Tech Nation / Israel's Kibo Does Deal With Soccer Star Ronaldo

Chinese investors put $25M into Rainbow Medical ; Haifa U. and a Chinese U. plan joint research and teaching; Playtech buys a U.K. games platform and Jerusalem offers prizes for best city app.

Reuters

Rainbow Medical raises $25 million from Chinese investors

Rainbow Medical, which invests in medical-device startups, said on Monday it had raised $25 million from Chinese investors and was setting up an office in the country. Investors include Ping An, China’s biggest insurer; Yong Jin, an investment company; cellphone maker ZTE and Chinese venture-capital funds focused on medical devices. Rainbow was formed by Glenrock, the investment vehicle of Leon Recanati, together with the biomed inventor Yossi Gross and Efi Cohen-Arazi, a medical-industry executive. The capital will be used to fund new startups and support some of the 12 companies already in the fund’s portfolio, such as Nano Retina, which is developing an artificial retina to help the blind see, and GluSense, which is developing a minimally invasive, implantable, glucose sensor for diabetes patients. (Yoram Gabison)

Kibo does deal with soccer star Ronaldo

Kibo Mobile Tech, which makes branded touch-screen keyboards for smartphones, most of them tied to sports teams, is launching a Ronaldo Official Keyboard jointly with the soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. As part of the deal, the soccer star, who plays for Real Madrid, and his agent, Polaris Sports, will split a 2% stake Kibo is allocating to them and will also share revenue from ads and online purchases made via the keyboard. “Ronaldo is the leading brand in social networks with more than 150 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” said Kibo Chief Executive Oron Zell. “Social networks today are the main channel for distributing apps, so we’re talking about a giant opportunity with very significant potential.” Kibo is a joint venture of two companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange: Noam Lanir’s Apply Advanced Mobile Technologies and White Smoke. (Omri Zerovitch)

Haifa University, Chinese university sign cooperation accord

Haifa University and East China Normal University of Shanghai signed an agreement to cooperate in research and teaching in the areas of brain research, education, mathematics and computers and data science as well as to offer a joint degree in business administration. Haifa becomes the third Israeli institution of higher education, after the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and Tel Aviv University, to form a tie-up with a Chinese university. But unlike the other accords, the Shanghai-Haifa International Research Center will involve Israeli and Chinese academics working together. The agreement was signed during a visit by Haifa University President David Faraggi last month. (Lior Dattel)

Teddy Sagi’s Playtech buys UK games platform

Playtech, the online-gaming-software supplier controlled by Israel tech entrepreneur Teddy Sagi, said Monday it was buying U.K.-based Yoyo Games for as much as $21.7 million. Playtech said it would initially pay $16.4 million for Yoyo, with as much as another $5.25 million to be paid based on the company’s performance. Yoyo developed Game Maker: Studio, or GMS, a platform that enables developers to create games using a single programming code and running on the most common mobile platforms. Playtech said GMS counts more than 750,000 registered developers who use the platform at no cost but have the option of buying add-ons at a charge. (TheMarker Staff).

Jerusalem offering prize for best city app

The city of Jerusalem is offering 100,000 shekels ($25,900) in prizes for the best mobile app dedicated to the city. Winners will be selected for 20,000-shekel prizes in five categories – transportation, and infrastructure, tourism and entertainment, access to municipal services, parks and recreation and volunteering. The city will help the winners launch the apps. And if the winners form Jerusalem-based startups, they could qualify for aid of as much as 500,000 shekels. Applications must be filed by March 15. (Amir Ziv)