When BreakingNews.com and the Breaking News app were shut down at the end of 2016, we were inundated with email urging us to bring it back as a new company.
There were many personal stories from Breaking News users who were caught in global tragedies — terror attacks, devastating wildfires and mass shootings — relying on our unique real-time coverage to avoid danger. These incredible stories motivated us to create a new startup.
But first, we needed a business model. Amid those personal stories were dozens of messages from corporations — a who’s who of brand names — that relied on Breaking News to help protect their people and assets around the world.
“I’m devastated,” wrote one. “It’s proven invaluable to us,” read another. “There’s a huge market for the service you provide,” explained a third.
For the last year and half, we’ve been working with many of these corporations to create a new company. Today we’re excited to (finally!) tell you about it.
Based in Seattle and London, Factal gives companies the facts they need in real time to protect people, avoid disruptions and drive automation when the unexpected happens. We have funding in the bank, customers ready to go and we’re hiring for a September launch.
From wildfires and floods to shootings and explosions, global incidents pose an immediate risk to company employees, customers and facilities nearby. But the spread of mis- and disinformation is complicating efforts for companies to make sense of what’s really happening. Bad information that surfaces during a crisis — even for a few minutes — slows response times, diverts resources and amplifies risk. At the same time, global incidents are growing in scope, scale and complexity.
Factal converts unverified incident information into trusted, verified data, enabling companies to identify highest-risk incidents and respond faster and more effectively.
In short, facts save lives.
By combining experienced journalists with machine learning, Factal verifies and geolocates global incidents with unprecedented speed and accuracy for a variety of use cases — both human and algorithmic. For example, you don’t want your self-driving car driving you into a wildfire. While there are dozens of new global initiatives to fight mis- and disinformation in politics and elections, Factal is focused on fact-checking incidents in real time.
While we borrow from our eight-year experience at Breaking News — which was widely respected as the leader in real-time verification and public safety alerting — Factal is a new company with new technology that’s focused on the enterprise space with a subscription product. Factal has been in private beta for over a year, quietly testing with more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies. We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response.
Although Factal is initially focused on the corporate market, we’re also exploring a consumer product in the months to come. Stay tuned!
After all, we founded Factal on a public service mission to protect people from harm around the world. Trust is core to Factal. We’re not just a technology company; we are a journalism company. We hold ourselves to high ethical standards — from honesty and transparency to privacy and civil liberties — and we’re working hard to gain your trust.
Our founding team has decades of experience working at the nexus of journalism and technology. Former MSNBC Interactive President Charlie Tillinghast, who chartered Breaking News as an internal startup, is Factal’s CEO. Breaking News co-founders Cory Bergman and Ben Tesch head up Factal’s product and technology teams respectively. Jillian Stampher (Seattle) and David Wyllie (London) head up Factal’s newsroom with help from Breaking News co-founder Thomas Brew.
We can’t wait to launch later this summer. If you’re a company interested in taking Factal for a test spin, head on over to our home page and click “request a demo.” If you’re interested in working with us (we’re hiring!) — or just want to say hi — drop us a note at email@example.com.