Blyk, the one time MVNO turned mobile marketing provider, today announced that it’s extended it’s strategic partnership with UK operator Orange. As part of the continued partnership, Blyk announced that it will now be in charge of Orange UKs media sales program – as well as continuing support for “Orange Shots”, the SMS-based ad service that Orange built from Blyk’s technology.
We’ve covered Blyk’s evolution from the beginning. The company started out as an MVNO with a unique proposition. Targeted at younger consumers, Blyk’s original business model offered free wireless airtime and mobile messaging in exchange for highly-targeted text messages. A user would signup for Blyk’s service, outline their interests and what companies they’d like to see ads for, and then Blyk would serve up relevant SMS marketing messages based on that profile. The more ads a user was willing to receive, the more free airtime and mobile messages they’d receive in return.
This model didn’t end up working out for the company, and in 2009, they entered the partnership with Orange and evolved into the entity it is today. As the primary provider of relevant SMS marketing for Orange subscribers, Blyk has had huge success the last couple of years by connecting brands with relevant subscribers through “Orange Shots.” In addition, the company recently raised a massive €17 million round of financing, which works out to a little over $24M. Though it had a rough start, Blyk has settled nicely into its role as a leading provider of operator-based mobile marketing solutions.