Hubify covers all bases through growth aligned with SME needs
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Small business communications are a traditionally complicated realm – a factor amplified by technology’s advance and recent shifts in workforce trends on the back of the global pandemic.
The trends at play in communications for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are here to stay, and with these come challenges which business owners may never have previously considered, let alone faced.
Take cybersecurity, for instance. Pre-pandemic, in its 2018 SME Cyber Preparedness report, Chubb Insurance Australia found that some 60% of SMEs surveyed had experienced a cyber incident in the preceding 12 months. That’s three in five.
That same report found small business was the target of 43% of all cybercrime in Australia.
Meanwhile, the Australian Office of the Information Commissioner’s Notifiable Data Breach Report for January-June 2020 – incorporating the first few months of the pandemic – found 61% of reported data breaches over that period were due to malicious or criminal cyber-attack.
Of course, cybersecurity is just one element of the overall telecommunications picture for SMEs. It’s one that Hubify (ASX:HFY) recently strengthened through a strategic investment in Australian and US-based cybersecurity startup Internet 2.0.
The $500,000 strategic investment gives Hubify a 4.2% equity in the company, with the money to be reinvested in marketing and sales which will ultimately drive Hubify’s cybersecurity revenue in Australia.
HFY will also have the option to buy a further $1 million worth of equity at the same value per share as the initial deal subject to revenue target achievement.
From this perspective, CEO and founder Victor Tsaccounis said the deal was a no-brainer.
Most importantly though, it gives the company’s 7000+ SME customers access to a superior, market-leading and affordable cybersecurity option which will be part of HFY’s CyberHub service offering.
“This particular hardware device that Internet 2.0 is supplying is more cost effective for the SME customer, and it’s backed by a different level of cybersecurity experts – we’re talking US government and intelligence level cybersecurity capability,” Tsaccounis said.
“The technology is unique in the way it hides the customer’s network through a technology called Obfuscation – that essentially hides the network so that when the cyber predators are scanning they don’t even see the network.
“The customer is receiving an optimal level of cybersecurity for their money.”
The investment in Internet 2.0 is just one in a series of recent moves made by Hubify to grow and expand its business and its customer offerings.
In March the company completed the acquisition of telco business Net Hoster in a move which grew its geographical footprint while also adding earnings on top of those already recorded by Hubify.
The acquisition and the investment in Internet 2.0 were part of a broader growth strategy which Hubify is putting in place.
That involves purchasing like-for-like businesses to grow its customer base, broadening its geophysical presence through the purchase of businesses in different parts of Australia, and broadening its service offering through acquisition of quality service offerings and products.
“We see a huge opportunity in the SME market to be the trusted supplier of communication and IT services across the board,” Tsaccounis said.
“An issue could come up in an SME environment and it could be the phone supplier, the IT supplier, the hardware supplier, the cyber service – any one of those things, and you’re left trying to work out who you need to talk to.
“What we represent and where we see that opportunity is as one support arm which covers the full range in the SME space – by acquiring business customer bases, enhancing customer experience and cross-selling the full range of customer services our customers get benefit and so do our investors.”
With the broader vision in mind, Hubify is now in the process of strengthening its managed service offering to further bolster its customer offering.
The company is exploring its options in search of a managed service business, according to Tsaccounis.
“What’s really important there is that we find a business that’s profitable, has capability, and one that has a good culture aligned to ours,” he said.
“We’ve worked with a number of managed service businesses before and we’re looking at some of those as a potential anchor for that side of our business.
“That way we’ll know they fit in with our core values and we understand who we’re dealing with as well.
“We look forward to updating the market on that in due course.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Hubify, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.