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Phorm gets £15m lifeline

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Phorm has today raised a £15m war chest by selling almost a fifth of itself to institutional investors at less than a quarter of its price last year.

It'll use the cash to cover its operating costs while ISPs continue to mull its web monitoring and profiling system.

The firm sold 3.3 million shares at £4.50 each. It has been expected that Phorm would need new capital, as it has continued to trade and employ about 140 staff without any revenues.

BT has yet to commit to a schedule to roll out Phorm's "WebWise" advertising system, following major controversy over secret trials conducted in 2006 and 2007. Its other UK ISP partners, Virgin Media and Talk Talk, are yet to conduct any customer trials.

The last time Phorm issued new equity, in March last year, it sold at £20 per share, raising £32m. Today's sale of almost 20 per cent of the company values the firm at about £75m.

Phorm's full year financial results, expected to reveal it has spent most of the capital it raised last year in the last 12 months, are due out on June 18. ®

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