Until recently, Korea’s SK Telecom had been going halvsies with Earthlink on the popular Helio MVNO mobile service but recently increased its stake in the company thanks to a $270 million injection of additional working capital.
Earthlink declined to match SK’s investment but remains content that "Helio will be able to move forward with its innovative business plan." Plus, the resulting 3% increase to Earthlink’s stock turned out to be a nice little bonus.
The extra funding came as a well-needed boost for Helio, as the relatively new upstart has been burning through money like a one-legged duck swims in circles. Its 2007 losses are projected to be around $350 million with a little less than half that amount being brought in on the revenue side. Helio recently cut 100 jobs while its less financially generous parent, Earthlink, cut back its own staff to the tune of a whopping 900 positions.
Despite these recent cuts, the future looks bright for Helio. It’s got around 130,000 subscribers and by year’s end, that number is expected to increase to between 200,000 and 250,000.
SK Telecom takes the reins as Helio nets $270M [RCR Wireless News]