Unicorn Awareness 10 of 149: Kuaidi Dache

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

Kuaidi Dache

Kuaidi Dache, is backed by Alibaba and was merged with Didi Dache in April this year. It is a taxi-hailing app and probably was forced to merge by the VCs lead by U.S. hedge fund Coatue Management, Alibaba and Tencent Holdings who normally are rivals.

Didi Dache brand is maintained as separated entity so all that was done was to risk mitigate for the investors. a Kuaudi’s service is integrated in Alipay’s mobile app that has over 190 million active users in China. Didi Dache has over 300 million users.

Given this was a country of bicycles before Nixon’s visit we can say that ride sharing is a growing business.

Unicorn Awareness 9 of 149: Getting A Face Lyft

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

Lyft

Perhaps the oxygen is being sucked out of the room. At 5.5 B Lyft is in the upper third of billion dollar start up club. However, at $ 68 B Uber it’s competitor looks more substantial.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Lyft is working with Frank Quattrone of Qatalyst Partners to determine its future investors. Already the company has General Motors as an investor, but it now has the task of finding a path to the sea. The red ocean of Ride Sharing services and (blue ocean?) Autonomous cars IMHO will converge at some point. I think that is the reason for the GM investment.

Left maybe the 29th Billion Dollar Start up to exit. Regardless it’s clear its looking to find a clear path.

Unicorn Awareness 8 of 149: Fanli

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

Fanli

Note to friends in China. I am flying blind on these investments so if you can comment on your experience with Fanli please help. Fanli‘s “website offers discounts and rebates on various products and services” so you can think of it as a chinese groupon.

It ranks well in China but the usage goest through tremendous spikes that I can not explain from a far. It may be that the company has sales or that China’s Internet has some special characteristics like better rates for connectivity.

Regardless Fanli has a 33.3 evaluation with 30M translating to $1B with powerhouse investment houses.

Unicorn Awareness 7 of 149: ForeScout

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

ForeScout

ForeScout is in the red hot hype cycle of IOT and Cyber Security. However, Mike Decesare is former McAfee and he sees a need for the Enterprise to “manage all the devices on their networks. Companies used to just worry about their employees’ computers. Now they need to prevent phones, tablets and even IoT devices like fitness bands and Smart TVs from providing vulnerabilities into their networks. ForeScout enables companies to scan for and track these devices. Its CounterACT product gathers information about the device and its behavior and monitors it.”

Counteract the Forescout product has a plug in that monitors the entire enterprise network and has the ability to quarantine unrecognized devices. It does a clever job making the point with this video Forescout has a lot of videos on YouTube that explain the product (perhaps to simply).

Fundamental to the perspective of Forescout is that legacy firewall and antivirus systems are not appropriate solutions for the explosion of connected devices and the cloud.

Unicorn Awareness 6 of 149: SMS Assist

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

SMS Assist

SMS Assist seems to be so new that the Wall Street Journal has very little information of value. It did not break through the Fortune list, but CBInsights has the following information.

SMS Assist provides a cloud-based multisite property management software to clients with more than 120,000 service locations. Using the company’s platform to manage networks of more than 20,000 affiliate subcontractors, the company offers a suite of property management benefits including leveraged pricing of products and services… On the website is a dashboard that shows managing properties from the perspective of a centralized location.

SMS Assist is Chicago based and its investors include Goldman Sachs, Insight Venture Partners and Pritzker Group.

Unicorn Awareness 5 of 149 (gain of 2 (again)): Cylance

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and now we are at 149 again so the venture capitalists are clearly back into their optimism or flush with cash.

Cylance

Cylance is one of the newest member to the billion dollar start up club and competes with Palo Alto Networks and some other on doing security via machine learning systems. While Cylance Inc. focuses on file malware they join CloudFlare Inc., ForeScout Technologies Inc. and Tanium Inc as cyber security Billion Dollar Startup Club members.

However, it is not a new company, it was started in 2012.

Per the Wall Street Journal ” the company was also recently credited with identifying the malware that caused the 2015 breach at the Office of Personnel Management, which left more than 21 million Social Security numbers vulnerable.”

Stuart McClure is the CEO, President and Founder and is former McAfee.

Unicorn Awareness 4 of 147: Zoox

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and are back to 147 again so lets assume that some funding goals were made which brought the outliers back into the herd.

ZOOX

Zoox is one of thirteen companies that have permits to test autonomous driving vehicles. There is a website Zoox.com but candidly it just gives you an email link. Perhaps this is a smart strategy when you have a dozen other competitors. This is is the best place I can find with information about the company.

If I had money invested here, I would want to keep a tight watch on the team. Already there are some market assumptions that I would wanted tested. The use of a sports car for the taxi prototype appeals to a limited market.

This is a bet on pedigree plain and simple. If Steve Jurveston made money with you in the past or you were taught by Kentley-Clay you probably are on board.

All Hands on Deck with Roger Von Oech

I believe I am a very creative thinker, but candidly, I get a lot of help. Tony Buzan’s Mind Mapping techniques have added to my retention. I find it incredible how often I draw a strategy using a mind map and find new links.

However, when it comes to creativity, I give a lot of credit to Roger von Oech. Roger got his Interdisciplinary Doctorate from Stanford on the History of Ideas. He also ran conferences on Innovation and created the Whack Pack and the Innovative Whack Pack.

There have been days when I have brought my decks out to a meeting to get a group thinking outside the box. There have been other days, when I have used the decks like a tarot reader working on a question.

The one that I randomly chose a few days ago to carry with me says…
“Those who approach life like a child playing a game moving and pushing pieces possess the power of kings.”

For me this translates into not accepting the status quo easily. Since the King can barely move in chess the question has to be asked what if the king could knight any piece.

Who do I wish I could give more power and resources to in my organization?

Rogers latest contributions have been in 3 dimensional “puzzles” that allow structure to be played with. For today, I will stick with the decks, but if I ever start to build something, I will take advantage of his physical guidance.

Unicorn Awareness 3 of 147 (gain of 2): WeWork

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

We will ignore the fact that there were 147 about a month ago and are back to 147 again so lets assume that some funding goals were made which brought the outliers back into the herd.

WeWork

WeWork is the rarest of Unicorns in the fact that it is only one in its space and with its business plan. It maybe that it also is doomed as it tries to build a market for flexible office space by taking on the assets and parsing them out. Unlike Uber and AirBnB, which it gets compared to it has the problem of needing to provide an acceptable work space.

Besides the workspace comes, other dorm like facilities per the journal’s Lindsay Gellman. “Young startup strivers feel at home in WeWork’s sleekly designed spaces in rising urban neighborhoods, with perks ranging from IT support to affordable healthcare to free beer. The Israeli-born Mr. Neumann looks more like one of his startup tenants than a traditional landlord, and is reportedly in the process of expanding his vision. In the works: living space near Washington, D.C.’s city limits that would function as a high-end dorm for 20-something workers, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.”

As of this article is has a $16B valuation on a $5B investment.

So it truly is a unique unicorn.

NONE TO S.W.I.F.T.

Whenever I read an article, my father’s advice always comes to mind. Ask yourself who wanted the article written before thinking that the article is objective. The article about cyberattacks on worldwide banking is a case in point.

The Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications [SWIFT] has suffered from three successful cyberattacks. Given the trillions that go through the system the attacks were small, remote and isolated. In fact the network (which relies on mainframe non Internet connections) was not successfully attacked. Instead hackers in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ecuador found end user computers they were able to use to penetrate the system.

The resulting fraud was direct point to point and not part of a network breach.

Now if I were SWIFT, I would want the article written to show the network is safe and secure.

If I were someone who wanted to replace swift , I would want to suggest that the problem is not in the edge, but at the core.

So I think this article was written by friends of SWIFT. However, I think this will be used by everyone looking to replace SWIFT with modern technology.

Block chain transactions are the bright shiny technology and has been successfully used to transfer monies internationally. Expect to see more about these alternatives written about as a result of this latest news.