Blog Post

Phorm Looking For £32 Million As It’s Branded ‘Illegal’

After sketchy details last week, browser-tracking behavioural ad targeter Phorm has confirmed it plans to raise about £32 million in funding by placing 1.61 million shares on the AIM market at £20 each – that represents 11.6 percent of the company.

From the regulatory notice: “Phorm intends to use the proceeds from the placing to continue this implementation in the UK and for general working capital purposes, as the company continues its discussions with other ISPs both in the UK and other markets.”

The Foundation for Information Policy Research think tank this week wrote a letter to the information commissioner, arguing that, without letting users opt in rather than out, Phorm would be “illegal and open to challenge in UK and European courts”. Phorm maintains it has checked for legal compliance. Carphone Warehouse has so far said it would only operate Phorm on an opt-in basis; BT (NYSE: BT) and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) are also due to hand over data on customers’ browsing habits. Despite the media controversy, few advocacy groups have so far publicly panned Phorm.