A tech firm that interprets language to help companies better understand their audience is preparing to open a US office after securing £4m investment.

Lancaster-based Relative Insight has received $5m (£4m) in Series A investment from Maven Capital.

Relative Insight helps B2B and B2C companies better understand their audiences through comparative linguistics by analysing unstructured and undefined data sets such as customer feedback, social media, online product ratings and reviews, web page copy and market research surveys.

Ben Hookway, CEO of Relative Insight, said: “Our value proposition is simple. We help companies address the immense challenge of analysing unstructured language data, which is growing at a rapid pace.

“With our platform we’ve seen huge success in helping companies quickly and accurately gain value from their existing data and provide analysis that results in significant business insights— a process that historically has been done manually. Expanding into the US market is the next logical step for the growth of our business.”

Relative Insight’s comparative analysis has been successful in campaign strategy development, market research and customer experience optimization, helping brands interact and communicate more effectively and better understand their audiences.

Developed through a ten-year research project with Lancaster University’s linguistic and cybersecurity departments, the technology platform compares language sets to detect linguistic and attitudinal differences between consumers and brands as well as language differences over time.

Dave Furlong, investment director at Maven, said: “Relative Insight has developed an innovative, industry leading platform using cutting-edge linguistics analytics. It’s a fascinating sector and the team has a range of industry expertise able to support the company’s ambitious growth plans.

“Today’s transaction is a great example of Maven’s private client funds working alongside the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to support a local business with a flexible funding package to enable it to grow globally. We look forward to working with Ben and the team as the business embarks on an exciting program of growth.”