04:26 AM

11.6.06: 'Google killer' Powerset gets $12.5m

Powerset, a search startup that says it can blow Google away by providing actual answers to natural language queries, rather than hits based on keyword frequency, has raised $12.5 million in venture funding, Matt Marshall reports on VentureBeat. (We blogged on Matt's previous Powerset report.)

The funding comes from Foundation Capital ($7m), The Founders Fund ($3m), and several angel investors ($2.5m combined).

Powerset is notable because it says it can improve on Google’s search engine by understanding the meaning between words. Take, for example, the phrase, “Who did Dick Cheney shoot?” Powerset will give you results with references to Harry Whittington, Cheney’s hunting partner who Cheney accidentally shot. However, if you type in “Who shot Dick Cheney?” it will give you a response “Sorry, no results.” Google, on the other hand, can’t distinguish between these two phrases, and gives very similar results for both.