Unicorn Watch: Hazy Summer Days, And One IPO Draws A Line

SoftBank’s Hard Landing Among The Tech Unicorns

Unicorns have been as quiet as they are mystical over the past week plus, which may be an outgrowth of summer’s torpor or continued reticence over public markets.

In reference to the latter, is the recent success of Line, an IPO that will get more unicorns to cross, the, um, well, line? Could be. Consider the fact that the online messaging company priced above the top of its range and also saw shares gain about 30 percent in their first day of trading. That led to a market cap of roughly $8 billion, which would be a unicorn on steroids.

Jabong, an online fashion portal that is owned by Global Fashion Group, which is in turn backed by Rocket Internet, may be headed to a legal dispute. The financial trade press reported that several former Jabong executives are under scrutiny for possible violations of corporate governance, with focus on related party transactions and even embezzlement.

In a new mention of IPO possibilities, JustFab, an eCommerce player focused on delivering a plethora of consumer goods (including ShoeDazzle and Fabletics) to its 4 million members, said that and IPO may be in the works, though there’s been no official comment as to when or how much would be sought.

Flipkart, based in India, has been in the news, as observers have pointed to a so-called “Amazon problem” wherein the company has just launched a new service, known as F-Assured, in an effort to improve its delivery times. Newswires have been abuzz with the speculation that the firm should merge with Snapdeal, and thus a combined entity would be able to take on Amazon a bit more readily. Profitability remains a goal for both firms, but is a ways off, according to analysts. 

In hirings of note, Funding Circle, the biggest P2P player in the U.K., has hired Jeremy Bennett as global CFO. The new hire had previously been head of Nomura’s European division.