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Done Deal: Recent fundings secured, contracts inked and deals done and did, for the tl;dr crowd

Callaghan Innovation has announced the appointment of Vic Crone as its new chief executive.Crone will begin her new role on 28 February.

Callaghan chair Sue Suckling said the hire is a significant one for Callaghan, and that Crone’s experience as managing director at Xero and executive roles at Chorus and Telecom New Zealand will be a major asset. “Vic brings a track record of leading and implementing organisational strategy to achieve challenging outcomes, through a customer-driven approach and building the strong organisational culture necessary to deliver results,” she said. “Her significant executive and governance experience in the tech and innovation sector, and her broader profile, also position her well to drive Callaghan Innovation’s connectedness with all key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.”

H?mi Rolleston has also been appointed general manager sectors, M?ori economy and programmes at Callaghan.

Wellington-based 8i has raised US$27 million in Series B funding for a new app that adds holograms to real life. The funding raise includes a number of celebrity investors, including actor Ashton Kutcher. It also comes after 8i raised $13.5 million in Series A funding. 

Beloved Auckland ice cream parlour Giapo is closing as it prepares to move into a new space. In a message posted on Facebook, owner Giapo Grazioli said his company’s Queen Street store would close and that a new location at 12 Gore St would open at a yet-to-be-determined date. “We have immensely enjoyed serving Auckland and its visitors since 2008,” he wrote. “These years have been the best years of my life, and it comes without saying that they have also been years of hard slog with so many moments when it would have been very easy to just give up.”

Mobile app developer Pushpay Holdings has inked a new R&D deal with Callaghan Innovation. The deal allows Callaghan to invest up to $5 million in R&D at Pushpay for up to three years. 

Pushpay chief executive Chris Heaslip said he’s excited by the investment. “The funding will provide additional resources to deliver scale and growth in the Pushpay platform through the development of new features, new markets, and scalable engineering processes and practices.”

?Wellington ICT company Intergen has moved into the old printing hall of the Evening Post newspaper. The move comes after 10 years at its Lambton Quay/Terrace Intergen House site.

Intergen CEO Simon Bright said the move is just the latest in an ongoing renaissance for the company. “Wellington is undergoing a building renaissance and for Intergen, a company born here and committed for the long-term, we are delighted to be part of bringing new life into a strong part of Wellington’s history in Press Hall,” he said. “We’ve embraced the building’s press printing history in our design, redefining our working environment and extending into the future by creating a modern and dynamic business and social hub in the heart of our CBD. It marks Intergen’s next chapter of development and growth and now we’re here we are looking forward to bringing this exciting new space to our people, our clients and the Wellington community.”

Regenerative medicine company Upside Biotechnologies  has appointed David Flacks as board chair. The Auckland-based company is developing a skin replacement treatment for patients suffering major burns.

Flacks was previously a senior corporate partner of Bell Gully and was also general counsel and company secretary of Carter Holt Harvey in the 1990s. He is chair of NZX-listed AFT Pharmaceuticals and P2P platform Harmoney. He is also a director of NZ VIF, Vero Insurance, a number of charitable organisations, and an active angel investor.

Upside chief executive Dr Robert Feldman said he’s glad to have Flacks on the board. “Good governance makes a real difference to the success of a company and having David on board helps us achieve the right governance structure. The company not only benefits from appointing an excellent Board chair but we also gain David’s enthusiasm for Upside and what it is doing.”

Flacks said he too is excited. “This is an exciting development for a New Zealand-based biotech and I am delighted to be involved with Robert and the great team of scientists led by Professor Rod Dunbar and Dr Vaughan Feisst.”

Flacks joins Cure Kids Ventures CEO Maxine Simmons and Will Charles, Auckland Uniservices’ general manager of technology development, on the Upside board. 

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