Mohamad Ballout: “The Model I Initially Started With Is Not The Model We Are At Today”

The co-founder and CEO of Kitopi explains why investors trusted his network of interconnected smart cloud kitchens were a problem-solving business model in an area difficult for VCs

One kitchen.
April 04, 2022 | 08:12 PM

In a fireside chat between Mohamad “Mo” Ballout (CEO & Founder of Kitopi), and Javier Villamizar (Operating Partner of SoftBank Vision Fund), the founder of a Middle East startup tells how he persuade investors his track record was perfect for their venture capital.

“My investors where looking for a founder who can build a great team, with a track record and a problem that is large enough and worth solving,” says Mo in this session of SoftBank Group Operator School (SBOS).

He accepts Kitopi (Kitchen Operation Innovations) had to reiterate its model a couple of times, all of this in a region (Middle East) that at the moment didn’t thrive with venture capital.

“So the model I initially started with is not the model we are at today,” he says. “The business kept evolving.”

He says that in the first year Kitopi hired a great CFO and a CLO (Chief Legal Officer). “I knew exactly what I wanted to do and that’s what investors are looking for (…) they understood that I can do that and there’s a lot of trust in where I’m going to take this.”

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