Technology company Family Zone Cyber Safety (ASX: FZO) has deployed the $5.5 million capital injection it obtained as part of a share placement earlier this year.
In April, the company issued 35 million new shares at $0.155 per share with raised funds earmarked for “driving scale” amidst explosive growth in the demand for children-focused cybersecurity worldwide.
Earlier today, Family Zone declared that the funds have now been invested in building its sales capabilities in the US with permanent operations now established in San Diego, California, including 9 dedicated staff and drafting in “a number of leading US cyber-tech sales and marketing professionals”, the company said.
Late last year, Family Zone entered the US market by hiring education-cyber-tech expert Ross Young as its sales vice president. Since then, Family Zone’s school compliance offering has been deployed in approximately 650 schools and 78 school districts while its US sales pipeline has topped US$5 million (A$7 million).
The cybersecurity company said its conversion continues to grow with proof of concept 4-week trials currently resulting in a conversion rate of greater than 85%.
Moreover, Family Zone is hopeful it can expand and automate the adoption and distribution of its offering via commercial partnerships. The company has partnered with 10 nationwide EDU Tech resellers allowing it to “maximise lead generation and secure school district deals only available to incumbent suppliers”, according to Family Zone.
Kicking off cybersecurity in California
One of the primary reasons why Family Zone has touched down in California is due to recently passed regulation mandating that public-sector organisations comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, or CIPA for short – a stringent body of regulation aimed at protecting children’s activities online.
The US school system currently contains around 135,000 schools that cater for over 57 million students and around 83 million families in total.
Family Zone says it has created a dedicated platform that meets the rapidly growing demand for children’s safety in the US while ensuring all CIPA directives are maintained. The company says it has developed a novel cyber safety platform that can be installed on PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, smart devices and tablets, while also being embedded in routers and school networks.
The full spectrum approach allows the company to offer a holistic service that can manage all devices within a custom-build ecosystem that only allows authorised users to share content.
The innovation being advanced by the Australian company is the ability for its software platform to be non-intrusive and effective which means avoiding huge expenditures, especially within the public sector that’s already strained by other public spending commitments.
“This platform creates an environment for schools, parents and experts to collaborate and opens up significant commercial opportunities with both schools and parents,” the company said.
One of the most keenly anticipated initiatives being propagated is Family Zone’s “community” programme.
Community refers to tools which enable schools and parents to collaborate on cyber safety initiatives including providing parents with the ability to access Family Zone’s free insights service, for schools to partner directly with cyber safety experts and for everyone included within the Family Zone service umbrella to access Cyber Hub – a custom-built tool that allows teaching staff, parents and students to communicate directly.
The Community service will be introduced gradually across the US over the coming months through existing clients with Family Zone planning to hire a dedicated engagement person in the coming weeks.
Another avenue the company plans to use to monetise cybersecurity is by launching its premium parental controls features in the US.
Family Zone said it will soon commence marketing of its paid parental controls offering, Family Zone Premium, priced at US$5.95 per month.
The feature will provide parents with a comprehensive suite of parental controls including extensive tracking capability, oversight abilities and the means to block a variety of content that is notoriously difficult to patrol such as YouTube, social media platforms and proxy networks.
Family Zone’s US operations are also being supplemented by service demand in Asia.
Just last week, Family Zone announced that it had launched its Insights service through Telkomsel Indonesia – currently the largest cellular operator in Indonesia with more than 170 million customers.
The newly launched Telkomsel SAFE initiative offers Indonesian parents with advanced cybersecurity incorporating reports, alerts, expert advice, as well as, premium options for paid parental controls.
Representing the “fruits of their work”, Telkomsel SAFE is a collaborative effort that has taken several years to develop, test and integrate.
These efforts have included a number of trials, marketing and onboarding approaches with the end result being that “SAFE can be installed on smartphones and importantly in no way impacts children’s enjoyment of their device”, according to Family Zone.
Today’s news boosted Family Zone shares by over 8% up to $0.195 per share.