Unicorn Awareness 16 of 155: Lufax Peering into Finance

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.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 155. In other words we are one short. (Which I would make a case should be more than one ;<) ).

Lufax

Lufax is short for Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. and according to the WSJ they have “7 million registered users [and have] arranged more than 200,000 loans worth $2.5 billion.”

The idea of  peer-to-peer [P2P] lending is to bypass the bankers so that the lenders can recoup principal and interest directly. This increases the chance of individual defaults and makes risk unmitigated.  In China, the banking industry has not matched the need of small firms and consumers so LuFax is a well known alternative.  However, it is not the only alternative.

Unicorn Awareness 15 of 155: Palantir Finds Fraud

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.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 155. In other words we lost one.

Palantir

At $20B the Palantir is one of the largest unicorn’s in the herd.  The P A L in Palantir maybe a reference to it’s origins in PayPal, where the focus was on using link analysis to find fraud.  Since then it has been a darling of the government agencies with contracts for $215M for helping them to do everything from finding Bin Laden to prosecuting Bernie Madoff.

They are looking to be used for energy, entertainment, finance, healthcare, insurance and retailing.

Unicorn Awareness 13 of 150: Uber Alles

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.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 150.

Uber

My tendency with Uber is to defer to Velveteen Rabbit as analogous to Uber’s becoming a real company. Already it has done things that stand out from the rest of the unicorns. The first is that it went to the debt market which it did not publicize, the second is that it admitted that it could not beat them, so it merged its Uber China LoB with Didi Chuxing.

With an evaluation of 68B and another 15B in available through debt, the question has to be can Uber possibly pay off in the long run.

Unicorn Awareness 12 of 149 (again)

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.

Currently we have gained back a Unicorn and the count is 149.

Mode Media

Mode Media, formerly called Glam Media, owns hundreds of lifestyle sites that connect brand advertisers with targeted audiences such as men with Brash, Foodie, Glam, Tend (for moms) and other channels online.

Advertisers can access Mode’s audience directly through Mode in North America (US and Canada), Asia (including Japan, and South Korea) and Europe (including Germany, the United Kingdom and France) as well as through our sales and marketing partners in Australia, China, Singapore, Italy, Spain, the Middle East, South Africa, and Russia. In fact, we have the capability to aggregate viewers from almost anywhere in the world. We focus on local creators and brands, creating original, local and highly engaging in-market experiences.

Unicorn Awareness 11 of 148: WiFiMaster

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.

Currently we lost one of your Unicorns since the count was 149 until last week.

WiFiMaster

Wifimaster WiFiMaster biggest asset might be that the own the domain wifi.com. However, it probably helps that they are in China, but 52M investment has yielded a Billion dollar evaluation. Wifimaster provides an app called Wifi Master Key for connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots without a password or sign-in.

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 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.