Blockchain just went from bootstrapped to big-time. The popular Britain-based global Bitcoin wallet and block explorer service announced today that it has locked in $30.5 million in Series A funding.
The record round, which marks the company’s first-ever outside investment, was led by heavy-hitter Silicon Valley venture capital vehicles Wicklow Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants in the round, which The Wall Street Journal hailed as “the biggest single funding round yet for a digital-currency firm,” include Mosaic Ventures, Prudence Holdings, Amit Jhawar of Braintree and billionaire Richard Branson.
Launched in 2011, Blockchain -- now 2.3 million consumer wallets and $26 billion in transaction volume strong -- said it plans to use the massive growth capital infusion to beef up its product and engineering teams, to add “innovative new features” to its products and to expand to new international markets.
Proud to announce our record Series A: http://t.co/yg7ZthKsVR— Blockchain (@blockchain) October 7, 2014
“Blockchain is honored and excited to announce this historic round,” Blockchain CEO Nic Cary told Entrepreneur.com. “It represents the single largest capital commitment in a bitcoin company to date. As a bootstrapped company, we were able to accomplish a lot with a little. Now we’re more ambitious than ever.”
As part of the groundbreaking capital injection, Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew will join Blockchain’s board of directors. “Bitcoin is a long game and the wallet is the crucial strategic high ground in the Bitcoin ecosystem,” Liew said in Blockchain’s announcement. “We wanted to back the biggest player in the most important segment of the Bitcoin value chain, and that is Blockchain.”
Meanwhile, the price of a single Bitcoin, as of 12 p.m. ET today was trading slightly lower at $327, according to CoinDesk. It plummeted last weekend to $286, its most dismal value this year. Last year, it rose to a high of about $1,150.