Daniel Swartz

Steve Murray spent 20 years at Softbank before joining Revolution as a partner last year. He chatted with Axios before 1776's Challenge Cup competition kick-off event in D.C. Here are a few highlights:

On the impact of Snap's IPO:

"From what I hear from folks in the investment banking community, it has led to a pipeline that is moving through the system (and) they expect the second half of this year to have a lot more activity on the tech IPO front. As companies mature and get bigger, to the extent there are not a lot of chances to go public because of market conditions, it changes the dynamic with respect to buyers. If you have a credible threat to take a company public, it gives more balanced leverage to the company when they're having discussions about being acquired by someone else or going public."

On Softbank's new $93 billion VisionFund:

"You can't talk about anything with respect to Softbank without Masayoshi Son. If you think about what he's trying to do, he's trying to find the next Alibabas, if you will…. Masa is a huge believer in technology. He sees huge opportunities going forward. He's created this fund to have patient capital that doesn't have quite the same demands (for quick) return...They're going to have to find certain companies that can take the kind of capital they can deploy — $250 million will be a small check for them. I think it will be a challenge to deploy that. If it was being managed by someone other than Masa, I'd bet against it perhaps, but I wouldn't bet against him."

On the status of the FTC's review of the proposed DraftKings/FanDuel merger:

"I don't have an update, but it's supposed to be decided over next several weeks. Then we can get to the business of combining the businesses and getting to work." (He noted that timing is uncertain since the FTC currently has only two out of its five commissioners.)

On how entrepreneurs view Washington these days:

"There's intrigue, but ultimately, the ethos of these folks—they're so focused on building their companies and the markets they're in. Outside of the (D.C.) region, it's more of a sideshow that people talk about like a sporting event as opposed to something they really concern themselves with."

On which cities are the next innovation hotbeds:

  • Chicago, Denver, Boulder, Atlanta, Salt Lake City
  • What these cities have in common: Good universities, young workforce, the beginning of a startup ecosystem.

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.