Financing round for Blyk brings in €40m

The virtual mobile network operator, which uses advertising revenue to provide young people with free mobile services, will use the funding to pursue its international expansion.

Finland- and UK-based Blyk has secured €40 million funding from repeat investors Goldman Sachs and French venture firm Sofinnova, as well as a group of individual investors.

Blyk will use the funding to support its ongoing operations and international expansion. The company currently operates in the UK and has plans to roll its service out in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Germany.

In a statement Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Blyk’s co-founder and chief executive, said that cost-cutting would be inevitable in the current environment. “We like everyone else are feeling the impact of the world’s financial situation. As a result, in parallel to securing the new investment, we’ve taken decisive steps to cut costs and streamline our organization.”

Blyk provides a virtual mobile network for 16 to 24 year olds. Subscribers, of which there are now more than 200,000 in the UK, can make calls and send text messages in exchange for exposure to advertising communications. It was launched in the UK in September 2007.

Goldman Sachs and Sofinnova have both participated in previous fundraisings for Blyk.