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Visiting the iPhrase [iphrase.com] site makes clear the company is specialising on finance search .
Customers so far are TD Waterhouse, Yahoo! Finance, Charles Schwab. Also LexisNexis.
To see the iPhrase technology in action you may go to Yahoo Finance [finance.yahoo.com]. Playing around a bit with that I got the (first, preliminary) impression, it works mostly by stripping everything but predefined phrases from the natural language query.
Ex: "How are Overture stocks doing?" gives exactly the same results as "Overture".
Anybody else with more insight in iPhrase tech?
iPhrase believes the deal could lead to additional business with Terra Lycos for some of its specializes sites.
This implies that they are looking at a wider implementation. With a fair sized deal there, and plenty of VC, I would suppose that a major dev cycle is in the offing. Ask have precious little competition on the "natural query" front