Investments

Unicorns Still Toeing (Hoofing) The IPO Line

Unicorns get a new member

Still a dearth of tech IPOs this year, making our unicorns skittish about public debuts. Plus, a new U.S. unicorn entrant makes a bow. And a few layoffs to boot.

The IPO markets remain subdued as Blue Coat will not, in fact, go public (having been acquired by cybersecurity giant Symantec), and so, the tech firms that have gone to the shareholder well stand at only two so far this year. The unicorns, then, remain flapping their wings in privately held purgatory.

There have been some indications that some firms are delaying their initial IPO plans. As reported at the end of last week, Delivery Hero, which signaled some intent earlier this year to bow publicly, now is in no rush to do so. The German food delivery giant has as its biggest shareholder Rocket Internet, which holds a 37 percent stake. The firm instead will look to boost market share in its chosen markets.

Elsewhere, in the beleaguered online lending sector, Prosper may not really be prospering, as the firm said it has stopped accepting LendingTree and Credit Karma business. The firm has been focusing instead on getting new deals with investors to buy loans, according to the financial media. The slowdown in the online lending space has been widespread, with this marquee name and, of course, Lending Club drawing much investor, regulatory and public scrutiny.

Last week, in the U.S., a new unicorn entered the magic realm, as SMS Assist grabbed $150 million in Series D fundraising, for the property management firm to reach a $1 billion valuation. The total raised to date has topped $250 million.

In layoff news, Zenefits laid off another 106 employees last week in its continued movement to foster a turnaround, taking out 9 percent of the staff in the latest axing.

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