Phorm still doesn’t have any clients or income in sight but, after cutting spending, it’s at least managed to nearly halve its losses and cash burn.
The controversial on-net behavioural ad targeter has cut its January-to-June operating loss from last year’s $25.6 million (£15.7 million) to $15 million (£9.2 million), after slimming outgoings from last year’s $3.1 million (£1.9 million) a month to $1.8 million (£1.1 million) a month.
But the Phorm earnings sheet‘s “revenue” column is blank – there’s no money coming in other than from its recent share placement, which has left it with $30.1 million (£18.5 million) in the bank. In the announcement, CEO Kent Ertugrul says this is “a strong balance sheet”.
After a nightmare year in its native UK, topped by BT’s admission it has “no immediate plans” to launch Phorm and TalkTalk ruling out a deployment, tainted Phorm is desperately looking overseas for business.
In South Korea, a market trial with the country’s biggest ISP, KT, is nearing completion and discussions continue with ISPs in 15 markets. But that has been the situation for months – so either those discussions are very complex or they are not progressing very far. Still, Ertugrul says Phorm is making “substantial operational progress”. He’s crossing his fingers Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) won’t finally make a statement ruling itself out.
Phorm has cut its R&D budget by more than a quarter to $2.8 million (£1.72 million) and its admin and sales outgoings by 48 percent to $11.1 million (£6.83 million).
But the revolving door keeps on turning: both Guardian.co.uk and Telegraph.co.uk report that CTO Stratis Scelparis has left the company, while director of corporate comms David Sawday has also left. But through the in-door comes a small online sales team recruited from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to boost its biz dev credentials, which the company says has “industrialised” its so far unused sales process.