Peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance has reported the strongest quarter in its six year history. 

Linked Finance said it had provided more than €11.3m in loans to Irish SMEs in the first three months of 2019, which represented growth of 32% on the same time last year.

Since it was established in 2013, Linked Finance has now helped provide more than 2,000 loans and €92m in funding to businesses across Ireland. 

Lenders who have supported SMEs through the platform have earned more than €7.1m in interest and received more than €50.4m in repaid principal since the business launched in 2013.

The platform now has more than 21,400 registered users and it said that the number of large institutional investors on the platform shows there is a strong appetite to support loans for Irish SMEs. 

It also issued its largest loans ever in the quarter with a number of €300,000 loans provided. Its average loan also increased to €70,000 in the three month period.

Companies supported during the quarter included Co Meath-based coffee distributor Coffee Perfection, Limerick dairy producer Clorane Farm and organisational safety consultancy SeaChange, which raised €105,000 in just one second. 

Niall Dorrian, the chief executive of Linked Finance, said the platform's "impressive growth" achieved in 2018 has continued into a new year with another record quarter. 

"Despite the prevailing uncertainty around Brexit, we've continued growing and it clearly demonstrates that our commitment to providing the fastest, most efficient option for business loans in the market is helping us to attract increasing numbers of Irish companies to the platform," Mr Dorrian said.

"The strong appetite among lenders, who have now earned more than €7m in interest, means that we can now provide larger loans, faster than ever before and this is attracting bigger businesses with more significant funding requirements," he added.