New financing: Factal, the Seattle startup that monitors breaking news to help companies assess risks to their businesses, has raised $ 3.3 million in a Series A funding round.
The company: Factal was launched in October 2018 using a combination of artificial intelligence and experienced journalists to identify and verify events ranging from severe weather conditions to mass shootings. Corporate clients are alerted so they can make smarter decisions regarding people, property, and operations in the vicinity of such events.
The startup was founded by key players from the old Breaking News website and app, which attracted millions of followers, but was shut down by NBC News for lack of revenue in 2016. Factal CEO Charlie Tillinghast previously oversaw the creation of Breaking News as a startup when he was president and CEO of MSNBC Interactive, the former joint venture of Microsoft and NBC News. The co-founders are Cory Bergman, Factal’s vice president of product, and Ben Tesch, vice president of technology.
Customers: Factal’s paying clients are primarily the world’s largest corporations, according to Tillinghast. Verification, proximity mapping, personalized alerts, and real-time collaboration are targeted at clients spanning physical security, global risk intelligence, business continuity, emergency management, supply chain management. supply and executive protection.
“For 2021 and beyond, we plan to develop similar breaking news products for companies beyond the Fortune 500 that have the same need to protect their people and operations,” said Tillinghast. “The products will include easier-to-use desktop and mobile tools that do not require a dedicated security team to monitor.”
Factal’s service extends beyond paid business customers with free and unlimited access to more than 80 non-governmental organizations providing disaster relief, humanitarian aid and human rights assistance around the world.
Strong growth: Tillinghast said Factal’s revenue and number of clients have more than doubled over the past year, and the startup is profitable and has positive cash flow as it continues to grow headcount and marketing.
The company has grown to 28 employees and opened an office in London to cover the world 24 hours a day.
Investors: The round, which was led by Arthur Ventures with the participation of the main initial investor Seachange Fund, includes an additional $ 1.9 million in secondary share purchases. Factal previously raised $ 1.2 million in seed funding.
Last word: “The combination of the pandemic, civil unrest, the frequency of severe weather and other disruptive events are causing organizations to expand or create teams to protect their people and assets,” Tillinghast said. “The cost to a company for failing to protect its employees, supply chain and assets from incidents that occur beyond its walls is enormous compared to the cost of avoiding unforeseen dangers.