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Cyber safety firm Family Zone to IPO

Byron Connolly | July 13, 2016
The creator of a cloud-based service that protects children online claims competing systems can easily be hacked.

Perth-based cyber safety outfit, Family Zone, is looking to raise $5.5 million as it moves towards a listing on the ASX in August.

The company has developed a cloud-based service that enables parents to protect their children online while they are at home and when they are using mobile devices.

Family Zone was founded by Tim Levy - who also owns Vodafone's largest independent dealer group, Mo's Mobiles - and Crispin Swan. The company recently appointed Silicon Valley tech pioneer, John Sims, as its chairman.

Levy said on Wednesday that the company wants to raise a minimum of $4.5 million (up to $5.5 million) with the funds being used to commercialise the platform and pursue strategic partnerships and market opportunities.

He said the organisation has sounded out brokers around Australia and had received enthusiastic support for an IPO.

The parental control software market was worth $1.4 billion in 2013 and is expected to double in size by 2018, with research suggesting that the industry currently services less than five per cent of the potential market, Family Zone claimed.

Levy said that cyber safety is something that's on the mind of every parent in Australia and most other countries - and therefore presents a significant market opportunity.

He said nearly all cyber safety products on the market rely on software that parents have to install on each device in the home.

"This is complicated for parents, effectively forcing them to become IT system controllers in their own home. At the same time, most of these systems are easy for teenagers to hack," he said.

"Family Zone instead focuses on access points - a box which plugs into the modem at home, protecting every device immediately, and an app for mobile devices," he said.

The company has engaged Singapore-based Fidelio Partners - which is backed by former Virgin Group co-CEO, David Baxby - to roll out its global marketing strategy.

"A key part of our commercialisation strategy is working with partners such as ISPs and mobile carriers to allow them to quickly resell the Family Zone and thereby add tangible value to their large existing customer bases," he said.

Family Zone is looking to list at a time when the ASX and the corporate regulator are proposing to block early stage tech companies within limited revenue from listing on the share market.

Source: CIO Australia

 

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