Blockchain (the company) just raised a $40 million Series B funding round led by Lakestar. Blockchain has been working on the most popular bitcoin wallet in the world. You can open a wallet on the company’s website or through its mobile apps.
GV, Nokota Management, Digital Currency Group and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin and Sir Richard Branson also participated in today’s funding round.
This is quite a significant funding round for a cryptocurrency startup. Blockchain is surfing on the hype surrounding bitcoins, ethers, litecoins and initial coins offering. And I’m sure other cryptocurrency startups are currently raising more funding too.
Blockchain currently claims to manage more than 14 million wallets. When the startup announced its previous $30 million funding round, it was only managing 2.3 million bitcoin wallets at the time.
Many popular bitcoin services, such as Coinbase, manage your wallet for you and operate an exchange. It means that you can create an account and buy bitcoins on the same platform.
Blockchain has taken a different approach as the company can’t see your balance or your transactions. You can back up your wallet to Blockchain’s servers, but you keep the keys to your wallet.
The company has partnered with exchanges so that you can buy bitcoins on the platform directly. And of course, nobody is stopping you from buying bitcoins on your favorite exchange and then sending them to your Blockchain wallet address.
Blockchain also manages Blockchain.info, a popular bitcoin block explorer. The banner ads on this website are generating quite a bit of revenue as Blockchain.info has a big audience with around 100 million page views per month.
With today’s funding round, Blockchain plans to hire more people, localize the product and work on more digital currency products.