Lydia Jett (SoftBank) - How she invests in eCommerce at a global scale, How to evaluate emerging markets, and Learnings from 2022


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Our guest today is Lydia Jett, Managing Partner and Head of eCommerce / Consumer Internet at SoftBank Investment Advisors. Some of her investments include Coupang, Fanatics, and Misfits Market. We get into quite a few topics all centered about investing and the future of ecommerce. how she approaches investing at a global scale, particularly in emerging markets, the current outlook for ecommerce, how she thinks about capital deployment in this climate and much much more. Without further ado, here’s Lydia.

Some of the questions I ask:

  1. What got you curious about ecommerce investing and what was your path that led you to Softbank?
  2. In 2015 what was the opportunity you saw in ecommerce?
  3. What has changed since you started working at Softbank up until now in ecommerce when it comes to your investment themes?
  4. How do you identify opportunities that can scale to the ability that is needed to generate a return but also the business can be a profitable business?
  5. How do you think about the rate of capital deployment?
  6. This is a difficult time for ecommerce – penetration levels have reverted back to where it’s estimated we would be if the pandemic never happened. Has this period changed any of your perception about ecommerce? What’s your outlook?
  7. One of the hardest hitting parts in ecommerce were ecommerce aggregators, with the decline in ecommerce penetration, global supply chain crisis, pending recession, and increased inflation. Has this also taught you how consumer shop and what they pay attention to whether it’s just a product or a brand?
  8. Will live streaming make it’s way to the west what new customer acquitition?
  9. We saw that Softbank lost $23 billion in Q2 this year. What have you learned from this year? Has this changed at all how you invest?
  10. What’s one piece of advice you have for founders?


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