TechNation: Aman Forms Blockchain JV With Chinese Firm

Olympus takes stake in medical-device maker Medi-Tate ■ Israeli fund emerges as major player in global peer-to-peer lending

A man monitors stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing, June 25, 2018.
Andy Wong/ AP Photo

Olympus takes stake in medical-device maker Medi-Tate

Japan’s Olympus Corporation has agreed to invest $20 million in the company Medi-Tate, which has developed a device for treating enlarged prostates, shareholder Xenia Venture Capital said on Sunday. In a separate announcement, Olympus said it was also buying the rights to distribute the company’s products and a call option that would allow it to acquire 100% of the company. Founded in 2007, Medi-Tate is focused on treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, a non-cancerous growth of the prostate that affects over 500 million older men worldwide. Its iTind is already approved for use in the European Union. “Olympus intends to leverage Medi-Tate’s technology to further expand its range of minimally invasive surgical treatment devices for BPH and to strengthen its urology business,” Olympus said. “The intention is to proceed with a progressive rollout of the product by obtaining regulatory approvals and other relevant licenses in select countries.” Shares of Xenia jumped 22.9% to end at 1.23 shekels (33 cents). (Yoram Gabison)

Israeli fund emerges as major player in global peer-to-peer lending

Israel’s Consumer Credit Fund has emerged as one of the world’s biggest peer-to-peer lenders after the Israeli insurer Phoenix put in $40 million. That infusion boosted the assets of CCF, which is managed by the financial services company IBI, to $340 million, four-and-a-half years after it was formed. Among other backers is Menora, an Israeli insurance company that invested $50 million of its own and client money in the fund. CCF buys loans online made through P2P lenders in the U.S. like Lending Club, Prosper Marketplace and Upstart. Because P2P lenders operate online, they have lower overhead than traditional financial institutions, enabling lenders to earn higher returns compared to savings and investment products offered by banks. CCF says it has been averaging returns of 5% to 8% annually since 2014. Israel is home to a handful of P2P lenders, including eLoan, Blender and BTB, though CCF doesn’t invest in them. (Eran Azran)

Aman forms blockchain JV with Chinese firm

Aman Group, an information technology group based in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnai Brak, said last week it was forming a joint venture with China’s Yunnan Investment Group to develop blockchain solutions for the Chinese market. “China has been investing many resources in the development of technological solutions for local as well as international use,” said Aman CEO Ben Pasternak. “With the developed and proven blockchain capabilities and know-how from Aman Group, the new JV will be able to readily implement the technology in projects across China, including commerce and finance, healthcare, logistics and agriculture.” The partnership calls for further collaboration between the two parties on additional financial technology and big data projects, Aman said in an announcement made during the Tel Aviv China (Yunnan) – Israel Innovation Cooperation Forum. Aman provides digital, cybersecurity, data, software development, knowledge management blockchain services and counts some 2,000 employees. (TheMarker Staff)