Top Silicon Valley venture capital firms invest in global supply chain firm

17 Sep 2008

Three of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital companies have invested US$21m in a Cork-based supply chain and contract manufacturing company that can help technology firms get their products to market faster.

PCH International is the brainchild of Cork businessman, Liam Casey, and it also has operations in Shenzhen, China.

The investment by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Focus Ventures will enable PCH to expand its sales and marketing operations in the US and Europe and enhance its IT infrastructure.

The company, which was founded in 1996, made a strategic decision to transition away from electronic component sourcing to providing global supply chain management services to the consumer electronics, personal computer, medical devices, telecoms and other technology industries.

“Over the past decade, consumer electronics devices have become more sophisticated, product life cycles have shortened, and consumer taste has changed rapidly,” Casey explained.

“Product companies are increasingly demanding greater speed and flexibility in their supply chains, shorter-term lower-volume product commitments and the ability to personalise and custom-configure their products and packaging. PCH capitalises on this trend by offering flexible contract manufacturing capacity, and increased transparency resulting in the ability of its clients to develop, launch and deliver products faster.”

PCH currently employs 700 people in Ireland, China, Singapore, the UK, the US, Brazil and South Africa.

Technology companies around the world are on the look-out for support from providers that can make their supply chains more comprehensive, explained Eric O’Brien, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners.

“Given the company’s strong track record in doing business with major top-tier customers, we believe PCH is poised to be the dominant player in this sector,” O’Brien said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years