Bitcoin start-up Luno has announced plans to expand into 35 new markets in Europe after securing R120m (US$9m) in a Series B funding round led by London-based Balderton Capital.

Rand Merchant Investments, through its fintech investment arm AlphaCode, and existing investor Digital Currency Group also participated in the round.

This follows Luno’s earlier R60m Series A round, which was led by Naspers.

Luno, which was in the news at the weekend for participating in a bitcoin payment trial at a Pick n Pay store in Cape Town, is a bitcoin platform that allows consumers to buy, sell and learn about cryptocurrencies.

It has a team of 70 people in its offices in Cape Town, London and Singapore. With the expansion, its services will now be available in 40 countries.

Balderton Capital partner Tim Bunting will join Luno’s board of directors.

The new funding will be used for product refinement and development, global expansion and to bring to market a number of new features, Luno said. It plans to hire new employees in its main hubs in London, Singapore and Cape Town.  — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media