As he transitions from founder to investor, Tom Blomfield has laid out some advice for firms looking to raise money, including a warning about meetings with a certain foot-picking, cigarette-smoking executive at the giant Softbank Vision Fund.
In a blog, Monzo and GoCardless co-founder Blomfield says he has encountered some "shitty" VCs, naming the London team of $150 billion Softbank Vision Fund as "one particularly egregious example of bad behaviour".
Softbank, he writes, would regularly leave Blomfield waiting in the lobby for an hour or more before meetings.
However, it was once the meetings eventually started that things got really ugly: "The lead partner took meetings barefoot, and would pick his feet incessantly. During one meeting, he lit a cigarette and smoked it in his office, windows closed. He finally put the it down in his lunch plate, and poured his coffee over the cigarette to extinguish it."
Blomfield does not name the partner, but SoftBank Investment Advisers COE Rajeev Misra has built up a reputation for unconventional foot-related behaviour.
According to a 2019 Wall Street Journal article, during a flight in a private jet, Misra "took his shoes off and propped his bare feet on the knee of a top European soccer executive".
Of his encounter, Blomfield writes: "I didn’t know if it was some weird power play, or if he just lacked any kind of manners. Looking back, I wish I had the guts to ask him to stop, or to simply get up and walk out of his office. But my company really needed the investment and I didn’t want to blow my chance."