Family Zone acquires NZ kid-friendly firewall provider Linewize

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Family Zone acquires NZ kid-friendly firewall provider Linewize

Perth-based cyber safety vendor Family Zone has acquired New Zealand-based education technology firm Linewize as part of its continuing expansion in the education sector.

The deal will broaden the parental control services provider's access to a network of 260 schools and 130,000 students, and give Family Zone access to Linewize’s managed firewall service platform.

“Through the acquisition of Linewize, we press further into education,” Family Zone managing director Tim Levy said.

“We establish a significant presence in New Zealand, add material new revenue and enhance our technology stack and management capability.”

The deal involves a total consideration of $16.5 million, which is comprised of a cash deposit of NZ$200,000 ($180,000) in cash and an issue of 9.5 million shares in Family Zone.

Another 9.5 million in performance shares that will be issued after meeting some performance targets within five years.

Linewize, founded in 2013 by Scott Noakes and Michael Lawson, provides a cloud-managed firewall service specifically developed for the education sector.

Its platform and service covers user authentication, content filtering, network appliances, telecoms services, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support, network access management and a suite of classroom tools.

“We believe the combination of Linewize’s leading school internet access management technologies with Family Zone’s holistic approach to addressing cyber safety issues provides an unrivalled solution for both schools and parents,” Linewize chief executive Noakes said.

“We’re excited to offer our existing schools the ability to provide thought leadership around cyber safety to their communities, and at the same time offer more schools access to Linewize services through Family Zone’s unique business model.”

Linewize’s platform has now reached more than 11 percent of New Zealand’s schools and 15 percent of New Zealand’s students.

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