Intel Capital and Jafco Asia have teamed up with two other firms to invest early-stage venture capital in Pollex Mobile Holdings, a Beijing-based software and application developer for mobile handsets. Intel will work as a strategic investor with Pollex to optimise software solutions for the semiconductor giant's chipsets, while a Jafco spokesperson said theirs was a financial investment. The two firms also joined forces in the mainland technology sector last July when they invested in HiSoft Technology International, a Dalian-based software firm specialising in outsourcing for multinational firms. Jafco Asia vice-president Jenny Lee, who joins the board of Pollex Mobile, said the Beijing firm had strong growth prospects serving both Chinese manufacturers and handset vendors form overseas. Japanese handset manufacturer NEC used Pollex software for its N940 TV and camera phone sold in China's domestic market, and the company was focusing on software solutions for smart phones running the Linux operating system, said Pollex chief executive David Tian. 'This investment capital will be used for expanding product development and for marketing, with a focus on mobile handset software,' he said yesterday. Jafco will seek to harness its homeland connections - the firm's parent is listed in Tokyo - to introduce Pollex to handset vendors in Japan, according to Ms Lee. China produced 240 million handset units last year, 146 million of which were destined for export, according to official figures. Worldwide mobile phone sales surpassed 674 million units last year, a 30 per cent increase from 2003, researcher Gartner says.