Factal is a breaking news technology company that helps the world's largest organizations protect people, avoid disruptions and expedite disaster relief when global events put them at immediate risk.
Founded in 2018, Factal is the only company that combines instant social media discovery with trusted verification in a single platform. From outbreaks and active shootings to wildfires and severe weather, Factal blends AI technology with a 24/7 newsroom of experienced journalists to enable global organizations to see precisely where and how they're at risk in real time.
Factal is trusted by many of the world's largest companies, technology platforms, newsrooms and NGOs for security, crisis management, communications, disaster response and content verification. We provide our service for free for humanitarian aid NGOs and fact checkers.
Based in Seattle with a London office, Factal was created by the founders of BreakingNews.com at NBC News. Scroll down to learn about our mission, team and investors. Read our blog here. Interesting in learning more? We'd love to hear from you.
Factal is a news organization founded on a public service mission to protect people from imminent harm and help those in immediate need. We work hard to earn your trust through high standards in our code of ethics.
Most startup stories begin with an idea. Factal's story begins with another organization called Breaking News.
Charlie Tillinghast, co-founder and CEO
Charlie was the President & CEO of MSNBC Interactive, LLC. where he chartered the formation of Breaking News as an internal startup under a separate brand. During Charlie’s 13-year tenure, msnbc.com was consistently the #1 news site, as measured by unique users. Following Microsoft’s 2012 divesture of its stake in the MSNBC joint venture, Charlie served as CEO of a video content security company in England; and later as CEO of Seattle-based Mixpo, Inc., a digital advertising platform that was acquired by Netsertive. Charlie is the 2015 recipient of Geekwire’s Hire of the Year award. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Brown University.
Ben Tesch, co-founder and VP of technology
Ben was the co-founder, technical director and creative director of Breaking News, leading the technology and design teams. Earlier at NBC News, he was the manager of the Labs Group, an R&D group of developers and designers tasked with conceptualizing new products and businesses. Prior to NBC, Ben led the design and front-end development of Minnesota Public Radio and its network of websites for stations and programs, which won multiple Edward R. Murrow awards during his tenure. He also led the initial design and front-end development of American Public Media and its network of programs websites, one of which received a George Foster Peabody Award.
Cory Bergman, co-founder and VP of product
Cory was the co-founder and general manager of Breaking News. Earlier at MSNBC Interactive (msnbc.com), he worked as the director of new product development, identifying and fostering innovative product efforts. Prior to msnbc.com, Cory led the digital team at KING TV in Seattle, winning the highest national awards for a local TV site. Separately, he co-founded and built hyperlocal site MyBallard.com, which won a national Online Journalism Award; and Lost Remote, a popular media blog acquired by AdWeek. Prior to his work in digital, Cory covered breaking news for NBC News as an assignment editor and field producer. He has an MBA from the University of the Pacific.
Tyler Adams, senior marketing manager
Tyler is an experienced B2B marketer and public relations practitioner. He began his career in community management for Newsvine. Later, he served as Director of Community for NBC News Digital's family of websites. He's an alumnus of Goucher College - but graduating from Garfield High School comes up a lot more in Seattle.
Rebecca Bratek, senior editor
Rebecca was most recently a producer on CBS News’ social team, where she managed the network’s flagship accounts, produced videos and wrote on a variety of topics. Prior to that, she was an editor for Breaking News, where she focused on politics and helped plan coverage of the 2016 election. She has an MA from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a BA in English from the University at Buffalo.
Jessica Fino, editor
Jessica is a journalist who has worked for financial newswires and trade publications in the financial and educational sectors for the past five years. More recently, she was a reporter at Press Association's local data unit, covering health and government policy stories. She graduated from London Metropolitan University in 2011 after moving from Portugal, where she is from originally.
Jeff Landset, editor
Jeff is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has worked as a television news producer at stations in Massachusetts, Las Vegas and Seattle. He produced the coverage of a deadly Amtrak derailment that won a 2018 Murrow Award for best Newscast in the Pacific Northwest region. He has a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.
Corwin Light-Williams, developer
Corwin is a developer in Seattle, Washington. He has worked on everything from video games to biochemistry software, as well as the original Breaking News. His favorite drink is an Arnold Palmer.
Jimmy Lovaas, senior editor
Jimmy was most recently a manager at Dataminr, where he oversaw a team of domestic news domain experts and regularly supervised global coverage. Prior to that, he was an editor at Breaking News and a freelance reporter for Reuters, McClatchy, and The Seattle Times covering state and local politics, music events and crime. He’s covered virtually every type of major breaking news story. Jimmy came to journalism after graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in Journalism following more than 20 years of jobs ranging from flight attendant to retail manager. He loves cats.
Alex Moore, editor
Alex was most recently a part of the Domain Experts team at Dataminr where he oversaw coverage of breaking news from regions ranging from Eastern Europe to Latin America. Prior to moving to Seattle, he worked in the policy world in Washington, D.C., studying arms control and non-proliferation. He holds a master's degree in International Conflict and Security from the Brussels School of International Studies.
Ryan Nagle, senior developer
Ryan builds software to help others better understand and get along with the world around them. Before joining Factal, he spent time in the federal healthcare space, contributing to a variety of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects, including HealthCare.gov. Going farther back, Ryan's also worked at several news organizations, including Breaking News.
Ahmed Namatalla, editor
Ahmed is a reporter and editor who relocated to the US in 2017 after spending more than 13 years in the Middle East, based in Cairo and Dubai. He was a member of the Bloomberg News team that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath across the region, writing extensively about economic crises that broke out in North Africa and the rising political and economic influence of Persian Gulf countries. He is fluent in Arabic and a graduate of Washington State University.
Ryan Ockuly, director of sales
Ryan is a sales executive with startup, growth and management experience in security, unified communication, life safety and emergency communication. Ryan has designed, sold and managed successful delivery of technology solutions and service at the enterprise level for Fortune 1000, healthcare, education and government organizations. Prior to joining Factal, Ryan worked nine years at Alertus Technologies where he was an integral part of growth in sales, product development, partnerships and OEM channel relationships.
Sophie Perryer, editor
Sophie has written for the Press Association, the Independent, the Sunday Times and Condé Nast, covering global politics, economics, technology and travel. She completed her journalism training with the Press Association following her graduation from King's College London. Sophie speaks fluent French and previously lived in Paris.
Jacob Quinn Sanders, developer
A versatile reporter and editor for more than a decade before becoming a software developer, Jacob is intimately familiar with covering, supervising and building technology around breaking news events. He began covering law-enforcement on both coasts and in the South before reimagining crucial real-time workflows and content strategies at Western Pennsylvania's largest news operation. After a jump into tech, he wrote software relied on during statewide emergencies.
Jillian Stampher, head of news
Jillian is a journalist with a focus on news editing and mobile platforms. Most recently at HuffPost, she worked as a front page editor, assigning and editing evening news coverage, often as the only editor on the site. While there, Jillian helped redevelop HuffPost’s editorial mobile initiatives, tracking alert analytics and coordinating the launch of push categories. Prior to HuffPost, Jillian was an editor at Breaking News, where she covered major stories from the aftermath of the Boston bombing to the Nice terrorist attack while also growing Breaking News’ social platforms.
Lucy Swinnen, editor
Lucy began her journalism career in 2012 in Sydney, Australia with Fairfax Media and has worked for the company across Australia and New Zealand. Most recently she worked for New Zealand's most visited national news website: Stuff.co.nz and Wellington's main daily newspaper The Dominion Post. She has lived and researched in Egypt and Turkey and has an interest in religion, politics and social issues in MENA. She is passionate about the great outdoors and has done some combination of hiking, kayaking and climbing trips in Asia, New Zealand and Australia.
Mary Taft, sales development manager
Mary was a Project Manager at MSNBC.com in the sales group where she managed client sponsorship and advertising campaigns, oversaw the 2002 Olympic schedules, worked closely with the Editorial team and interfaced with such NBC programming as the Today Show, Dateline and Meet the Press. Before that, Mary worked in sales at King5, Redhat and Visio (acquired by Microsoft). Mary attended the University of Washington and currently resides in Bend, Oregon.
Joe Veyera, editor
Joe was the editor of the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, managing the news operation of a hyperlocal weekly paper in Seattle. During his tenure, the paper won the Small Business Award from the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce. Before becoming editor, he briefly served as staff reporter for the full chain of neighborhood papers operated by Pacific Publishing. He graduated from the journalism program at the University of Washington, and served as editor of the campus newspaper, The Daily.
David Wyllie, managing editor
Most recently a senior journalist for BBC News, David was one of the first employees of Breaking News and a London-based editor for six years. While at Breaking News at NBC News, he was on the Emmy-winning team covering the downing of MH17. David also served as notifications editor for Sky News.
This Startup Wants To Sell Verified Breaking News Alerts To Companies
BuzzFeed (August 2018)