PARIS, September 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Hardware Club, the highly selective club of Hardware Startups, has appointed as its new Chairman Pascal Cagni, who spearheaded Apple's growth in Europe for 12 years and is the founder of C4 Ventures.
Alongside renowned investors, Pascal Cagni invested in Hardware Club's initial financing round. Other strategic investors include Bruno Maisonnier (founder of Aldebaran Robotics), Marie Ekeland (founder of France Digitale & Daphni), Stephane Distinguin (founder of Fabernovel), and Ryota Matsuzaki (ex-Rakuten Director and founder of Kibidango).
Sonny Vu (co-founder and CEO at Misfit) and Jeff Burton (co-founder of Electronic Arts) also joined its board of advisors.
Launched 12 months ago by co-founders Alexis Houssou and Barbara Belvisi, Hardware Club's mission is to help founders scale up their companies. "The Hardware Renaissance has unleashed an immense potential which needs to be fostered. We are here to help startups that have an already proven demand to become the next giants of consumer electronics," explains co-founder Alexis Houssou.
Hardware Club selects the most promising hardware startups worldwide and provides them with a whole new level of support on hardware-related challenges, including an unprecedented set of resources and partnerships. The platform has already closed partnerships with leading manufacturing firms including Foxconn, Jabil and Quanta Computer and global distribution networks such as Amazon, Target and Media-Saturn.
Since its launch, Hardware Club has attracted a significant amount of attention among the hardware ecosystem and very quickly became the world's largest community of hardware companies. It now officially counts 86 selected members from 20 countries including companies like Misfit, Thync, Narrative, Click&Grow and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
Once companies are selected to become members, their access to the community, resources and partnerships are free of charge. Hardware Club also operates as an investment firm, investing in a number of its early stage members. For instance, Hardware Club was the first investor in Prynt, the Instant Camera smartphone case that raised over $1.5M on Kickstarter last February. More recently, Hardware Club made 2 seed investments in robotics startups: Keecker, the world's first smart home robot and Reach Robotics, the company behind the amazing Mecha Monsters robots.
"In the hardware industry more than any other, time matters. Startups often lose months looking for the right manufacturing partners, trying to get in touch with the relevant merchants or raising funding rounds. Hardware Club was designed as a solution to this challenge with the aim of facilitating large-scale manufacturing, global distribution and financing for hardware startups," commented co-founder Barbara Belvisi.
Pascal Cagni, newly appointed Chairman at Hardware Club said in a statement, "When I met the team last year, I immediately shared their vision of supporting hardware startups by leveraging the power of a large community. Combined with key partnerships into the hardware eco-system, Hardware Club should become the catalyst of a new generation of successful hardware startups."
In 2000, Steve Jobs appointed Cagni as Apple's General Manager and VP Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). Here, Cagni grew annual sales significantly from $1.2bn in 2001 to $40bn in 2012. Today, he serves as a board member of Vivendi SA and Kingfisher plc. He recently joined, alongside Anna Wintour, the board of directors of Condé Nast owned e-commerce website Style.com. He is also the founder and partner at C4 Ventures c4v.com, his London-based Venture Capital firm.
Barbara Belvisi, co-founder at Hardware Club commented, "We're thrilled to welcome Pascal as our new Chairman. There are very few people with this level of experience and vision. His insight within the hardware business will be invaluable to us."
To achieve its vision, Hardware Club recently welcomed two new partners: Jerry Yang, a former Qualcomm-Atheros senior engineer and Caroline Lair, a former Apple employee, to strengthen its team and widen its support on manufacturing & distribution. With offices recently opened in Paris, Taipei and San Francisco, Hardware Club is now all set to make the hardware renaissance truly happen.
About The Hardware Club
Hardware Club is the first global scaling platform for hardware startups.
Hardware Club selects the most promising startups worldwide and helps them with key hardware issues like manufacturing and distribution. Hardware Club has its own investment arm that invests in some of the Club's startups during the pre-seed, seed and series A rounds.
All members benefit from unlimited and free access to a dedicated set of resources: private events worldwide, a community of more than 150 hardware founders, an online platform and strategic partnerships with top-tier manufacturers, distributors and service providers.
Everyone at Hardware Club is stage, geography and sector agnostic. Based in Paris, Taipei and San Francisco, Hardware Club believe the hardware revolution is global and so are they.
SOURCE Hardware Club