will know. Once everyone knows, investors will be much less willing to lend money. The company could spiral to death.

I'm not panicking personally. I'm diversified enough that occasional stumbles are fine. I expect some of my investments to fail.

But in the case of Kuetzal, it might be the fear that eventually causes the platform to fail. How do you earn back trust once you've lost it? People hold a grudge when you've fucked them financially.

So the fear is what makes me concerned. Not so much most of the facts just yet.


  1. The team that founded Kuetzal was very young and inexperienced. That team has left and a new, inexperienced CEO has taken over.
  2. Payments have been timely so far.
  3. People tend to agree that most projects seem legit. However, some projects have had very odd details from stock photos to non-existing addresses, the most famous being Alborg Petrol.
  4. Kuetzal has promised to appoint an external auditor for the Alborg Petrol case, but we haven't learned anything from the schedule.
  5. The registered owner of Kuetzal, Viktoria Gordsak, seems to slip agreed interviews. Instead, an "Andrei", portrayed as her husband, is giving instructions. It is unclear who this Andrei is, but some believe it is a man with the name Andrei Korobeiko, who has been committed of money laundering that took place in 2010 and totalled 99,000 USD. The fact that this hasn't been refuted by Kuetzal, and the Andrei hasn't come forward, tells something.
  6. Kuetzal has admitted that buyback guarantees are out of their own pocket.
  7. Kuetzal was hacked at least once, on October 14th 2019. 
If you spend time on Twitter, you'll see a lot of people screaming the word "Scam!" To me, I'd go and put everything else on incompetence, but the connection to the Andrei. That part troubles me.

What I'm doing

Having thought about this over Christmas, I've decided to pull the plug. I'm not convinced that Kuetzal is a scam just yet, but even still, the turmoil around the company can make it more difficult for them to operate:
  • More difficult to hire a new team
  • More difficult to attract investors
  • Potentially impossible to meet their promises, increasing risks of insolvency.
  • Very stressful to run day-to-day operations
So for me, how the situation has escalated has been the tipping point. It's turned my outlook for the platform. Combined with blatant inexperience, project oddities and suspicious ownership, I have decided the return is not in line with the risk any more.

My investments haven't been among the suspicious ones and I would've been fine waiting those projects out. But the situation is very different to when I made those decisions.
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