An enduring complaint about mobile games is their controls, especially when you're trying to play a whizzy 3D game with a clunky mobile keypad.

US firm Zeetoo is one company trying to solve the problem - in its case, with something called the Zeemote. It's a small handheld controller peripheral that communicates with your phone via Bluetooth, and looks a bit like one of the Nunchuks you use with Nintendo's Wii console.

We've written about this before, in connection with the game Fireworks, which is being developed by British startup FinBlade. The Zeemote is basically an analog joystick, although Zeetoo has also developed one prototype that uses an accelerometer for true motion-sensing controls and another with a trackball. The company says the technology has been validated on phones from manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG.

Anyway, the news is that Zeetoo has just secured $6.9 million of first-round venture capital funding (that's about £3.5 million in real money). The cash will help Zeetoo launch the Zeemote as a consumer product, as well as presumably funding more games to use its innovative technology. Developers such as Fishlabs, Sega Mobile and Reaxion are also listed as being onboard.

We'll be following this story very closely in 2008. Click 'Track It' for an alert when we get our hands on the Zeemote.