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Ad-funded, youth-targeted European mobile virtual network operator Blyk announced yesterday that it had secured a massive $50 million (40 million euros) in funding from its existing backers, which include Goldman Sachs, IFIC and Sofinnova Partners, no mean feat for a company whose business model relies almost entirely on advertising at a time when the downturn is clearly hurting ad revenues. But Blyk CEO Pekka Ala-Pietilä, and ex-president of *Nokia*, says that the company, which now has 200,000 users in its targeted age group of 16-24 who have agreed to view ads in return for free airtime, is not only poised to “weather the storm,” it may well have edge during the recession.
Blyk has “taken measures to streamline and cut costs