A Birmingham search engine firm which is second only to Google in the number of webpages it has indexed has secured substantial funding from a Dutch internet entrepreneur.

Majestic-12 said it had attracted an undisclosed sum from investor Rene van Mullem, the founder of leading Dutch classified website Marktplaats.nl which was bought by eBay for £200 million.

Aston Science Park-headquartered Majestic-12 is a technology company based on a unique concept which has produced an independent map of the way pages link to each other on the web.

Its search engine project was founded five years ago with the aim of creating a community-driven site based on a distributed computing model.

Instead of one centralised computing centre trawling the net, internet users around the world can devote their machines to the project when they are not using them.

Majestic-12 has used distributed crawlers run by a team of volunteers on hundreds of PCs to produce this database of links, known as a web graph.

This web graph has a number of commercial applications, notably in part understanding how modern day search algorithms interpret and prioritise web pages.

Majestic-SEO has earmarked the investment to further develop its infrastructure in 2010.

This investment will see Majestic significantly step up its crawl and indexing rates and bring down its datacrawl update time.

Mr Chudnovsky said: “Even though we have already been reindexing monthly for the several months, we can improve this further.

“In addition, this funding will allow Majestic to accelerate its timeline, bringing more exciting products to market throughout 2010 and beyond.”