back to article Phorm incinerates $50m in 12 months

Phorm was forced into deep cost-cutting after its controversial battle to monitor and profile web users burned through an average of more than $4m per month last year, its financial results today reveal. The behavioural targeting outfit, whose operations are headquartered in London but which is registered in Delaware, reported …


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  1. Wokstation

    Puts a smile on my face, it does

    Oh yes, it really, really, does.

    Of course, if they deploy in Korea and Europe eventually rule that they require the permission of website owners for interception (unlikely, I know, but bear with me)... couldn't they be prosecuted here for intercepting a UK-hosted site with their server in Korea...?

  2. Andy Enderby 1

    50 million .....?

    How on earth have they managed that ?It's not as if they employ many folks, or have much in the way of running costs you would think. Executive renumeration packages ?

  3. N2 Silver badge

    Burn in hell

    Lets hope It burns itself to death ASAP

  4. Hairy Scary

    Die Die Die

    Do us all a favour Phorm -- curl up and die -- the sooner the better.

    That is all

    Pirate because I'm a privacy pirate.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The government told privacy campaigners it would not make public the content of the response"

    ... for the sake of their own privacy which is obviously much more important than the privacy of the rest of us .... we are just the electorate.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    $1.8m a month ?

    What the hell are they spending it on ?

    $82.6m in two years ??

    Smells like someone using investment capital on the stock market to me.

    PH - as she would know what to do with a packet that size, and would make it bigger !

  7. The Original Ash
    Thumb Down

    Makes no difference

    With IMP, I'll be getting VPN out of the country anyway.

  8. Jimmy Floyd

    $4m / month?!?

    I had a girlfriend like that once...

    Mine's the one from Oxfam.

  9. Conrad Longmore


    Mmmmmm... the smell of burning money.

    Die, already.

  10. Lionel Baden 1

    oh dear god

    when will this chinese wet dream end !

  11. Mike Gravgaard

    "The government told privacy campaigners it would not make public the content of the response."

    "The government told privacy campaigners it would not make public the content of the response."

    Great, thanks Gordon - so much for 'open goverment' or is that just selective??

    We won't forget you in a years time though - the problem is will the Tories be any different than Labour with their massive majority.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    $2M a month

    A bit on hardware, a bit on salaries and executive compensation, a bit on a website, a bit for Normal Lamont, and the rest on "expenses, including hospitality".

    $2M a month doesn't go far these days you know.

  13. Tony Paulazzo

    And what rough beast?

    >Phorm's problems in the UK had prompted its push into Korea. It is currently running a trial with Korea Telecom<

    Like it ran trials in the UK with BT? Business very much as usual. Whilst BT still maintain ignorance (at least first line support who won't get someone to phone you back about thier position even after promising faithfully), still seem committed to rolling it out, and now Virgin have promised (Universal Music is it?), that they will kick off filesharers, it seems like Phorm would be a cheap way of DPI-ing their customers online habits.

    >The government told privacy campaigners it would not make public the content of the response<

    Secrets and more secrets - this government doesn't want us knowing anything it does whilst watching everything we do. How is keeping this information from the public protecting us from terrorists?

    Whatever happened to Great Britain?

    If Hitler came to power today, I'm not so sure this country wouldn't be on his side, we trade spying tips with the Chinese, we're complicit with questioning tortured prisoners. The ruling elite suck on the teat of public finances whilst rewarding bankers who nearly crippled the global economy...

    Yeats said it best in 'The second coming'...

    ...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    ...The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

    ...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Proud Privay Pirate!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's a lot of cash

    I can't say that I'm too sorry to hear that they're running out of money, but I do have to ask where is all that cash going?

  15. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @ Jeremy3

    Don't get too overheated by this statement. The contents of this reply will come out sooner rather than later I would have thought.

    It always does...

  16. Simon B

    Burn Phorm burn!!!

    Burn Phorm burn!!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Phorm...

    Take a trip to Bangkok

    Check into Nai Lert Park Hotel

    Find the nearest wardrobe

    & follow David Carradines example...

  18. A B 3
    Thumb Up

    LOL "adequate"

    It's the new "Screwed"

  19. Jerome 0

    @ Hairy Scary

    "Pirate because I'm a privacy pirate."

    Does that mean you take people's privacy away from them by force? Sounds pretty much like Phorm to me.

  20. The Jase

    @Jerome 0

    You haven't been keeping up with current events have you? Kent from Phorm declared anyone who opposed him to be a "privacy pirate".

    It was less than 2 months ago

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That better not be UK investment money

    I thought the Russkees were good at coding, jeepers it is just a data tap and a bit of pattern matching.

    Hardly cutting edge stuff. Bozos not only do they do something that is basically unethical and should be illegal that virtually every ISP and developer has thought about in the past, they spend a fortune doing it.


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Briefing on the Interception Modernisation Programme

    We are aware that the Government is testing some DPI-kit with at least one major telecommunications provider and that funding is already allocated for the scheme.

    Connection perhaps

  23. jsp

    Where is the money going?

    Presumably bribing (sorry that should be spelt "lobbying") MPs.

    @Aimee: I don't usually go for conspiracy theories but I think you might have something there...

  24. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Every Cloud has ITs Silver Linings and Lode Bearers for Stripping Assets

    I wonder if Phorm Phishing has landed them a Champion to Invest In as a Driver for Virtual Growth.

    A Meme discovered which shows Exceptional Promise and delivers IT in AIR&dDs to XXXXStreams. One of those Type Luscious Lucy Programs.

  25. Del Morpha


    The sad fact is you're not far from the truth, that and hiring expensive lawyers to twist, turn and bend the words of the law to justify this travesty.

  26. Bob 18
    Black Helicopters

    Phorm Bullies Third World Governments

    So there it is. Apparently, if Phorm cannot make headway in wealthy nations with strong democracies --- such as the UK, US and Europe --- then it will move down the national foodchain to countries with weak or bribeable governments.

  27. James Pickett


    "Phorm topped up earlier this month up by selling off 20 per cent of its equity"

    Who on earth was daft enough to buy that? Don't tell me - a pension fund... :-(

    BTW, isn't Delaware where SCO is registered? It must be a sort of 'flag of convenience' place, like Liberia.

  28. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Can we

    Pay someone £50 million to incinerate phorm?

    Seems a much more logical way to burn it....

  29. Al 14

    Time to die

    With any luck this is Phorm doing what they do best, being utter c**ts, in this case spending as much of foolish investors money as they can before the whole thing implodes!

  30. David 45


    The sound of Phorm vanishing up its own ports.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HO HO HO

    In my opinion anybody who invests in this ex spyware company deserves 1st degree burns on their fingers when they finally crash and burn. I think nearly everyone will reject this outfit intercepting their web data once the cat gets out of the bag informing people as to what is really going on.

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Real life apes yes Minister once again

    Sir Humphrey: How's the Freedom of Information campaign going?

    Former Whitehall mandaring: I can't tell you.

    I find it hard to believe that this letter is a National Security matter. It's corrospondence to a Government Department.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I can't wait to watch phorm finally die.

    What are they spending that much money on?

  34. Jerome 0

    Privacy pirates

    "Kent from Phorm declared anyone who opposed him to be a 'privacy pirate'."

    Er, that's kind of my point. If anyone's a privacy pirate in this sorry tale, it's Mr. Ertugrul.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I know successful IT companies that actually have a product in the market with a lower turnover than Phorm can burning as a loss!

    What the hell are they doing with it all?! Any VC who threw his money towards them had best get off the golf course and actually attend a board meeting PDQ!

  36. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    @James Pickett

    "isn't Delaware where SCO is registered"

    Correct. Deleaware's corporation formation rules are quite er "relaxed." Fewer annoying questions about who *owns* the actual shares. They also have IIRC Microsoft is (among a *long* list) also based there. No AFAIK they do not have an actual office there.

    Of course there are many reputable companies who have their registered office there as well.

  37. Moss Icely Spaceport


    I'm happy to chip in 5p towards funeral expenses!

    I take it it'll be a cremation?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I can't say that I'm too sorry to hear that they're running out of money, but I do have to ask where is all that cash going?"

    Well city and national politicians arent cheap these days.

  39. g e

    We have this on our site

    Forgive the moderately shameless plug, though if more sites did this, perhaps more general awareness would be raised and hence more pressure on BT et al... ?

  40. James 85

    Phorm Phactor

    £80 million for nothing. C'est phormidable. How much margin do they need to make to recover past losses?

    Unless it is some phorm of money laundering exercise, it is an unphunny joke.

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