back to article Phorm's losses top $100m

Phorm will shift some of its operations from London to Brazil to save money after announcing another heavy loss for 2009. The web monitoring and profiling firm lost $29.7m last year, it told investors today. That's down from $49.8m in 2008, mainly thanks to layoffs at the beginning of 2009. Phorm also said it may seek more …


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  1. Ball boy Silver badge

    Oh dear!

    [Quote]The firm's circumstances "may cast significant doubt upon the group's ability to continue as a going concern"[/Q]

    Oh, shame - and to think they might go under is depressing me in ways I'd never expected. I mean, I might have to go down the pub to recover. Don't 'spose anyone cares to join me?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      5 minutes

      and I'll be on my way, see you there

    2. Pete 40

      Mine's a Newquay Steam Bitter...

      I was having such a bad day until I read this. It's not all over yet, but it's good to see Phorm clinging on to the ropes.

      1. g e

        Ohhhh the pain, the pain!

        as Doctor Smith may have said

        Couldn't be happening to a nicer company.

        Mine's a Budvar or a Staropramen, please :oP

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    That optin rate - employee trials do have good optin!

    I understand that the very localised and small scale "deployment" in Brazil was actually amongst partner employees. So the optin rate is fairly irrelevant as a pointer to consumer reaction at a commercial scale.

    As of May Phorm have just over $7m cash. Which is about three to four months worth of running costs. They are embroiled in complex legal and parliamentary proceedings in their target markets of Korea and Brazil.

    Their promises of multiple simultaneous international engagement? We've heard those before - Kent Ertugrul was forever talking about being in advanced talks globally.

    The only new things in this years report are the admission that their original model failed technically, the recognition that Korea is going badly, the admission of "material uncertainty" about the cash situation, the recognition that the scale of the trial in Brazil tells them little about how it will scale up, the recogition that further dilution of Phorm Inc's capital is simply unrealistic, and the complete absence of the words "tremendously exciting".

    Given Ertugrul's tendency to over-egg the pudding, the 2009 results statement reads like someone filing for bankruptycy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That is all

  3. Alpha Tony


    That is all.

  4. MikeWW

    @ Ball boy

    I'll gladly join you as long as you promise not to make the mood too sombre.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    It is sad to see yet another UK firm deciding to Offshore operations. Also looks like they are getting some sort of legal hassle from UK Government, why can't the Government support UK SME rather than forcing them abroad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They're most certainly not British

      Phorm is an American company, registered in Delaware I believe.

      And do you really want the government assisting companies break the law?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        But the job loss will be in the UK.

        1. JCL

          your point?

          Yes, but what's your point exactly? It's going over my head.

          You'll be telling me you're worried about seal clubbers next and the loss of jobs there because the EU banned seal fur imports.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            and yours?

            Don't seal clubbers live in Canada? This is hardly going to affect the UK unemployment statistics. Whereas yet another story of a UK based tech firm offshoring jobs to a country with cheaper labour costs, possibly due to excessive interferance from goverment, is of a great deal more concern?

            Well I would have thought so anyways.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              UK ID card workers work in the UK (or did)

              But, you'll still get the same comments on here for that as well - i.e. shame..go get a job more valuable to the country and its citizens.

              Good riddance to bad rubbish.

            2. Baskitcaise

              and yours?

              Do you even know who/what Phorm is and what they do/did?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Hang on a minute...

              How is making sure people follow the law is 'excessive interference'?

              I seriously doubt that there is more than a small handful of Phorm employees in the UK at the best of times. The development team was Russian, and worked for a company owned by an American registered in the US.

              The majority of the work appears to have been done outside of the UK.

              With the possible exception of the continuing help of an ex-Labour MP on the BT board and a former Tory chancellor as a non-executive director of Phorm I seriously doubt there will be more than a handful of people affected by this.

              As for interference, you obviously have a short memory. Don't you recall the emails where the home office were asking BT/Phorm if they were 'comforted' by the advice they were going to give out?

              They weren't trying to stop Phorm - they were bending over backwards to accomodate them, unlike Brazil, Korea and the US.

          2. Shades

            Please do not...

            ...feed the trolls!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You really want to talk about job losses?

          Then perhaps you could consider the job losses that could be caused by the likes of Phorm tracking the products that people look at in websites and then serving up ads from that site's competitors. This sort of industrial espionage is something that this country could really do without.

          You don't seem to realise that this isn't just about personal privacy. There are also sound commercial reasons to stop Phorm and it's ilk from ever gaining a foothold in the UK - or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

    2. MonkeyBot

      It's not rocket

      "why can't the Government support UK SME rather than forcing them abroad."

      Because they broke the law whilst trying to foist an unwanted product on the public without their knowledge.

      Personally, I run an SME that focuses on punching grannies for money. Why must the government keep giving me legal hassle when I'm trying to run a business?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Really, and how long have you been employed by said company?

      Two possibilities:

      a) You've not been on the internet very long atall and are something of an oddball here in terms of experience.

      b) You're posting that in defence of your scumsucking malware company.

  6. Cameron Colley

    Damn shame.

    That the company hasn't folded yet. With any luck the investigations will find them guilty of various data breaches and the investors will loose all their money. With any luck the founders will be depressed enough to top themselves -- well, we can only hope...

  7. Paul Gomme

    Hoping the next Phorm headline

    Here's hoping that the next Phorm headline we see in The Reg will be the news that they've gone titsup. Although a couple of prosecutions along the way would also be nice...

    1. It wasnt me

      Dont bet on it!

      They could be around for years yet.

      I give you SCO.

  8. Anonymous John

    I'm gutted!

    Really gutted!

  9. Flugal





    That's it.

  10. nsld


    Seriously how dumb are these venture capitalists?

    $100 million down the pan versus total billings of stuff all.

    I guess the dot com bubble is back and Phorm could be the new

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Venture Capital

      Thats your pension that is!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        True, but...

        Pension funds could also invest in child prostitution - there appears to be great demand and returns would be great. Not sure I would want that, or Phorm, to be keeping me in champagne and M&S ready meals in my Autumn years though.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        MIS AD-Venture capital

        So Please ask those Financial Whiz kids(twats) to NOT WASTE any more of MY money!

        (Good Money after Bad!)

  11. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Justice or Karma.

    You decide.

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Do we have an extradition treaty with Brazil?

  13. Tron Silver badge

    Have they tried China?

    I'm sure they'd be popular there. Pakistan? Turkey? Iran?

    Thanks for that. After watching our pub side's early return from their free South African holiday, we all needed a bit of cheering up.

  14. DrXym

    Boo hoo

    I'm shedding teeny tiny packet inspected tears for Phorm.

  15. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    @ NSLD

    Phools and their money are easily pharted.

    Sorry... parted.

  16. Haku

    The graph that makes you feel warm inside

  17. Ian Stephenson

    Cue up the music....

    Ready to play "Ding dong the witch is dead" as soon as the death rattle ends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, no, no, no...

      I'm reserving that song for the day Thatcher joins the great stock market flotation in the sky.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was (am) going to use it for steve jobbies demise

        [This section left blank intentionally.]

  18. CADmonkey
    Thumb Up


    I really needed some good news

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ah they've finally found their true home. Though whether the Communist Party will be happy about an upstart foreign rival snooping on their citizens is another matter.

  20. N2

    when it happens...

    Excellent news, & its almost time to start holding my pee for the unavoidable certainty

  21. Harry
    Thumb Up

    Good to hear a spyware company making a loss.

    Long may it continue.

    Or better still, soon may it go out of business. Companies that employ spyware (and the companies that employ the services of other companies that employ spyware) are the scum of the earth.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Phorm still trading at £1.8.

    They have a *lot* further to fall.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When they say "does not adequately reflect the nature of the global opportunity that we face"

    do they mean "We'll be trying to get companies to install this in countries where they really don't care about privacy"?

    If so then I expect to see it in North Korea very soon. That's if the Israelis don't force it on the Palestinians first!

  24. LinkOfHyrule

    $100m - NIL


  25. Mr Young

    Hey man! How do I go about betting against this stock?

    Like they big city traders do? What? I need some money for that? Oh well, crap idea anyway.

  26. Dennis Wilson
    Dead Vulture


    Did they come out with that crap while having a rectal insertion with the Financial Times?

  27. SilverWave

    Oh thats sooo nice to hear :-)

    Nice warm feeling.

  28. Chris Donald

    Not sure I've been happier to see FAIL

    Than this. It's possible I've been more pleased to see a company lose-however, I prefer to see success so it's unlikely.

    Well chuffed that the intrusive w**kers have f'*d off due to the law being sensible in their case.

  29. VulcanV5

    Singalonga Norm. . .

    When Norm joined Phorm the company thought itself even better positioned to succeed in the UK. After all, mention the name 'Norman Lamont' to anyone and they'll immediately get on their knees in a show of respect for the great man's genius (and network of amazingly powerful contacts who can, er, Open Doors.)

    Of course, what the company didn't realise -- though everyone else did -- was that Lamont was remembered in the UK solely for his centre-stage presence during a major, or even Major, economic disaster, after which he took a bath and sang a lot.

    So now there is perfect synergy: Norm is yet again centre-stage at another financial disaster, and Phorm's taking a bath.

    A tragedy on this scale must truly bring tears to the eyes of every reader of El Reg.

  30. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    p&*sed away $100m and *still* in business

    They need to spend more.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re "the global opportunity that we face"

    That's a very strange way of putting it. It sounds like the global opportunity is a firing squad

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