In 2018, we continued to grow strongly by developing our service and expanding to Sweden. The number of users grew by over 80% since 2017, already exceeding 500 000 users. 4 713 new investors started to use our service, which is 78% more than in 2017. Investors earned on average 7-10% annual return from widely diversified loan portfolios and depending on which loan market they invested. The amount of funding intermediated through our marketplace increased by 74% from 2017 and was EUR 172 million last year. At the turn of the year, we were the leading crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform in the Nordic countries and the third largest in the continental Europe in terms of loan volume (source: Brismo Market Data).
From all loan markets, the business loan market grew the most rapidly last year and currently it is accounting for about a quarter of the monthly loan volume. As we grow, the number of employees has already risen to 36 (+15 since 2017) and there are already us from eight different countries. Further, we moved to more spacious premises within Helsinki city centre in last December. Thank you for our customers, partners and owners for the year 2018 and happy beginning of 2019.