Bitcoin wallet software provider Blockchain has raised $40m in Series B funding.

Investors in the round included Digital Currency Group, GV, Lakestar, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mosaic Venture Partners, Nokota Management, Prudence Holdings and Virgin. Billionaire investor Richard Branson also participated in the round.

The funding is the largest Series B raised so far in 2017, though falling short of the $55m raised by blockchain startup Ripple in 2016.

In statements, the company sought to suggest that the investment may help position blockchain as a leader in Europe’s financial technology industry. Blockchain offers a bitcoin wallet service, though it has largely focused on optimizations of this service (eschewing new products).

Still, that hasn’t stopped the company from making prestige announcements that showcase its growing influence in the sector. In December, Blockchain added former Barclays executive Antony Jenkins to its board, while former UK Prime Minister David Cameron helped the company open its London office in February.

The news comes on the heels of rumors bitcoin wallet provider, brokerage and exchange service Coinbase is raising a new funding round valued at $1bn following a rise in the price of bitcoin and an uptick in global interest in the technology.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Blockchain.

Image via Consensus 2017

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