Firm gets funds to advance search tech for intelligence agencies

MetaCarta Inc., which previously received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency's In-Q-Tel venture capital fund, closed a $6.5 million series B round that will allow it to continue developing search technology used by intelligence and military organizations.

"Government organizations have invested billions of dollars in document management systems, [geographic information systems], and enterprise search technology," said Kevin Jacques, partner at Dallas-based Sevin Rosen Funds, which participated in the series B funding. "Most of the stored documents contain at least one reference to a geographic location, but the georelevant information or geo context is not typically accessible through the GIS or search platforms."

MetaCarta's Geographic Text Search technology lets users search document databases, including the Internet, based on keyword and geographic location, the company said. It employs natural language processing to identify implied and explicit references to geographic locations within documents and then displays the location of documents on a digital map.

"Agencies use our technology to find anything, including people, things such as weapons of mass destruction, spatial patterns," said Randy Ridley, vice president of federal systems at Cambridge, Mass.-based MetaCarta.

Ridley said MetaCarta technology is used by the Navy Seals and various intelligence agencies, which he declined to name. He said MetaCarta has worked with Lexington, Mass.-based Raytheon Co. and other systems integrators to deploy its solution.

MetaCarta also has developed a product called GeoTagger. Ridley said it's geared for systems integrators, because it can be implemented in legacy systems.

GeoTagger notes documents, including email messages, for geographic references. According to the company, GeoTagger can identify implied references such as "10 miles north of Baghdad."

Solstice Capital, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC and Chisholm Private Capital Partners also participated in the series B funding.

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