Melbourne security reseller Tesserent stealthily builds US, UK empire

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Melbourne security reseller Tesserent stealthily builds US, UK empire
Tesserent's Keith Glennan

Melbourne-based network security provider Tesserent is quietly building a security empire that stretches all the way from Australia to and the UK and the US.

Tesserent has been on a growth tear since it went public on the ASX in February 2016. It was understood to be the first such cybersecurity firm to IPO in Australia and its vendor partners include Cisco's Sourcefire and Kaspersky.

The company acquired 150 education-focused customers and the intellectual property assets of Victoria-based software company Blue Reef in May for $1 million cash and $2.5 million in shares. Tesserent then offloaded the IP six months later for $3.5 million in cash and $300,000 in shares, and kept the customers.

Tesserent said the $3.5 million cash injection would help it make "significant investments in its core business as a managed security services provider".

Tesserent announced earlier this month it was selling the Sonar/MyNet IP, which aims to protect schools students online, to Perth-based Family Zone Cyber Safety.

Family Zone will be responsible for continuing the development of the product while Tesserent focuses on customers as the exclusive Australian distributor. The development team will move to Family Zone.

Tesserent chief executive Keith Glennan said that as part of a two-year agreement, Tesserent would pay Family Zone monthly fees for each Tesserent customer with an active installation of Sonar/MyNet. 

The companies will also look to grow the software's footprint in the UK.

Glennan told CRN that Tesserent wanted to focus on the schools market. Although Tesserent specialises in education, this market only represents 30 percent of its business.

"The education vertical has unique requirements. We are protecting minors. Teenagers are more connected than adults. As soon as we detect [dangerous] activity we block it," he said. 

He explained that students were quick to find ways to bypass firewalls. Thanks to social media, this information moves fast from one school to another.

Tesserent has 350 customers in Australia and overseas. The company is present in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, with other states covered remotely.

In October, the company signed new reseller in the USA targeting education, which added 31 US schools to Tesserent customer's list. 

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