March 30, 2022

The Sifted Podcast is back — here’s what you missed

Over the last four episodes, we’ve discussed everything from Ukraine to Getir’s fat valuation and more

The Sifted Podcast is back with season two, sponsored by Zendesk for Startups — but we now sound a bit different.

Each week, Sifted editor Amy Lewin and deputy editor Eleanor Warnock discuss our top stories, and chat about everything from what the editorial team are up to (have you ever played a VC simulator game?) to what our readers are saying about us (we’re too UK centric… and we should fire our five-year-old VC).

If you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Find us on Spotify, Apple and Google

And, to tide you over until the next episode drops on Friday, here's a roundup of the podcasts we've put out so far this month.


Episode 1/ In Ukraine, business isn’t as usual

This episode was all about Ukraine. Recorded just a week after the Russian invasion began, we discussed the unfolding events and how the war has impacted local businesses.

We called Ivan Babichuk, VP of engineering at edtech EduNav and board chairman of Lviv IT Cluster. Babichuk was in Lviv, which at the time was a “safe” region. We asked him what it’s like to not only keep working amid an unfolding refugee crisis but also to care for a team of employees. “We sleep very little, and we do a lot,” he told Sifted.

Next, Eleanor discussed her reporting on European VCs examining their ties to Russia amidst sanctions, and why it’s not always so easy to follow the money. 

Finally, we spoke to writers Éanna Kelly and Steph Bailey about their reporting on the “Fuck Hack Russia” hackathon and the “IT army” coordinating attacks on Russian government and bank websites and businesses.

Thanks again to Ira Supruniuk from TechUkraine who has connected us with so many founders in the region.

Listen here:

Stories we talked about:

Episode 2/ International Women’s Week and human stories from Ukraine

In this episode, we discuss a few of the op-eds we published for International Women’s Day — which we’ve officially changed to International Women’s Week — where we asked women about their experiences running companies, NOT how to fix gender equality. Or if they can get us a coffee. Or how they manage to work on their periods. Do you catch our drift?

Next, we chatted all things energy. First up is Fermi Energia, the Estonian company pushing Europe to wean itself off Russian gas and switch to nuclear — and yet another Nordic company born from a sauna. Secondly, we talked about hydrogen, the controversial tech sector that increased 592% in 2021.

We then interviewed Tim Smith, our Iberian correspondent (and Sifted Podcast editor) and writer Éanna Kelly about their incredibly moving story on what it’s like being a Ukrainian tech worker under siege. 

We heard from Vadim Lobarev, founder of Kyiv-based tech recruitment company Mindhunt, about how he’s put down his laptop to take up arms for Ukraine’s Territorial Defence unit. We also hear from Alina Danilova, a marketing manager for Ukrainian chatbot startup BotsCrew, who is continuing to work both from her bathtub and bomb shelters while enduring physical stress.

Finally, we chatted about Nothing — no, not nothing — a UK-based hardware startup with big ambitions that recently raised $70m in its Series B. Will this audacious smartphone wunderkind stack up to the likes of Apple? 


Listen here:

Stories we talked about:

Episode 3/ Trouble in bug town: How Brexit squished a startup industry

We discuss the new trend of European startups hiring ethical advisory boards to save startups from Big Tech’s mistakes.

Next, we interviewed reporter Freya Pratty on how Brexit has disrupted edible bugs. More specifically, how it’s clipped the sector’s wings… how it’s squashed its progress… how it’s left the industry on its windshield… yeah, you get it.

Last but not least, we discussed our top Startup Life story of the week. Startup Life is really any story that has to do with the people side of business, and the stuff that gives founders a daily headache… and reason to keep going! This week’s top story was a triggering op-ed by the trio cofounders of Hence Technologies — and why they chose not to have a CEO.

Listen here:

Stories we talked about:

Episode 4/ Is speedy delivery startup Getir really worth $11.8bn?

In our most recent episode, we chatted about the monster valuation of Europe’s top speedy grocery startup, Getir, which raised a massive $768m Series E round at an $11.8bn valuation. Is the company actually worth all that cash? And how does the business model work? Does it work at all? 

Next up, we interviewed Nordics correspondent Mimi Billing on Blidz, the Finnish startup trying to bring China’s gamified shopping trend to Europe, which has managed to raise a €6m seed round. How does it work? And will it take off in Europe?

Finally, we discussed the latest in our Ukraine coverage, including the startups trying to make it easier to hire Ukrainians to an interview with the man who negotiated a Starlink delivery to Ukraine with Mr Elon Musk himself.

Listen here:

Stories we talked about:

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