A tech firm focussed on online child safety has acquired the US owners of Net Nanny, a well-known parental controls companies.

London-based SafeToNet said Net Nanny is a household name in the US and Asia-Pacific, and its acquisition enhances its position as “one of the world’s leading safety tech companies”.

The price of the deal has not been revealed. SafeToNet said the move is part of its preparatory plans for a Series B investment round in early 2021.

Launched in 2017, SafeToNet’s AI-powered safeguarding keyboard automatically contextualises messages being sent.

The technology detects and filters threats such as bullying, sextortion, abuse and aggression, but is designed to fully protect the privacy rights of the child.

Combined with the Net Nanny technology, SafeToNet said its AI will automatically block an app, a camera or even lock a phone if the software detects an immediate risk.

This merger is hoped to significantly strengthen SafeToNet’s US presence, and in the education market it will deploy a derivative of its safeguarding keyboard onto the technology used by schools across the country.

Richard Pursey, Group CEO of SafeToNet said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with Net Nanny. It is probably the best known parental controls company in the world and is renowned for its use of deep tech and AI to filter harmful web content. By bringing our two products together, we will significantly enhance the safety of children online.”

Frank Fox, CEO of SafeToNet Americas added: “We have been in discussions with Net Nanny’s leadership team for a while and rate them very highly. We share a common vision on how children should be kept safe online. We both believe that respecting a child’s rights to privacy is key to the safeguarding landscape.”