What Investors Look For When Evaluating Your Pitch: Mohamed Hamdy

Overvaluation or terms that are not reasonable for the investors make a great idea, but is not necessary feasible.

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By Mohamed Hamdy

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When evaluating any investment there are many things to look for, but I can divide them into the following categories:

1. Team. Domain expertise, technical partners. I don't believe in outsourcing key development tasks. You outsource admin work, not development work.

2. Domain. If I am investing here in the region, I would focus on ventures looking to build a utility- basically infrastructure. Another domain I would look for is very specific verticals that are localized. This approach is time-relevant for the current situation.

3. Favorable investment terms. Overvaluation or terms that are not reasonable for the investors make a great idea, but is not necessary feasible. Covenants and valuations are two variables I would look at here in the region; obviously terms get more complicated in the West.

4. Unorthodox advantage. I would like the team or the startup to start their journey with some sort of a competitive advantage which is not assumed. Potential customers that make sense is not one of them, possible JVs also don't count, until it's actual and confirmed.

5. Other investors. I like tagging along with other investors- only with angel and VC investing. In my PE career, that was not necessary especially if I was looking to implement activism across the board and operations. There's comfort knowing other investors are getting on the same boat- smart ones, I don't want to get in trouble and stuck with fools.

Mohamed Hamdy

Managing Director, Turn8 and Partner, Suhail Capital

Mohamed Hamdy is the managing director at Turn8, a start up accelerator program in Dubai, Partner in Suhail Capital, a long/short event driven hedge fund and an investor. 

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