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Octopus Ventures invests £2 million in True Knowledge
- Represents commitment of over £2.6 million to True Knowledge to date -

30th July 2008

Octopus Ventures invests £2 million in True Knowledge as the development of its unique search technology accelerates

- Octopus Ventures and its investors are sole VC investors -
- Represents commitment of over £2.6 million to True Knowledge to date -

Octopus Ventures Ltd, specialists in investment in early-stage businesses, are pleased to announce the investment of £2 million in True Knowledge (‘the Company’), the UK internet technology pioneers responsible for the development of a radically new approach to internet search.

This second round of funding, provided exclusively by Octopus Ventures, will enable True Knowledge to accelerate progress towards an open beta site and eventual delivery of its unique search functionality to mass-market consumers. In June 2007, Octopus Ventures was the sole Investor Group to participate in True Knowledge’s initial funding round and committed over £600,000.

More than half of the capital raised in the recent funding round was provided by Octopus Titan VCT 1 plc and VCT 2 plc, which were launched in October 2007 in order to generate real returns for investors over the longer term through investment into early-stage and expansion-stage companies. The remainder was provided by members of the Octopus Investor Group in addition to the Octopus Eureka and EIS funds.

True Knowledge’s revolutionary patented technology has the potential to significantly enhance the way in which factual information is made accessible via the internet by intelligently answering questions asked on any topic in plain English.

Traditionally, internet search engines have relied on statistical relationships between words to provide users with documents and web pages potentially relevant to their search criteria. However, they have been unable to make sense of the content retrieved or capable of providing an ‘intelligent’ response.

Rather than trying to teach computers to read and understand the thousands of text-based web pages that are produced every hour, True Knowledge neatly side-steps this problem by structuring knowledge in a way that computers can digest and understand.

The result is a unique online tool with the ability to provide an intelligent response to questions by applying information gathered from several sources without human intervention, thereby dramatically improving the accuracy and speed of response associated with internet search.

With over 100 million facts in its rapidly growing knowledge database, True Knowledge’s technology compliments existing search engines and offers a new class of application. It has the potential to create a universally accessible knowledge-base capable of deducing answers to questions through the analysis of information available in its existing database and acquiring new knowledge through interaction with users.

Over the past six months, True Knowledge has successfully completed a beta trial of its technology with over 10,000 expert users who put its question-answering website to the test. This has provided valuable proof of concept and enabled the Company to collate further knowledge in order to support the development of its in-house encyclopaedic capabilities.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive, Octopus Ventures, said: “Over the past year True Knowledge has successfully completed a number of critical milestones and we have been delighted with the progress they have made. Their technology has the potential to genuinely transform the way in which people around the world interact with the internet. We believe the Company is well on its way to delivering a truly unique mass-market internet search capability, with the potential to generate significant returns for our investors.

“We are delighted to be backing William and the rest of his team as the Company enters the next exciting phase of its development.”

William Tunstall-Pedoe, Founder of True Knowledge, said: “Both the financial support that Octopus Ventures and their investors have provided and the wealth of industry expertise that has been made available to us through their Investor Group has undoubtedly accelerated our progress and opened many doors in the last year. We are extremely grateful for their continued support.”

Their ongoing commitment to our business is further validation of the potential inherent within our product and we are looking forward to continuing the strong relation we have established with them going forward.”


Media Enquires:
Octopus Investments Ltd:
Rob Forbes, Head of PR
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7710 2840

The Millbrook Partnership:
Michaela Hopkins/Emily Bastin
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7520 9455

True Knowledge Ltd:
Holdsworth Associates:
Helen Goldrein/Rachel Holdsworth
Tel: +44 (0)1954 202789

Notes to Editors:
About Octopus Ventures (
Octopus Ventures, a subsidiary of Octopus Investments, is a venture capital company with support from a dedicated Octopus Investor Group, which provides many competitive advantages.
The Octopus Investor Group was formed by a group of successful entrepreneurs and businessmen to provide capital and business expertise to small, fast growing companies. The Company received FSA authorisation in June 2000. Over the past seven years, the Octopus Ventures team has invested £17.7m into 27 companies and generated a return of 61% per annum (equivalent to 4x the amount invested) from 11 liquidity events. Across the entire portfolio (including those investments not yet realised), Octopus Ventures’ annual rate of return has been 29%.
In October 2007, Octopus Investments launched Octopus Titan VCT 1 and Octopus Titan VCT 2 which have since raised £30 million. Octopus Ventures is the Investment Manager of this Fund. The focus of the fund is to generate real returns on investors’ money over the long term by investing into unquoted companies with strong growth potential. The typical deal size will range from £500,000 to £2 million and the portfolio is expected to encompass investments in 20-25 unquoted companies. The Fund is structured as a twin VCT to enable it to make investments of up to £2 million per company, twice the amount possible for single VCTs.

Following the continued demand seen by Octopus Titan VCT 1 and 2, Octopus Titan VCT 3 plc was launched in May 2008. Like the previous Titan VCTs, Octopus Titan 3 has been designed to deliver strong returns to investors through investment into smaller UK companies. The Fund will seek to raise up to £25 million in the 2008/2009 tax year and will have the potential to support up to 30 unquoted UK companies.

About Octopus Investments Ltd
Established in 2000, Octopus Investments is one of the UK’s fastest growing alternative investment specialists, providing investors with access to a growing range of innovative investment products including venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes, inheritance tax solutions, business property relief products and a range of UK equity OEICs.

Since its inception, Octopus Investments has doubled its customer base annually to over 13,000 today and has grown its funds under management by 100% per annum to over £520 million. The company enjoys leading positions in every market area in which it operates:

* Leading VCT provider in the UK
* Inheritance Tax Solutions significantly outperforming index
* Largest provider of EIS solutions
* Top performing Smaller Companies OEICs
* Leading private equity player in sub-£25million deals

Additionally, Octopus was recently voted the top UK financial services company to work for in the Sunday Times survey of “Best 100 SMEs to Work For” in 2008.

Further information on Octopus Investments Ltd can be found at

About True Knowledge Ltd (
True Knowledge Ltd is an internet technology company based in Cambridge, England. It has created a technology that can answer the questions put to it in a far more effective way than anything that has gone before. Its product involves the representation and publication of knowledge in a form that computers can understand and process.

The Company’s technology has been in development since 1998 and is patented and fully owned by True Knowledge Ltd.

Publisher Contact Information:

Octopus Ventures (,
020 7520 9455

Company profile of Octopus Ventures
Past press releases of Octopus Ventures.


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