The Finnish mobile media startup, Blyk, has closed a very impressive 17 million euro investment lead by Nexit Ventures and other individual investors. Blyk started off its path in 2006 as an ad supported virtual mobile operator, which was later pivoted to focusing on the mobile advertising platform as a business of its own. Blyk’s revenues in the recent years have averaged around 12 to 22 million euros with over a six hundred thousand euro profit in 2009.
The investment helps Blyk to further accelerate its growth in partnering with mobile operators world wide to help them further capitalise on their customers. Blyk’s innovative media solutions commonly attract 25% response rates in the markets it operates in.
”Blyk has proven its engagement model and added value to advertisers in a relatively short period of time. With the new operator partnering model and the fresh investment, Blyk will further strengthen its position as the front- runner in the fast-growing mobile advertising field,” comments Artturi Tarjanne, General Partner of Nexit Ventures. Tarjanne continues: “We looked at literally dozens of potential investments in this space and found that Blyk was clearly the best positioned company and an attractive investment perfectly aligned with our mobile focus.”
Tore Teir, the CFO of Blyk, comments: “This new investment round further solidifies the financial position of Blyk and will enable us to accelerate our successful operator partnership model and roll out the service with leading brands in new market areas. In today’s digital world generating engagement and response is a key requirement in capturing the global marketing dollars of the big brands.”
Blyk’s mobile messages, both SMS and MMS, fall mainly in the categories of information, entertainment and exclusive offers. Members opt-in to the messages, resulting in high respose rates. With this, Blyk is able to create a very attractive offering for larger brands to reach the consumers in a very intimate space. Just earlier today, we wrote about the research results Zokem had received – messaging is one of the highest application usages in smart phones and clearly, Blyk is capitalising on that knowledge.
Currently, Blyk is negotiating with many additional partnerships to their agreements with Orange in the UK and Vodafone in the Netherlands. The first commercial launch of the new partnerships will be in India. It is clear that these sort of expansions require capital. While showing that the current business model works, it is understandable why such a large investment was carried out – it’s risks are dramatically lower currently. One has to remember that the investment is on average, a year’s revenue the company is currently turning over.
I for one, am very eager to see where Blyk goes with this – India and China are one of the most populated countries in terms of mobile penetration and thus, very attractive business wise. While there may have been questions in the past if Blyk’s business model works (back in the days of being MVNO), today the only question is how far can Blyk go with its success.
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Nexit Ventures is a mobile venture capital firm focused on wireless technologies and services. Leveraging its extensive network in the global mobile marketplace, Nexit invests primarily in Nordic and US-based earlystage companies with products and services for a global market. For Nordic mobile companies, Nexit provides a bridge to Silicon Valley markets and exit opportunities.