2022 — as well as being the year of a big market squeeze, mass tech layoffs and the FTX collapse — was also the year that Sifted editors Amy and Eleanor put down their keyboards and picked up their microphones to bring you Sifted’s best journalism, directly into your eardrums.
Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast is our weekly show that boils down the biggest goings on in European tech and startups into a commute-sized dose of news, analysis and features.
For those of you who haven’t listened, the pod is an opportunity to get our editors’ takes on the big stories, hear from the journalists breaking the news and listen to interviews with some of Europe’s most exciting innovators.
So what were some of the audio highlights of the year? Here are some of our memorable moments.
The fall, and fall, of speedy grocery companies
All year, we’ve been following one of the biggest stories in VC land: the dramatic twists and turns of the speedy grocery sector. Whether it’s been discussing Berlin-based Gorillas burning through tens of millions of euros a month, reporting on delivery drivers not getting paid or questioning whether Getir is really worth €12bn, we’ve brought you the latest on this once hyped but now beleaguered startup sector.
A big year for climate tech
While 2021 might have been the year that VCs went crazy over groceries, 2022 marked a new — and more heartening — investment trend: a big uptick in climate tech companies raising money. On Startup Europe we regularly heard from Sifted’s climate specialist, Freya Pratty, telling us about everything from startups turning carbon into cement to hydrogen-powered steel factories.
We also heard from our cohost, editor and roving reporter Amy Lewin, who took to the floors of the Foodhack conference where exhibitors offered her everything from fungal bratwurst to bee-free honey. We also invited founders from companies building solar-powered cars and self-driving electric trucks onto the show, bringing you the inside story of the entrepreneurs trying to lead the green tech transition.
Stories from Ukraine
2022 was the year that Russia invading Ukraine changed the world. In the very early days of the war we heard from startups still operating in the country, and later from the tech workers who downed their Macbooks to take up arms and defend their country.
Scandal and strife in startupland
As well as inspiring stories from war-torn parts and founders trying to change the world for the better, we also heard our fair share of scandal on the podcast this year. Digging into some of the best of Sifted’s investigative journalism, we brought you the story of a mysterious VC fund which promised multiple female founders millions in investment and never delivered, as well as the saga of the events company Pollen, which went into administration after months of Sifted reports of missing refunds, angry staff and unpaid suppliers.
Some wise insights from special guests
And while Amy and Eleanor might have spent a lot of time in front of the microphone this year, we didn’t let them do all the talking. We also launched our new, long-form interview format where — every month — we sit down with leading lights and up-and-comers from Europe’s tech and startup scene.
We heard from Atomico, SoftBank and now EQT Growth investor Carolina Brochado about getting on her bike to try and win a pitch to invest in Deliveroo, Timmu Tõke from gaming startup Ready Player Me on what it’s like to get money from Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures’s Danny Rimer told us about why pay rises aren’t always a good idea.
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