Mohammed Amdani - Adapt Ventures

We talk about Adapt VCs global mandate, DD at early stages, working with his brother and more!

Mohammed Amdani is a Founding Partner at Adapt Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with a global mandate. Prior to this, he led Seed and Series A investments for Plug and Play Ventures in Silicon Valley and later became Head of Ventures for their EMEA region. His experiences as an operator appeared in all forms from selling milk tea out of his dorm room to co-founding Sugar Clothing to leading Qured’s B2B subscription product in London.

We talk about Adapt VCs global mandate, DD at early stages, working with his brother and more!

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NA: Hi Mo, thanks for joining me, could you please give a brief overview of Adapt VC and what you look to invest in?

MA: Hi Nawaz, Adapt Ventures is an early-stage venture firm with a global mandate. Our firm is founded by operators turned investors who aim to back electric entrepreneurs with an uncontrollable passion to build. We invest from Pre-seed to Series A in various markets such as the US, Latin America, Europe, and MENA. We employ an industry-agnostic approach to our investing style.

NA: Why did you choose to have a global mandate from the get-go for the fund?

MA: Today, the technology playing field has levelled significantly. The barriers to building technology companies filled with great talent no longer exist. It’s never been cheaper, or easier, to ship products. Covid-19 has amplified the fact that great talent exists outside of core markets and the beneficiaries are companies that have embraced a remote-first culture as they’re able to employ exceptional talent around the world faster than anybody else and grow at a faster pace.

We chose to be a firm with a global mandate because many companies often struggle to navigate around other geographies in the world. Given our history of operating in multiple markets outside the US, we’re able to support our portfolio companies to set up shop, hire a team, build sales channels, and more in other markets.

NA: How does Adapt VC get into competitive rounds and add value post-investment?

MA: We’re privileged that founders choose us to be a part of their journey for various reasons. In short, we’ve been on both sides of the table, have a ton of international experience, and are accessible. Instead of waiting for an ask from a founder, we anticipate their needs and offer various ways to be helpful on our own accord. Our job as investors is to alleviate load management as effectively as we can.

NA: You mentioned you guys get involved super early even at friends and family round level, how do you do due diligence?

MA: Due diligence at the F&F or pre-seed round is often difficult due to limited data being available. Our thesis around investing is backing exceptional people. Aside from the traditional measures such as market size, previous track record, and references, we look for founders that have strong founder-market fit, ability to produce a lot with limited resources, and ambition to compete with the best in the industry.

NA: How does your experience as founders help you as investors?

MA: Having been on both sides of the table, it gives you a lot more perspective on what founders go through, the roller coaster rides that are startups, and wearing many hats all the time. Building a company is one of the most difficult tasks in the world so having that perspective alone hones our way of investing.

NA: What advice would you give aspiring investors?

MA: Great investors today were playing the role as an investor well before they had the title.

In short, find ways to be helpful to founders without expecting anything in return, discover what makes you different from everyone else, understand why you want to be an investor, and develop industry expertise.

NA: What’s the best thing about working together with your brother?

MA: Co-founding a new venture with a sibling is always exciting. We always had huge aspirations since we were young and worked on various projects together. When we were both deciding who we’d want to join forces with, we thought about who in our network had an insatiable amount of passion, drive, a strong work ethic, and a competitive mindset. It was a no brainer we were describing each other.

With that being said, it does come with its own set of challenges. Ammar and I enjoy working with each other because not only do we share a similar vision, but we’re also extremely competitive, which keeps us on our toes at all times. 

NA: What is the latest publicly announced investment you have made and why did you make it?

MA: Our latest publicly announced investment is in a company called Panther, which simplifies global hiring. We’re cognizant that covid-19 accelerated what was already happening, which was not only building remote teams but also building them globally.

When we met Matt, we knew he was the right founder to partner within this space within the first conversation. He has a grand vision and runs past the speed limit. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the journey!

NA: That sounds like a great company. Thanks for joining me Mo, I had a great time learning about Adapt!

MA: No problem!

You can follow me and Mo on Twitter here!

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