Sproose, a start-up that is part of an army of search engine companies trying to improve in some way upon Google, said it has raised nearly $1 million in seed funding. It is based in Danville, a town on the east side of the SF Bay Area.

Sproose says it is developing search technology that lets users obtain personalized results, which can be shared among a social network, using the Nutch open-source search engine, and building applications on top. Apparently, beta will first be out in March, and site will be live by April, according to this story in VentureWire (subscription required).

It is always nifty, if you are a search engine, to have two “o”s in your name. And it doesn’t hurt to say, as Sproose does, that you have a “proprietary” search technology called “Knowledge Rank,” which sounds a bit like…

Google’s “Page Rank.”

It faces fierce competition. Google, Yahoo and everybody else seem to be unleashing personalized search.

Sproose said Roger Smith, founder, former president and chief executive at Silicon Valley Bank, was one of the angel investors, and is joining Sproose’s board.