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Blyk Secures Large Investment To Get Through “Tougher and Unpredictable” Times

money_bag.gifThe ad-funded MVNO Blyk has raised an additional € 40 million ($50.4 million) from its existing investors. This is a big vote of confidence in the youth-oriented company that has been rolling out operations across Europe.

CEO Pekka Ala-Pietilä was quoted as saying “like everyone else [we] are feeling the impact of the world’s financial situation,” and “have taken decisive steps to cut costs and streamline our organization.”

Current investors in Blyk include Sofinnova Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Industrial & Financial Investments Company.

Blyk has operations in UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, and Spain. Their original objective for the first year was to have 100,000 subscribers, but estimates put the figure at roughly twice that. In the UK, Blyk says they have achieved an average response rate of about 25% on the 2,000 campaigns they have run.

We’ve written about Blyk several times before, including Designing Blyk – The First Ad-Funded Mobile Operator, An Interview with Marko Ahtisaari a key designer at Blyk. We also have two Blyk campaigns in the Campaign Watch, for Brylcreem and Penguin Books, as well as information on recent expansion plans.

Just after the funding announcement, Pekka Ala-Pietilä gave an interview in, in which he confirmed that international expansion was going ahead. He also explained that the Blyk model may in fact do very well during an economic downturn.

  • On the advertiser side, he points out that the Blyk form of mobile advertising is very measurable, which is appealing to companies with tight budgets.
  • And on the consumer side, he says “Now more than ever people want free things.”

Read the entire interview here.

20.11.2008    Tags: ,
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