A Leeds-based cybersecurity company for education has been sold to an Australian rival in a £75.5 million cash deal. 

Growth investor Tenzing backed an MBO at Smoothwall in 2017 to help it expand its online safeguarding technology footprint in the UK and US and has realised a 5.6x return on its invested capital following the deal. 

Listed Australian firm Family Zone, an online platform enabling schools, parents and cyber safety teachers to collaborate, has agreed to pay £65m on completion of the acquisition on 12th August then a further £10.5m on September 1st. 

Smoothwall, which recently acquired fellow educational monitoring technology firm eSafe Global, is currently used by more than 12,400 schools and around six million students in the UK and US. 

The combined company will now reach nine million students in 18,000 schools in the UK, US and Australasia.

“We’ve hugely benefited from the injection of investment, energy and expertise from Tenzing over the last four years; there has always been a real sense of backing us as a team,” said Smoothwall CEO Georg Ell, a former director of Western Europe at Tesla.  

“Their support has enabled us to expand the solutions we offer to our clients, and it makes me incredibly proud that, under Tenzing’s ownership, Smoothwall has grown to protect more than six million children.” 

Family Zone MD Tim Levy added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Smoothwall. Our organisations share core values around keeping children safe, and our complementary platforms and culture create a unique and remarkable opportunity for synergies and growth on a global stage.”