PCH International

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PCH International
Founded 1996; 21 years ago (1996) in Ireland
Founder Liam Casey
Headquarters Cork (city), Ireland
Revenue US$ 1 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
Website pchintl.com

PCH is an Irish custom design manufacturing company that works with Fortune 500s and hardware startups to develop, manufacture, package, and distribute products as well as manage supply chains.[2][1][3] The company was founded in Ireland in 1996 by entrepreneur Liam Casey.[3]

PCH's corporate headquarters are located in Cork, Ireland with operational headquarters in Shenzhen, China and U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, California. PCH has additional offices in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.[4] PCH employs 2,800 people.[1]


PCH was founded in Cork, Ireland, by CEO Liam Casey in 1996. Corporate headquarters are located in Cork, operational headquarters are in Shenzhen, South China, and US headquarters are in San Francisco.

Liam Casey started working in fashion retail with Tricot Marine, moving to the United States to work for a trading company, before finally landing in Shenzhen, China. During his time in the United States, Casey worked for a trading company that imported from China. He visited China and started an outsourcing operation, matching Chinese suppliers with western companies seeking manufacturers for products.[5] In 2007, Liam Casey was named Ernst & Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year.[6] In 2015, he was selected by Metropolis editors for their Game Changer award.[7]


PCH offers product design engineering and development services as well as manufacturing, packaging and fulfillment, distribution and retail services.[8] For startups, PCH has two divisions - Highway1 and PCH Access - that work with entrepreneurs to minimize the risk of market entrance and help them scale production.[9]

PCH China Direct assists companies looking to export to China or expand existing operations.

In late 2015, PCH International laid off 1,500 workers in China, nearly its entire workforce, as it moved away from mass production of products into more niche markets. [10]

PCH Access[edit]

PCH Access is a program designed to help small hardware companies scale through an integrated platform that brings products from concept to consumer and reduces the time it takes to bring products to market.[9]

The program was launched at Techcrunch, a technology media event, in May 2011.[11] Since then the program was involved in the launch of several products, including:

•November 2014: Podo Labs

•Fall 2014: Ringly [12]

•April 2013: Lively [13]

•April 2013: Zinc Software Limited[14]

•August 2012: The MetaWatch Strata[15]

•July 2012: littleBits[16]

•May 2011: Lark[17]


In June 2013 PCH launched Highway1 (www.highway1.io), a four-month accelerator program consisting of:[18]

  • A four-month educational curriculum taught in San Francisco
  • A two-week module taught in Shenzhen, China with an exploration of the consumer electronics supply chain in the Pearl River Delta, the main hub of China's manufacturing industry;
  • Up to US$50,000 in seed capital for a 4-7% equity;
  • Access to office and product prototyping facilities;
  • One-on-one engineering, design and mentoring support;
  • Access to a mentor network with technology leaders.

Funding and expansion[edit]

On 7 June 2011 the company announced that it had raised a new round of funding of $30 million. Two new investors, Northbrooks Investments and J. Christopher Burch, and existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Triangle Peak Partners, Cross Creek Capital, and Fung Capital participated in the round.[19]

In 2011 the company acquired TNS Distribution,[20] a European distributor of consumer electronics products and accessories for an immediate payment of €6m (US$8.67m) and an earnings-based payment of €5m (US$7.22m) over 3 years, based on the performance of TNS Distribution.

On 15 June 2012 the company announced an agreement to acquire Lime Lab Inc.,[21] a Silicon Valley-based product development consultancy.

On March 3, 2015, PCH announced that they had acquired Fab (website), a design e-commerce platform, for an undisclosed sum.[22] The purchase price was later revealed to be $15 million, a huge drop in valuation for the distressed internet company. [23]

Sustainability and Employee Well-Being[edit]

PCH has released Sustainability Reports for 2013 and 2014 as part of its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, of which it has been a member since 2012.[24][25] The company has made environmental sustainability a core business priority, and has focused on decreasing waste in the supply chain by focusing on demand-driven manufacturing and shipping rather than traditional models of producing according to forecast to regional distribution centers.[26][27]

PCH has a zero-tolerance policy towards child labor, physical punishment, falsification of time cards, and withholding pay.[3][25]


  1. ^ a b c d Hoge, Patrick (2015-01-15). "Bay Area hardware startups get gateway to China's manufacturing universe in Potrero Hill". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  2. ^ Rowan, David (2014-02-14). "The man who made geography history". Wired. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  3. ^ a b c Vartan, Starre (2015-01-01). "Game Changers 2015: Liam Casey". Metropolis Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  4. ^ "PCH has offices all over the world". 
  5. ^ James Fallows, The Atlantic "China makes, the world takes." July/August 2007
  6. ^ RTÉ News. "Liam Casey named Entrepreneur of the Year." 26 October 2007
  7. ^ Rajagopal, Avinash (2015-02-26). "Metropolis Celebrates Its Fifth Annual Game Changers". Metropolis. Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  8. ^ "PCH". 
  9. ^ a b Wasik, Bill (2014-06-27). "The Man Making Silicon Valley Go Crazy for Hardware". Wired. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  10. ^ http://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/pch-to-lay-off-1500-in-china-as-manufacturing-boom-shifts-gear-34821676.html
  11. ^ Empson, Rip (2011-05-24). "PCH International Launches Business Accelerator Program; Lark Named First Startup". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  12. ^ TechCrunch. "PCH’s Liam Casey On The “Renaissance Of Prototyping”." 8 September 2014
  13. ^ Reuters. "PCH gets 'Lively' with new Accelerator partner." 16 April 2013
  14. ^ Reuters. "PCH Announces First European Startup in Accelerator Program." 4 April 2013
  15. ^ Business & Leadership. "PCH partners with Texas-based MetaWatch." 29 August 2012
  16. ^ Nick Bilton, New York Times. "Silicon Valley's Hardware Renaissance." 24 August 2012
  17. ^ Joseph Flaherty, WIRED. "How Lark Went From Idea to Apple Store in One Year." 24 May 2011
  18. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (2013-06-25). "Meet Highway1, a hardware incubator that wants to take startups to China and back". Gigaom. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  19. ^ Robin Wauters, TechCrunch. "Electronics Manufacturing Company PCH International Raises $30 Million." 7 June 2011. Retrieved 7 Jun 2011.
  20. ^ PCH International announces acquisition of TNS Distribution Archived 20 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ PCH agrees to acquire Lime Lab Inc. to expand product development services in California
  22. ^ Howarth, Dan (2015-03-03). "Fab acquired by PCH to create "the Netflix of design"". Dezeen. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  23. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-03/fab-com-is-sold-in-billion-dollar-darling-s-spectacular-rise-and-fall
  24. ^ "Participants & Stakeholders". 
  25. ^ a b "Sustainability Reports". 
  26. ^ "Real World Case Study: Sustainability as a Path to a Better Business Model", PSFK, 2014-11-24, retrieved 2014-11-24 
  27. ^ "Sustainability of Our Supply Chain". 

Further reading[edit]