Borqs, a Beijing-based startup that develops mobile software for handset makers and mobile carriers using Google’s (s goog) Android OS, says it’s received $17.4 million in Series B funding from Norwest Venture Partners as an increasing number of devices using the platform are being readied for launch. Some 18-20 new Android-based phones are expected to be released this year, including the T-Mobile’s, the successor to the T-Mobile G-1.
Borqs’ investors pushed the 2-year-old startup — whose software allows mobile carriers to create a consistent user interface on their smartphones and thus a “branded” experience for their users — to procure additional capital backing as it faces more demand for its service, its president of international business, David Young, told us. He said the company will use the money to hire more engineers to enhance its product in-house, expand its infrastructure and boost its product portfolio, but that the majority of it will be sitting in the bank as an “extra cushion.” Borqs is currently working with the top carriers in North America and Europe, according to Young. It already has a relationship with China Mobile.