Liam Casey’s PCH buys Fab.com for an undisclosed sum

3 Mar 2015

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Liam Casey’s PCH, which masterminds the creation of consumer electronics goods from concept to retail, has acquired US e-commerce website Fab.com for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity.

It is understood that PCH intends to use Fab.com as a sales channel for hardware created by start-ups.

Fab.com’s 35 employees – including engineers, merchants, graphic designers and marketers – will become members of staff at PCH.

Fab.com, once the darling of the tech start-up scene in the US, was founded in 2011 but managed to burn its way through US$300m in cash as marketing costs spiralled out of control. Rumours surfaced in November that PCH had designs on acquiring Fab.com.

One of the key attractions for PCH is not only a recognisable e-commerce brand but also the fact that Fab.com’s model is in favour of drop shipping rather than holding inventory.

The company has undergone a significant restructure and former CEO Jason Goldberg has stepped down as CEO.

Fabulous expansion plans

PCH actually plans to hire more people to work on Fab.com to make it a location of choice for the designers of electronic goods to market their wares.

PCH is the company that was integral to the success of emerging tech brands including Pebble and littleBits.

Casey has built up PCH to become a Cork-headquartered globally focused player that has significant design operations in San Francisco as well as manufacturing operations in Shenzhen, China.

The company had over US$1bn in revenue in 2014 and works with some of the world’s best known electronics brands.

“We will work with third party brands, as well as partner with industrial design firms and design schools around the world to identify up-and-coming designers and give them a platform to bring products to market on Fab,” Casey said.

“And, we will continue to work with the designers and brands we know to bring new products to Fab’s audience.

“We will experiment with emerging ecommerce strategies that stimulate demand by offering a limited number of exclusive, on-demand products in a narrow window.

“We can take products from concept to manufacturing and deliver them straight through to customers, which means we have a lot of flexibility to do things differently.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com