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Treading Lightly Among the Unicorns

SoftBank’s Hard Landing Among The Tech Unicorns

A few IPOs may or may not be coming into play. Big firms may or may not be looking to buy unicorns. As summer sluggishness sets in, the fence looks like a good place to roost.

Avast Software, which is based in Prague, had been featured in the financial trade press as prepping for a listing on public exchanges, perhaps as soon as next year. That would be a new publicly traded entity within the cybersecurity market, once red hot but experiencing turbulence of late. Other firms have warned of slowing growth (which is not the same as a decline), but Avast also serves as a niche operator of sorts, with geographic reach into Latin America, among other areas.

In a bit of growth for the online lending industry, Kabbage said that it has extended access to small business loans through Scotiabank, for maximums of $100,000 in Canada and Mexico. This would be a departure from the norm of negative headlines that have dominated the space.  The loans in Canada will have a six-month duration, while those in Mexico will have a year. 

Okta, also in security, announced last week that it has hired Goldman Sachs to explore a sale or an initial public offering, which would represent an exit strategy either way. The path may have been presaged by the fact that the company told Business Insider that it is not selling itself. The environment for tech IPOs is getting a little better, as evidenced by Twilio, and perhaps firms are looking to ride the waves in that successful debut’s wake.

In a hiring round, eyeglass seller Warby Parker said it would be adding 128 jobs tied to a new lab in New York, with an eye, no pun intended, on retaining a few hundred jobs in New York City at retail locations.

With an eye on the larger picture, are unicorns setting up for takeouts? The M&A landscape may heat up a bit, at least as pushed by the biggest tech names out there, including Apple and Google, along with Amazon, as they have cash on hand, as Bloomberg stated.



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