Blyk bucks the trend, raises €40m to expand

Blyk provides free mobile calls to 200,000 British 16 to 24 year olds in exchange for them receiving advertising messages, a subscriber base it reached faster than expected. Its response rates of 25% have attracted some 180 advertisers, reports the Financial Times.

The jury is still out on whether the Blyk model is sustainable and scalable, but nevertheless, in its third round of funding, it has raised €40 million from investors including Goldman Sachs and Sofinnova Partners.

The MNVO - which uses Orange's network in the UK and Vodafone's for its newer launch in the Netherlands - said it is to follow a new strategy of forging much tighter links with those operators and local media companies.

Still, it appears that Blyk is not immune to the economic situation and has said it will streamline its operators, shedding an undisclosed number of it 60+ staff.

The FT also quoted Alexandra Rehak, mobile media analyst at Analysys Mason, a research group, expects Blyk to offer consulting services to operators impressed by those response rates and its mobile advertising technology.