In 2019, Wamda Capital started a fellowship model, WamdaX, with a focus on experienced startup founders at an early stage of their ventures. The program offered both capital and mentorship for startups.

WamdaX programme.

The bouquet of mentors for the programme was composed of experienced startup founders, mainly from Internet-based companies.

WamdaX mentors.

My experience with the WamdaX process

The process was timely and organized.

After filling a long application form over 8 hours, I had to attend the first interview. It was with one of Wamda Capital's senior members.

To avoid selection bias, the interviewer will not have any prior information about you or your venture.

To reduce selection bias, Wamda Capital follows up with a blind interview, a second interview, with another Wamda Capital senior member, who didn’t take a look yet at my application form.

So far so good.

The communication was timely, the team was responsive by email, I got feedback in minutes. The coordination was top, the copywriting was clear.

Final stage, the Dubai face to face interview

To pass the final interview, face to face, the Wamda Capital requires the applicant to take care of their travel expenses.

If the management team can’t account for the face-to-face interview for their international leads, it shows a lack of maturity in their modeling.

Covering travel costs, taking into account the geographical distribution of the applicants, wouldn’t account for a 5% of the cost margin, and far less than 16% of the cash-flow of the expected monthly spending. Taking only into account the funds at hand, 16,000$ per applicant, regardless of the program costs.

Interviews are not only a clearance medium but an insurance instrument, for mutual evaluation towards mutual trust. If a tech startups venture capital fund can’t tolerate a 5% insurance, I wouldn’t even trust such a fund.

My attempt at explaining this to WamdaX

I did provide such an explanation to the Wamda X Team, I received no feedback.

Thereby I concluded that if the fund did account for such a risk and didn’t take it, the management team is not fit for venture capital.

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