Unicorns Drowse Through Summer

SoftBank’s Hard Landing Among The Tech Unicorns

No merger among India’s marquee unicorns seems forthcoming, but there has been a murmur of a down round and a few regulatory wrinkles, too.

No IPOs this past week for our Unicorn Watch, which may be a harbinger of a bit of breathing room in a sector dominated, say by Twilio and Line and others. The dog days of summer are upon us, and so as bankers head to the beach, shall we assume the flight to market has hit a snooze button?

Airbnb, having staked its claim in urban environs, has said that it is open to market regulations in cities of scale such as Vancouver and others. The key market change, should it be adopted, would entail that the in tighter rental markets, hosts would be banned from renting out multiple units for the sole reason of garnering income. The firm, according to the Canadian press, has hired Alexandra Dagg to help get ahead of efforts in various locations in Canada to tax and restrict hosting services in general. The taxes would be levied across hotel and provincial sales taxes, and would be an effort to keep housing markets from becoming overheated.

The merger gears seem to have gotten a bit sandy, too, stopping in their tracks in unicorn land. In one watched will-they-or-won’t they scenario, Flipkart, in India, may not be merging with Shopclues, as the latter’s CEO stated in recent missives in the press, and one that would boost the eCommerce presence across the nation. 

But one round of speculation still flickers in the region as Snapdeal, the online marketing firm, and GoJavas, a logistics firm, had deal talks that fell apart. The deal fell apart over valuation, said various news reports. GoJavas may in fact be looking to grab back its 42 percent that is owned by Snapdeal.

Down round? One it seems, with Rocket International’s fashion group being taken down via $363 million funding via existing investors– to an implied value of $1.1 billion, down from $3.4 billion. 

In one bit of regulatory news, perennially troubled Zenefits has reached a settlement with Tennessee state regulators for allowing its brokers to sell insurance without licenses.