SMX raises $1.67 million, plans Japan raid

Local security company taps Sam Morgan, Stephen Tindall for growth funding

Anti-spam and anti-virus company SMX has tapped Sam Morgan, Stephen Tindall and venture investor Endeavour Capital to raise $1.67 million in new capital.

Managing director Jesse Ball says SMX’s second fund-raising began last year, with the aim of continuing the company’s expansion into emerging markets with growing internet populations.

However, that strategy has now shifted. While it is still targeting these markets, Auckland-based SMX is also eying Japan as a promising market for its technologies.

Ball says Japan is a mature market in every respect except in the managed services area. As such, it represents a significant opportunity for the company.

He adds that SMX will be putting infrastructure in place in Australia and building a channel there. Services in Australia will be sold under the SMX brand, as they are in New Zealand, he says.

In addition, SMX will be increasing its investment in India, where it already has one employee within partner CMC.

Ball says a key differentiator for SMX is the ability to put infrastructure in place in the markets it plans to service. It can also white label these services to allow partners to brand them as their own.

Ball says he hasn’t seen any significant changes in the managed security services market since Symantec bought MessageLabs last October. SMX’s relationship with Symantec, which it concluded a deal with in 2008, remains strong, he says.

He says the majority of SMX’s shares are still held by himself, co-founder and director of operations Thom Hooker and other founding shareholders.

According to the Companies Office last week, Tindall’s investment vehicle K One W One owns 353,499 of SMX’s 7.7 million shares. Morgan’s Jasmine Investment Holding No 2 vehicle held 589,166 shares.

The SMX service scrubs mail before it reaches customer networks, saving network bandwidth costs that the company says often pays for the service. Customers are charged a monthly fee, based on the number of users within each customer business.

“We’re obviously delighted that savvy technology investors such as Stephen Tindall and Sam Morgan are prepared to back our international growth strategy,” Jesse Ball says. “We are also pleased that our first-round investor Endeavour Capital has continued to express confidence in our progress and plans.”

Privately owned SMX was launched in February 2006.

Customers include the Automobile Association, the Accident Compensation Corporation, Harcourts, CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic), Karen Walker and a number of local government and council organisations.

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Tags symantecstephen tindallSMXSecurity IDsam morgan

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