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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

"What the hell?"

That was the opening question yesterday for SoftBank Vision Fund's Lydia Jett and Colin Fan, for a packed afternoon session at Upfront Summit in Los Angeles.

Bottom line: Jett and Fann argued that too much is being made of SVF's $100 billion size, and too little of the "vision" part.

More specifically, SoftBank CEO Masa Son's belief that the world is in a rare technological inflection point, and that large deal sizes are justifiable if you're thinking well beyond a 10-year investment horizon. More like a 30-year to 3oo-year timeframe.

  • Yes, that 300 figure was said repeatedly, so it wasn't just a one-time tongue slip.
  • I don't know how to put this more tactfully, so... There was some unsettling cult of personality stuff emanating from the stage, well beyond the typical belief in a founder's vision.
  • Masa personally meets with founders prior to SVF investing, more to gauge personality and ambition than to judge underlying tech or business fundamentals.
  • SVF has only lost out on two deals so far. We previously reported one was Stitch Fix, so here's an open call for the other's identity
  • $100 million is the "theoretical minimum" check size. SVF doesn't want control, but it also doesn't want to be a passive shareholder..
  • There was an interesting dichotomy yesterday: During a morning session I chaired on crypto investing, a lot was made about how buying startup tokens can be superior to buying equity, thanks to crypto's short-term liquidity flexibility (leaving aside custodial issues). SVF, however, is talking about investments that could take decades to exit. Most of the VC/LP audience, of course, continues to live in the vast middle ages.

Go deeper

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Cuomo asks for “independent” investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he would authorize and "voluntarily cooperate" with an independent investigation run by New York's attorney general into claims he sexually harassed several women.

The state of play: The statement comes after a day of competing statements from Cuomo and AG Letitcia James over who would oversee an independent investigation into the governor.

Cuomo scandal snares Dems on #MeToo

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images   

The searing sexual harassment allegations made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo are trouble for Democrats far beyond Albany and New York.

Why it matters: They hammered Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape. Pilloried Brett Kavanaugh over Christine Blasey Ford. Defended President Biden when he was accused of inappropriate touching. Now, Democrats have to show whether they walk the "#MeToo" talk.