Freshly funded SafeToNet acquires online safety app VISR

U.K. cyber safety company SafeToNet Ltd has acquired VISR Inc, a Toronto-based specialist in using artificial intelligence to detect the emotional well-being of children online. No financial terms were released. SafeToNet, which also announced raising a US$13 million financing led by West Hill Capital, said the buy will broaden the company’s technologies and intellectual property and give it a foothold in North America. VISR, founded in 2014 by CEO Robert Reichmann, secured funding from Horizons VenturesOntario Centres of Excellence and Ryerson Futures.


SafeToNet Acquires VISR Inc & Raises $13m Series A Private Placement

LONDON, June 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SafeToNet Limited, the award-winning British cyber safety company has today announced the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Toronto-based VISR inc., industry specialists in using AI to automatically detect the emotional well-being of children online.

Richard Pursey, CEO of SafeToNet said, “We are delighted to have joined forces with VISR. It is renowned for the complex neural networks it has built to automatically identify indicators of emotional well-being among children online. Its AI systems have analysed over 42 million posts and have detected over six hundred thousand incidents of distress in children from around the world using social networks and messaging apps. They are pioneering in this field and by bringing our two companies together we will safeguard even more children from predatory risks such as grooming, sextortion, cyberbullying and more. This acquisition will also allow us to further strengthen and broaden our existing patent-protected technologies and will expand SafeToNet’s intellectual property into the field of health and well-being online.

“We have been in discussions with VISR’S leadership team for a while, having always rated them very highly. We share a common vision on how children should be kept safe online. SafeToNet’s safeguarding technologies do not spy or pry on children and neither do VISR’S. Both systems fully automate content filtering and respect a child’s rights to privacy without exposing to a parent what is sent or received. We both believe that artificial intelligence and automate message filtering is the only way to safeguard children from so many horrific predatory risks that exist in today’s online world.”

Robert Reichmann, Chairman of VISR said, “In the time we have spent getting to know the SafeToNet team, we have been continually impressed with their progress and capacity to execute on their vision. The Company’s traction when coupled with its patents made this acquisition compelling. SafeToNet’s innovative solutions for child safety creates a perfect match with VISR’s mood and psychological distress technology. Together we will be able to enhance our detection rates of anxiety, depression and aggression and correlate them more accurately to filter bullying, abuse, grooming and other predatory risks, whereby providing families with an even better offering. Both our companies exist to solve the same challenges, and so we are very excited to join their family, working together to create a safer digital world for our children.”

David Van Bruwaene, CEO and Chief Data Scientist of VISR says, “Factors like perceived anonymity, virality, and persistence of shared content online tend to amplify the psychological effects of childhood experiences — for good and for bad. I am excited to join forces with SafeToNet to build digital tools to aid in a comprehensive approach to safeguarding children online. I have no doubt that our technological, philosophical, and humanitarian approaches will lead to a solution that is greater than the sum of our parts. Each day that we have worked together I have seen our projects flourish, with each success renewing our shared hope that the next generation will receive the digital environment that they deserve.”

Pursey added, “This acquisition gives SafeToNet a foothold in North America, a market which is crucial to our safeguarding ambitions. We are expanding with real purpose and vigor having recently opened offices in Germany too. The team in Toronto and Waterloo further strengthens our existing research and development department and combines a highly talented group of Ph.D.-level researchers and software developers to our existing cyber-psychology team based in London. We will continue to add more world-class people to VISR which will take on the global leadership of our data-science initiatives and help us to develop our cognitive computing systems so that we can detect and filter even more harmful content and safeguard many more children worldwide.”

SafeToNet Raises $13m Series A Private Placement

SafeToNet, has successfully raised $13m in a private placement series A via West Hill Capital.

The funding significantly increases the power and market potential of SafeToNet’s cyber-safety filtering services and gives it the financial depth and strength to enhance the development of its AI harm detection software and expand into new territories around the world.

Richard Pursey, CEO of SafeToNet said, “The demand from investors was incredible and our placement heavily oversubscribed. It highlights not only the strength and depth of SafeToNet’s solution but also recognizes the overwhelming need to solve the seemingly never-ending issues associated with social networking and messaging apps. Rarely a day goes by when we don’t read something in the news about cyberbullying, abuse, aggression, grooming and more online. SafeToNet is tackling what has become a global social issue. It only exists to safeguard children online. Nothing is more important to us and so this funding is going to make a significant and measurable difference to many children around the world.

SafeToNet’s patent-protected software is pioneering. This investment allows us to further develop our IP and technology so that we can identify and filter even more online risks. The very nature of artificial intelligence requires a volume of users to ensure the accuracy of algorithms. In our case, it means we can extend the capabilities of our threat-detection and filtering software into new languages and cultures. We have already engaged with channel partners across Europe, North America, the Middle East and India. This investment allows SafeToNet to further expand its operations internationally and will help us engage with even more commercial partners in territories new to the Company.”

Robert Caie, Managing Partner of West Hill Capital said, “SafeToNet is a world-class technology business that is tackling a global problem. It came as no surprise that the placement was so heavily oversubscribed. SafeToNet has all the ingredients to become one of the most recognised Cyber Safety companies in the world. It has a highly experienced leadership team, robust technology, a clear B2B2C route to market, predictable revenue streams and compelling client retention strength. We wish the team every success as it continues to safeguard children around the world.”

About SafeToNet™

SafeToNet is an award-winning cyber safety company that safeguards children from online risks such as cyberbullying, grooming, abuse, aggression and more. It was the first company in the world to identify and disable individual apps running on both an iOS and Android device. It was also the first to launch a real-time sext filtering tool that helps to prevent a child from sending inappropriate images. The Company’s software is pioneering and uses a mixture of artificial intelligence, natural language processing and device management technologies to keep children safe online without snooping, prying or spying.

The Company is a member of the London Stock Exchange Elite Programme. It is also one of only five companies in the world to be part of the Go-Ignite accelerator designed to connect SafeToNet to the clients of Deutsche Telecom, Telefonica, Singtel and Orange. SafeToNet has offices in London. Cologne and Toronto.

For more information visit or email

About West Hill Capital

West Hill Capital is a leading private equity and venture capital firm providing growth capital to innovative financial services businesses and pioneering technology companies. It offers these investments with EIS tax breaks to its network of UHNW, HNW and professional investors.

In recent years, West Hill has deployed nearly £100million into 24 companies, of which the partners of West Hill have personally invested over £3million on the same terms as investors. During this time, they have had a profitable trade sale, a successful admission to AIM and a number of companies have subsequently attracted funding at a higher valuation, one of which has presented shareholders a 16x multiple of money since 2012. For more information, please register here: or email

For PR inquiries, please contact Gary Farrow
P: 0207 8732416
M: 07860 491 959