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How to pitch your news story to Sifted

Grabbing our attention: what stories we're looking for — and who to pitch them to

By Eleanor Warnock

Sifted's editorial team (though you already knew that)

Sifted writes about European startups and tech — and we love nothing more than to cover the latest juicy news about the ecosystem. 

But we also don’t want to write about every single funding round announcement. 

So… what news do we want to cover? 

Let us explain — and share some advice on how to stand out from the hundreds of story pitches that we receive each day. 

What we consider news

Here are a few things we would count as newsworthy: 

  • A funding round or a VC fundraise (more on that can of worms later)
  • A sizeable acquisition that includes the amount of the transaction. But it’s got to be big. Think hundreds of millions of dollars big
  • New data that paints an interesting or surprising picture (that could be a company’s annual report, or hiring statistics)
  • A technological breakthrough (like this Danish nuclear startup’s discovery which could halve the cost of storing solar energy)
  • Something with a household name celebrity (think Serena Williams becoming a board adviser for Sorare)
  • A well-known founder doing or saying something new, interesting or controversial (Tom Blomfield’s recollections of SoftBank)

Note: If you share this news with us exclusively, we will be more likely to cover it. And if we still don’t want to cover it, we will let you know ASAP. 

What we don’t consider news

  • A product launch 
  • A new market launch 
  • Something unrelated to Europe 
  • A new hire (we may cover in a newsletter but not as a standalone piece) 

Okay, okay, we can talk about funding rounds

The short answer is that we do cover funding rounds. 

The long answer is that we don’t cover all funding rounds, and any round needs to tick a few boxes for us. 

  1. If it’s a notable European company raising a large round from notable investors, we’ll probably want to cover, even if it’s not for an exclusive. But by notable, we’re talking about the 10 most valuable private VC-backed companies in Europe territory — like Klarna or Checkout.com.  
  2. If it’s a smaller round, we’ll take a few things into consideration: 
    1. Is it in our core areas of coverage? Those are fintech, deeptech, healthtech, climate tech and future of work. We don’t tend to cover SaaS. 
    2. Are there top-tier VCs involved or very notable angel investors? 
    3. Is the founder notable for any reason? Are they from an underrepresented background or geography? Or are they a well-known serial entrepreneur?
    4. Is the round significant from a geographic point of view — i.e. the largest Series A ever in eastern Europe or the first time Andreessen Horowitz has invested in X country? 
    5. Does the size or structure of the round set any records? (i.e. largest round in the Baltics ever, France’s biggest Series A ever, an all-female cap table)
    6. Has Sifted covered the company recently? We love when we can cover companies many times throughout their journey, though it might not be every time
    7. Is the business model interesting/novel or is it meaningful for a specific sector? 

None of these factors trumps any other one, but they all do trump round size itself. At Sifted we pride ourselves on covering funding rounds large and small. 

And when it comes to fundraising vis-a-vis VC firms, many of these rules still hold. We love to cover new funds when there’s an interesting angle beyond the money raised — such as this piece on French VC Elaia’s deeptech fund in partnership with a top research body in France.

How to get in touch

Send news — and ideally exclusive news — to [email protected]. All the editors get this email, so someone will pick it up. 

Please do not spam multiple members of the Sifted team with the same news pitch. We share all pitches in a Slack channel that everyone can see.

Give us time

Please note that we are a small team. If you want us to write about your announcement, the more warning you give us the better (i.e. more than several hours’ notice). We definitely like getting a heads up about upcoming funding under embargo and organising interviews ahead of time.

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