Family Zone signs deal with Vodafone India; shares gain 10pc
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Internet filter Family Zone has signed a deal it hopes will make it the “leading provider of cyber safety solutions in India”.
Under the deal, India’s biggest mobile network Vodafone will sell Family Zone’s mobile phone Internet-protection service, Mobile Zone, under a revenue-sharing agreement. It will also be bundled with other Vodafone products under a service fee.
Vodafone India has about 430 million subscribers in total — more than 40 per cent of the market.
The shares (ASX:FZO) climbed 10 per cent to 55c in early Tuesday trade.
Family Zone was one of the best performing ASX small caps in the second half of last year. The stock quadrupled from about 25c to a high of $1.05, before drifting back to about half that level this year.
India’s second biggest phone and tablet maker Micromax will also add Family Zone’s mobile app onto its devices and promote the product through 125,000 retail outlets. However, it will be up to users to choose whether to subscribe.
India is a major focus for the world’s high-tech companies because of its big population and relatively low Internet penetration.
India is the world’s second biggest online market behind China with 460 million internet users.
Still, that’s only one-third of India’s population of 1.3 billion — and only about a quarter of the population accessed the Internet in 2015.
In February Netflix boss Reed Hastings called India “the most phenomenal example anywhere in the world of low Internet costs [and] expansion of 4G.
“It definitely helps to have confidence on the growth of the Internet. Even we couldn’t predict the last two years of Indian Internet growth.”
FamilyZone hopes to launch the strategy before the end of 2018.
“Indian parents share the concerns of parents worldwide with the challenges of the cyber age,” said Family Zone managing director Tim Levy.
“We are excited about the future opportunitiesthat this collaboration will bring with other Vodafone Group entities and we are very pleased with the progress that we are making, on executive appointments, and other exciting opportunities and partnerships in the Indian market-place”.
Family Zone banked $1.2 million in customer receipts last quarter, making a total of $1.7 million cash revenue for the first three quarters.
However it burned through $3.1 million in the quarter, leaving about $4.9 million in the kitty.