Dallas Startup Pure Discovery Gets $10 Million for Smarter Search

Xconomy Texas — 

A Dallas startup has raised $10 million to further develop its “post-search” business.

Pure Discovery is a search platform that aims to refine search beyond the keyword model we use today. Their product, Brainspace, aims to create a data “brain” that reads documents and uses artificial intelligence to connect it with other documents that relate to them.

“Some of the problems we have with search is that people writing documents aren’t always using the language of the people who are looking for them,” says Dave Copps, Pure Discovery’s founder and CEO. “Brainspace adds context to your search. It’s live and learning as you build documents.”

Pure Discovery started in 2005 and catered to the e-discovery market in the legal profession. LexisNexis is one high-profile client. “If you’re searching patents globally on LexisNexis, it’s our technology,” Copps says.

The next steps for Pure Discovery is moving Brainspace on to the cloud and hiring programmers, sales staff, and managers in areas such as development. Copps expects to double its staff to 50 by year’s end.

In return for its investment, Medina Capital in Miami has taken an undisclosed equity ownership stake. Managing partner Manuel Medina founded Terremark Worldwide, which he sold to Verizon for $1.5 billion in 2011. “They’re one of the companies that created cloud computing, so we’re getting resources and connections in that area that we would not have if we hadn’t have met them,” Copps says.

Pure Discovery is the latest in Copps’ work in semantic technology. Copps co-founded Engenium in 1999, which went on to become a $3.5 million search company with customers such as the Pentagon and the CIA. Marsh & McLennan bought Engenium in 2006 for $27 million.

With Brainspace, Copps says he can help clients leverage their knowledge to make it a better performing asset. He intends to target companies in “knowledge-based” industries such as life sciences, technology, and pharmaceuticals, and will introduce Brainspace at Nature’s SpotOn conference in London in November.

“With Brainspace, there is no human intervention,” Capps says. “With other engines, they have humans writing lists and making lists. The lists get old; the searches get bad. Brainspace is always learning.”