raises $40 million from Lakestar and Google's venture arm

Blockchain Nic Carey Peter Smith David Cameron Bob WigleyTom Campbell/BlcokchainBlockchain’s cofounder and CEO Peter Smith with former Prime Minister David Cameron at the opening of Blockchain’s new London offices earlier this year.

LONDON — Bitcoin and blockchain technology company has raised $US40 million (£31.5 million) in its second round of institutional funding.

European venture capital fund Lakestar and GV, Google’s venture capital arm, both led the round. Nokota Management and Digital Currency Group also took part in the investment, as did existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin, and Sir Richard Branson.

The Series B funding takes the total raised by to $US70 million (£55.2 million). The company claims the investment is the biggest into a UK startup since Brexit. (Blockchain is officially headquartered in Luxembourg but most of its staff work in London.) was founded in 2011 and makes tools for people to use bitcoin and blockchain, the next-generation database technology that underpins the digital currency. is the world’s biggest provider of digital wallets for bitcoins, with close to 15 million open accounts.

Announcing the Series B investment in a blog post on Thursday, founder and CEO Peter Smith said: “As the market leader, you can expect us to make big, bold bets in research and development as well as further our expansion efforts globally. You can also expect new products aimed at allowing anyone to transact, save, or hedge digital assets with greater speed, efficiency and control.

“Innovating, disrupting, revolutionising a century old industry takes time. We’ve made significant strides, but we’re just getting started.” employs close to 50 people and will grow its headcount as part of the fundraising.

Bitcoin’s popularity has been revived in 2017 thanks to a price rally that has seen it more than double in price since the start of the year. Banks around the world are also pouring huge amounts of resources into trying to apply the blockchain technology that underpins bitcoin to the mainstream financial world.

Watch Business Insider Oscar Williams Grut’s interview with Blockchain founder and CEO Peter Smith at the MoneyConf conference in Madrid earlier this month:

Learn more:

NOW WATCH: An economist explains how demand for labour creates inflation — and what the Fed can do about it

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at