CYBERSECURITY

Smith Micro Picks Up Avast’s Mobile Parental Controls Software-as-a-service Business

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By Kelly Hill

Smith Micro will buy the mobile parental controls SaaS business and make Avast a preferred partner going forward

Smith Micro is acquiring Avast’s parental control software-as-a-service business in a US$66 million deal that the company says cements its position as a provider of family mobile software solutions for carriers and opens up new potential opportunities to work with Avast on IoT.

Smith Micro’s acquisition will bolster the company’s portfolio of white-label parental control services for carriers; specific capabilities include providing location, content filtering and screen time management. The company also added that the deal will allow it to add “critical headcount” to its workforce in the United States and Europe.

The deal is expected to close in mid-April. Smith Micro announced an accompanying stock offering of US$62 million in order to fund the purchase.

“Acquiring the Family Safety Mobile Business from Avast will present a significant opportunity for Smith Micro to transform the global market for carrier-grade digital family mobile software,” said president and CEO of Smith Micro Software, William W. Smith, Jr.,. “The acquisition will create one of the leading family safety software solutions providers for wireless carriers and will blend two highly experienced and talented development teams.”

The transaction does not include Avast’s carrier IoT security and in-home protection services (provisioned under its Avast Smart Life or Avast Omni services), which Avast will continue to provide to non-family customers.

In addition to the acquisition, Smith Micro and Avast are striking a preferred partner arrangement to work together to respond to future carrier tenders that require both family mobile safety and IoT or digital security services.

SVP at Avast Partner, Nick Viney noted that more than 24 billion IoT devices are forecasted to be active by 2030, and Avast sees “great potential” for its digital security solutions in that context. The agreement with Smith Micro, he added, “gives Avast’s Partner team the opportunity to focus on building out our priority cybersecurity and privacy offerings and to expand into new vertical markets as well as the telecommunications space by partnering with Smith Micro to deliver our products and services to their customers as well as ours.

“Just as important, the intended go-forward collaboration both parties will gain as a result of the deal will combine Smith Micro’s expertise in providing mobile family safety solutions to wireless carriers with Avast’s expertise in consumer cybersecurity and digital privacy,” Smith added. “This strategic partnership represents definitive growth potential for both businesses as we would be positioned to combine our complementary solution portfolios and coordinate our sales and marketing efforts to further penetrate wireless carrier accounts on a global scale.”

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