The “GB-V Growth Fund Investment Limited Partnership” managed by Global Brain Corporation, has invested in HWTrek Corporation, a Taiwan-based global open innovation platform for hardware startups.

As the Internet of Things revolution progresses, more and more hardware startups are emerging globally. However, their success rates are not very high due to the nature of complexity specific to hardware development. Unlike software development, just one minor change of design can easily take months of time and thousands of dollars. For hardware startups that usually have very limited resources, it is extremely difficult to identify appropriate components from many different suppliers, secure the necessary amount of components and advance to the stage of mass production. HWTrek provides the answer for startups facing these challenges.

HWTrek operates, an online open innovation platform which connects experts from the hardware development supply chain, such as project managers, technical advisors, component manufacturers, design houses, EMS factories and investors. Hardware startups can sign up for the platform with a simple application process of a few that conform to a standard that enables more accessible communication with the manufacturing and supply chain industry. Upon acceptance, HWTrek provides a detailed project management service tailored for each startup project, which is the key for successful hardware development. Furthermore, as the steps progress in the project management process, HWTrek can precisely recommend appropriate resources such as component manufacturers, technical advisors and EMS factories. This enables resource-limited startups to create high-level hardware and move on to mass production with minimum hassles.

“We are very excited to join HWTrek’s next generation open innovation platform for hardware startups,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, CEO of Global Brain. “We have already received positive feedback from Japanese manufacturers and startups, and we believe the combination of the best ideas and technologies from China, Taiwan, Japan and other regions will effectively expedits the successes of hardware startups globally.”

“Global Brain is an essential partner in this round and we greatlyappreciate their early participation,” said Lucas Wang, CEO of HWTrek. “Japan is not just a huge consumer electronic market, we should acknowledge that Japan is also a significant source of technological innovation, electronics components, precision design and mechanical manufacturing. With Global Brain’s partnership, HWTrek will be able to assist an ever greater number of startups in Japan and to further attract a variety of technolog providers and enable them to break out into the world of hardware innovation.”

The investment HWTrek by Global Brain at this time was done in cooperation with WI Harper, an US-based venture capital,, one of the largest online e-commerce companiews in China, and Legend Group, of which one of the largest PC manufacturers, Lenovo, is a member. Each investor will collaborate and bring its specialties to bear to contribute to the growth of HWTrek.

With the investment at this time, HWTrek will accelerate the expansion of its platform and create a new ecosystem suitable for the needs of global, lean hardware development by combining knowledge from US, China, Taiwan, Japan and other regions.

About HWTrek Corporation

HWTrek's Project Development Hub is a cloud-based platform for hardware innovators – startups and crowdfunding creators as well as small and medium size companies – working to manage their product development, connect with manufacturing and supply chain industry experts, and bring their projects to market. The Hub generates a management flow tailored specifically to each unique project and facilitates collaboration between the hardware innovators and HWTrek’s ecosystem of industry partners. This ensures the best matches and connections based on their unique projects and areas of expertise to help them navigate the complexities of bringing new hardware products to market, in order to deliver a high quality product on time, under budget, and at scale.

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About Global Brain Corporation

Global Brain Corporation is an independent venture capital based in Asia and Silicon Valley. Since its foundation in 1998, Global Brain has been focusing on seed to middle stage IT startup companies. It currently manages 5 funds with total amount of JPY 30.5B (=USD 242M). It is well known for its intensive hands-on style investments with dedicated in-house business support team, who provide growth hack assistances by leveraging their live business experiences and extensive network with large corporations. Global Brain has its headquarters in Tokyo and has branch offices in San Francisco, Korea and Singapore.

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