A threat-tech startup just hired a prominent national journalist to lead its growing breaking news team.
AlertMedia announced on Thursday it hired Sara Pratley to serve as vice president of global intelligence, where she will lead a new team responsible for monitoring and communicating wildfires, terrorist attacks and other emerging threats across the world to AlertMedia customers. Pratley comes to the Austin startup from CNN, where she worked for 12 years and most recently served as vice president of national news for the agency’s domestic newsgathering unit.
CEO Brian Cruver said he is still working with Pratley to decide how many journalists will staff AlertMedia’s new division, but that, eventually, he expects to hire dozens of reporters across the world to break news.
“We will quickly build a team of global journalists that will serve as the eyes and ears for AlertMedia customers all over the world,” Cruver wrote in an email to Built In.
Founded in 2013, AlertMedia is an emergency communication platform that aims to help its more than 2,300 customers — including DHL, Walmart and SurveyMonkey — notify their employees of crises. As the COVID-19 pandemic rises to a second wave across the world, so has AlertMedia’s business.
In April, the startup raised $15 million in Series C funds, bringing total investment in the platform to $57 million. At the time, Forbes reported that AlertMedia’s annualized recurring revenue increased from $16 million to $20 million over March.
The company told the Austin American-Statesman that customers were using the platform to send and receive messages with employees about operational changes and shift openings, as well as perform wellness checks and dispatch other vital communications.
Pratley’s experience delivering fast and accurate information will help AlertMedia continue its coronavirus coverage, Cruver said. Pratley led CNN’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, riots and more.
“This new position allows me to take the skills I’ve honed in the media industry and apply them to another great company that is making a difference in the world,” Pratley wrote in a statement on LinkedIn.
The 150-person company aims to hire an additional 25 employees by the end of the year. AlertMedia currently has job postings for engineers, marketers, product managers and more listed.