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Cambridge, UK-based online search firm True Knowledge has closed its second round of funding…the funding was led by existing investors Octopus Ventures and angel investors. It brings the total raised by True Knowledge in the last 12 months to $5.4 million, relatively small compared to some of the other heavily-based search startups (witness the craziness around Cuil’s launch yesterday). The still-in-closed-beta service says the technology has been in development since 1998, though the company formally started last year.
On its search differentiation, it allows plain English questions query, a la AskJeeves of lore, and its results are collected from various sources in form of “answers”, not a list of web pages/documents. If the question is not answered, the standard search results are also shows. Besides using software to interpret the answer, it allows users to add their own answers/knowledge to the question asked.
The company is positioning its answer engine as a complement to existing search engines. It will have a direct-to-consumer component, meaning its own standalone site, but will also white label the service. Some pics of the service are here. Competition in this space is heavy, with many search startups and even existing ones developing natural language search.
A video demo of the service is below: