The following email was sent in by a tipster at a large national newspaper. The real question, I think, is how many writers actually agree to "collaborate" on a story with a company? The answer is more than zero, and that's bad.

————— Forwarded message —————
From: Andrew Sider <>
Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Subject: Bunch raises $1M to rethink online discussion


I am reaching out about the upcoming launch and funding announcement for my startup Bunch ( I am contacting you before I send the official release to everyone to see if you want to collaborate on a story.

I’m writing because based on your past articles on social tech companies I thought you'd be interested in our funding announcement and appreciate how Bunch is building a platform for long form discussion as an alternative to the limitations of 140 characters.

More on Bunch below. Let me know if you're free for a call this week. I'd love the chance to work together on this. Thanks XXXXX!

The problem we solve:

Online conversations suck and we started Bunch to change that.

Over the last decade, the Internet has enabled the creation of powerful online platforms for blogging and connecting with friends, but there isn’t a mainstream platform for discussion. Forums are currently the main way people connect online for discussions but they are outdated and fragmented, making them unusable for most people. The vision of Bunch is to unlock the value of traditional forums for the average social media user by offering a user-friendly and attractive discussion platform.

How we will change things:

Bunch was launched to provide a better way to discuss your passions online. It is the first long-form discussion platform built for the average Internet user.

Bunch provides a platform for all topics

  • Home to communities for a wide variety of topics on one platform allowing users to manage networks and discussions for multiple interests in one place
  • Users can join a bunch (topic-based community) in one-click (no following people to build your network) or can create a new bunch if one doesn’t already exist
  • Bunch is (will be) available for free on the web ( and via iPhone app

Bunch is an environment that encourages quality communities and authentic, rich discussion

  • Members are limited to joining 3 bunches to foster communities of passionate people
  • Users are asked to signup using their true identity to create a respectful environment for quality discussion
  • Comments require a minimum character length to encourage rich discussion and members can earn badges for great contributions

Bunch began testing in private beta in September and has since attracted over 20,000 beta users across 50 topic-based communities. To support product development, we have raised $1 million in funding from Real Ventures, 500 Startups, BDC Ventures, Round 13 Capital, and several angel investors.

Before Bunch I was a founding team member of BandPage in San Francisco, a social platform connecting bands and fans, where I helped attract 12 million users and raise over $3 million in the company’s first 10 months.

If you are interested, I can provide:

  • A product demo
  • Access to our closed beta website and iPhone app
  • Access to our password protected press center (, username: XXXXX, password: XXXXX)
  • Interviews with beta users
  • Early access to our launch press release

I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

- andrew

Two pointers: your startup sounds a lot like Branch in both name and concept, and "collaboration" like this is frowned upon, because when people read the resultant article, they don't know your company helped write it. But the bleak fact is that plenty of the posts you read on plenty of popular websites start out just this way—nuggets made from processed press release goop—because people are lazy, and companies love nothing more than a lazy writer.

At least you didn't throw a party themed after a financial disaster.