* Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet start-up, raised $40 million in funding.
* The financing round was led by venture capital firm Lakestar and GV, Google's investment arm, and included billionaire Richard Branson.
* Blockchain will use the money to expand into new territories.
Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet start-up, has raised $40 million led by venture capital firm Lakestar, Google's investment arm GV, and billionaire Richard Branson, the company said on Thursday.
The investment comes at a time of rising interest in cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, which recently hit a record high and has seen a massive rally since the start of the year.
Blockchain has created a bitcoin wallet which is essentially a piece of software to store the digital currency and carry out transactions with other users.
The money will be used to expand the team further and invest in more research and development, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith, told CNBC on Thursday. In addition, the start-up is looking to open new offices in different countries to expand.
Paulo Duarte | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Peter Smith, chief executive officer of Blockchain Ltd.
Smith said that the recent rally in bitcoin has caused high demand for Blockchain's wallet product, and the funding will help to meet that.
"We are really focused on scaling to meet the record demand we are getting in the market," Smith told CNBC in a phone interview.
"We started raising this round before the run up in the cryptomarket. It was good timing in the end because while we were closing the round, we were massively up on every level. Our traffic has been growing 15 percent week over week in last two weeks."
Blockchain has nearly 15 million sign-ups with "billions of dollars worth of monthly consumer wallet activity", Smith said, adding this includes deposits and transactions.
Gross revenue is forecast to be more than 1,000 percent year-over-year in June, Smith added, but could not disclose the specific figure.
Blockchain was founded in 2011 and now has users in 140 countries. Its last funding round came in 2014 when it raised $30.5 million. Other investors in its latest round include Nokota Management, Digital Currency Group and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Prudence Holdings, Virgin, and Richard Branson.
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