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Perspectives on building technology businesses and AcceleratorIndia from Cartezia

MVNO Blyk raises over €30m for European expansion

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blyk the UK-based MNVO has reputedly raised over €30m in Series B funding from Goldman Sachs and Industrial and Financial Investments Company (IFIC) to fund its European expansion.

Blyk is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which provides free mobile communications to 16-24 year olds in exchange for advertising. Whilst many in the industry are sceptical about Blyk's business model, since it's launch in September 2007, the Company has been adding customers at the rate of 3000 per week. It's clients include McDonald's, Ford and Coca-Cola.  Blyk claims that the average response rate in early take-up of the service is approaching 30% but industry veterans remain sceptical.

Orange is Blyk's network partner in the UK, and it plans to expand into the Dutch market with Vodafone Netherlands as the host operator. Press releases speak of planned expansion into Eastern Europe and Asia.

The traditional VC's remain sceptical of Blyk's business model and Goldman Sachs and IFIC (which is a Kuwait-based private equity firm) join the previous investors Sofinnova Partners.