New funding: Factal, the Seattle startup that monitors breaking news to help companies assess risks to their business, has raised $ 3.3 million in a Series A funding round.
The company: Factal was launched in October 2018 using a mix of artificial intelligence and experienced journalists to identify and verify events ranging from severe weather to mass shootings. Business customers are alerted so they can make smarter decisions about people, assets and operations near such events.
The startup was founded by key players from the old website and app Breaking News, which drew millions of followers, but was shut down by NBC News for lack of revenue in 2016. The CEO of Factal , Charlie Tillinghast, previously oversaw the creation of Breaking News as an intern. startup when he was CEO of MSNBC Interactive, the former Microsoft and NBC News joint venture. The co-founders are Cory Bergman, vice president of products at Factal, and Ben Tesch, vice president of technology.
Customers: Factal’s paying customers are primarily the world’s largest companies, according to Tillinghast. Verification, proximity mapping, personalized alerting and real-time collaboration functionalities are aimed at customers who cover physical security, global risk intelligence, business continuity, emergency management, management supply chain and executive protection.
“For 2021 and beyond, we plan to develop similar late-breaking news products for companies beyond the Fortune 500 that have an equal need to protect their employees and their operations,” Tillinghast said. “The products will include easier-to-use desktop and mobile tools that don’t require a dedicated security team to monitor. “
Factal’s service extends beyond commercial paying 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 whole.
High increase: Tillinghast said Factal’s revenue and number of clients have more than doubled over the past year, and the startup is profitable and its cash flow positive while continuing to grow staff and marketing.
The company grew to 28 employees and opened an office in London to cover the world 24 hours a day.
Investors: The round, led by Arthur Ventures with participation from lead investor Seachange Fund, includes an additional $ 1.9 million in secondary share purchases. Factal has already raised $ 1.2 million in seed funding.
Last word: “The combination of the pandemic, civil unrest, frequency of severe weather and other disruptive events are pushing organizations to grow or create teams to protect their people and property,” Tillinghast said. “The cost to a business of not protecting its employees, supply chain and assets from incidents that occur beyond its walls is enormous compared to the cost of avoiding unforeseen danger. “