True Knowledge natural language search engineTrue Knowledge, an innovative search engine being developed in the UK, has just announced the receipt of a second round of funding, worth $4m (£2m), bringing the total raised so far by the company to $5.4m (£2.8m).

The funding will be used to expand the company’s staff and further develop the company’s technology, which it has been working on since 1998. The investment comes from Octopus Ventures.

The search engine is developing natural language search, meaning that it can answer direct questions asked by its users. It has some similarities with US firm Powerset, which was acquired by Microsoft last month.

According to True Knowledge Chairman William Reeve: “True Knowledge’s exciting technology has impressed everybody who’s seen it over the last few months and it is terrific for the team, as well as for Cambridge and the UK as a whole, that this confidence has been reflected in one of the biggest pre-revenue fundraisings in the European venture sector this year”

The site is currently in private beta with 10,000 testers but plans to launch in the next twelve months. It will work as a standalone answers engine, but will also produce white label versions of its search technology for other companies to use.