American schools the next big market for Aussie cyber safety software
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Thinking of the children has helped cyber safety company Family Zone make strong inroads into the lucrative US market despite only being at concept stage 12 months ago.
The company has recently expanded its presence in the US education and telco sector, adding 49 schools in West Virginia. Each school is running proof of concept deployments of its Sonar product, with a view to transition to School Zone by next month.
Family Zone (ASX:FZO) makes hardware and software that lets parents or teachers do things like manage time spent online, block porn and social media, limit in-app purchases or disable device features such as cameras.
Family Zone could be considered a latecomer to what is an already well established market, however CEO Tim Levy said there were still huge opportunities for the company as it moved beyond families and began working with schools and telcos.
“We’ve been focused on the Australian market, which has yielded strong growth in a short period of time for us. We’re now expanding into international markets, with telco deals signed in Indonesia, the Philippines and Asia,” Mr Levy said.
“We’re also making inroads in the lucrative US market, with the company already signing a number of agreements. There is so much opportunity out there for us.”
It’s a big milestone for a company that was only at concept stage just 12 months ago. The company has three revenue streams – everyday parents, schools and network carriers.
While Australian parents are signing up to the cyber security products at a subscription cost of $5 to $10 every day, telecommunication carriers around the globe represent a significant market, Mr Levy said.
Mr Levy said that revenue from telco carrier deals was realistically up to six months away, but the size of the deals made the wait worthwhile.
Family Zone is making a concerted push into the lucrative US market via the education system. Here in Australia, it recently began offering its technology products to education providers at no charge on the condition it provides access with the school’s own parent community – a concept that has been embraced by schools. This model will also be offered to the US education system in the near future.
“We set out to solve cyber safety concerns of parents, and in some ways money isn’t a problem. They just want the problem solved. However, the last four to five months we’ve been sharing our technology with access partners such as educators, and they’re absolutely embracing it,” Mr Levy said.
Family Zone recently completed a $5 million funding round, but Mr Levy said money wasn’t the main objective.
“We were more focused on creating strong strategic partnerships that will allow us to partner with telcos and education providers.”