Celebrating 10 Years: RAKwireless' Global Team Impact and Innovation

As RAKwireless (RAK) celebrates its 10th anniversary, we invite you to look back on a decade of dedication, innovation, and great achievements.

This milestone goes beyond our technology. RAK’s journey is an accumulation of amazing people’s stories—from our visionary founders to the talented team members around the world, each story shows our commitment to making IoT accessible and impactful.

Learn how our teamwork, cutting-edge products, and custom solutions have set industry standards, helped communities grow, and improved user experiences worldwide.

The Early Days

Ken Yu, CEO

Ken Yu, the visionary behind RAKwireless, recalls the early days of the company as a challenging feat that can be likened to "looking for a light in a very dark night, on a desert." The Wi-Fi industry was struggling to find applicable scenarios for connectivity technology, which left many potential applications untapped.

In March 2014, during a conversation with his friend Terry Yan, Ken foresaw a future where an array of sensors and industrial terminals would need reliable internet connections. This insight led to the realization that IoT could revolutionize urban and rural landscapes alike.

Leveraging his decade-long experience at Qualcomm Atheros and Terry's expertise from H3C, Ken assembled a team proficient in hardware, software, RF, and industrial design.

Together, they set out to create robust communication solutions tailored to the needs of diverse industries, marking the beginning of the RAKwireless journey to make IoT easy and accessible

Mandy Ye, Finance Lead

Mandy Ye, one of the longtime employees at RAKwireless, joined the company in 2014 as a finance officer. Over the past decade, she has grown both professionally and personally, transitioning from being single to becoming a married mother of two.

Mandy has witnessed RAKwireless evolve from a small team of 20 people to over 120, offering integrated software and hardware solutions.

Key milestones and roles she took in her RAK journey include:

Establishment of the Shopify Store (End of 2018)

  • Launched the Shopify store to expand into overseas markets.
  • Enhanced product features, documentation, customer service, and technical support.
  • Mandy learned e-commerce processes and minimized operational costs.

Securing Investment from Shunwei Capital (End of 2020)

  • Secured investment from Shunwei Capital, recognizing RAK's strength and potential.
  • Mandy led financial and legal due diligence, facilitating comprehensive insights for investors.
  • Resulted in an expanded team, increased R&D, and diversified product lines.

Operational Adjustments (December 2022)

  • Strategic adjustments due to pandemic-related economic decline.
  • Paused R&D outsourcing, reduced management salaries, and downsized team and office space.
  • Mandy controlled expenditures to ensure safe cash flow, aiding in business recovery.

Over these 10 years, as RAKwireless has globalized, Mandy shared that her English proficiency has significantly improved, progressing from being hesitant to speak to being able to communicate and discuss matters normally.

Her financial knowledge has also become more comprehensive and professional. She has learned extensively about international trade, particularly tax regulations in the US and Europe, and gained valuable insights from CPAs worldwide.

Mandy looks forward to continuing this journey with RAKwireless and experiencing the next 10 years together.

Todor Velev and His Reflections on RAKwireless Gateway Development Journey

Todor Velev

Todor Velev, our technical marketing and support expert, joined RAKwireless five years ago during a crucial phase of gateway development. Todor was drawn to RAK because of the management's commitment to continuous improvement and listening to users, regardless of whether they spend $10 or $100,000 on a device. This customer-centric approach, championed by RAK CEO, Ken, aligns with Todor’s belief in the value of experimenting, trying new things, and learning from mistakes.

Initially, RAK centered on developer products and DIY kits, such as the user-assembled RAK7249 gateway. Over time, the company transitioned to delivering a diverse array of commercial, ready-to-deploy gateways. These gateways, powered by an internally developed operating system, now integrate seamlessly with a cloud platform for efficient remote fleet management.

Todor brings extensive customer service experience, having worked in IT and hardware services, ran his own business, and managed a local courier franchise. He values the strong communication and relationships within the RAK team, despite never meeting them face-to-face, likening their bond to friends sharing a morning coffee.

Gavin Brown’s Insights on Pioneering New Solutions and Enhancing User Experiences

Gavin Brown, RAK’s principal product designer, led a project to develop a hardware mounting solution for a large-scale deployment of 'gateway + solar + battery.' This solved a specific customer challenge with no standard solution available in the market.

The custom solution allowed the client's unique deployment strategy to succeed, transforming a significant LoRaWAN® project from planning to execution rapidly.

Gavin was also instrumental in launching the modular IoT enclosure (unify enclosure) and a customization service. This new enclosure supports IoT device builders and deployers by offering innovative solutions to common IoT hardware challenges.

Community Impact

The custom mounting solution addressed a major challenge that had no standard market solution. The unique deployment strategy required a rapid and effective solution, which RAKwireless delivered. This enabled a large-scale LoRaWAN project for residential smart metering to move quickly from planning to execution.

WisBlock, a versatile and high-quality platform, is valuable for IoT developers. The Unify Enclosure helps overcome barriers in hardware development and deployment. Without these innovations, many IoT solutions might not reach the market due to the high costs and challenges involved.

Enhancing User Experience

RAKwireless truly delivers on its mission of ‘IoT Made Easy.’ Gavin's contributions helped users overcome significant challenges, bringing solutions rapidly to market and ensuring exceptional user experiences. WisBlock's innovative platform, complemented by the new modular enclosure, offers IoT developers an incredible experience, removing barriers and facilitating successful deployments.

Building a Strong Global Culture

We understand the profound impact of fostering a strong global culture with diverse teams on our success. Our international teams bring a wealth of perspectives, ideas, and experiences that enrich our approach to innovation and problem-solving. Through collaboration and inclusivity, we've cultivated a culture that transcends geographical boundaries, enabling us to better serve our global user base.

Here are some more insights from key team members highlighting the importance of a strong global culture at RAKwireless.

Xose Pérez, Product Owner, Spain


Xose highlights the pivotal role of global teams in shaping RAK's success. In 2018, RAKwireless was the first brand to provide products that the TTN community in Barcelona used to deeply learn about LoRaWAN, build gateways, and educate others.

Joining RAK was a uniquely positive experience for Xose. Although everyone was remote, his daily morning meetings with Ken during the first two months were inspiring and supportive. Ken's consistent question, "How can I help you?" enabled Xose to plan his days, understand company operations, and feel productive.

Xose believes that RAK's philosophy of openness and customer-centricity perfectly positions the company to tackle upcoming IoT and LoRaWAN challenges. The timely updates to RAK’s product portfolio and the emphasis on flexible, comprehensive solutions ensure robust post-sales support and solidified relationships with customers, reinforcing RAK's commitment to their success.

Carl Erick Rowan, Technical Marketing Expert, Philippines

Carl Rowan

According to Carl, the trust placed in global team members by RAK's leadership has been instrumental in navigating and supporting key markets like the EU and the US. RAK's success, Carl says, stems from years of expertise in LoRaWAN technologies, emphasizing the company's dedication to meeting customer demands through continuous learning and adaptation.

Herculano Costa, Support Engineer, Portugal

Herculano Costa

For Herculano, RAK's global team structure enhances user experience and product understanding across diverse markets. By leveraging input from worldwide team members, RAK can design products that cater to a wide range of needs effectively. The collaborative and inclusive environment at RAK, supported by clear communication channels and cultural sensitivity training, has been pivotal in uniting teams and driving collective success.

Jeff Wang, Hardware Engineer


Jeff sheds light on the advantages of accessing talent globally, enabling RAK to recruit the best professionals irrespective of location. The diverse cultural backgrounds within RAK's teams foster innovation and creativity, ensuring a deep understanding of user requirements worldwide. Effective communication tools and a collaborative corporate culture further enhance team cohesion, enabling RAK to deliver exceptional support and swift responses to customer needs.

Ting Huang, Product Owner

Ting Huang

Ting expresses the value of a global team in bringing forth a myriad of ideas and perspectives. The cultural diversity within RAKwireless fuels creativity and learning, offering fresh insights and approaches to problem-solving. Ting sees this diversity as a key strength of RAKwireless, driving continuous growth and adaptability in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

Modular Vision for IoT: The RAKwireless Approach

RAK was founded on three core beliefs:

  • the interconnectedness of everything
  • a commitment to transparency through a community-driven model
  • the importance of diversity in making IoT accessible for software developers

Our mission is to simplify the interaction between application developers and hardware by creating modular systems that accelerate IoT innovation.

Unlike the standardized mobile industry, IoT hardware varies greatly due to unique application requirements. This diversity complicates production and support for IoT hardware. To address this, we've focused on standardizing fundamental hardware blocks—Sensor, Compute, and Connectivity—using common interfaces like I2C, SPI, and UART. Additionally, we introduced WisIO sockets for broader industrial connections such as RS485, Analog, Digital, and 4-20mA.


Bernd Giesecke, our Product Manager, stated that RAKwireless saw the problems in the market during the development of devices with LoRa/LoRaWAN capabilities. High cost for prototyping, difficulties in writing firmware to test functionality, and adding sensors and actuators to prototypes.

Our modular system, inspired by Lego, allows us to build various IoT edge devices using standardized modules. For instance, the LoRa Stamp Module (WisDuo) like RAK3172, combinations of computing and connectivity modules (WisTrio), and integrated computing, connectivity, and sensor modules (WisBlock). Our product naming convention reflects the modular vision behind our products.

RAK's ultimate goal, however, is to commercialize our modular IoT system, making it as viable as IKEA's model. To realize this while ensuring reliable, compact, and efficient designs, we addressed challenges like transportation disconnections, heat impact on sensors, RF interference, and power options (battery and solar).

Thus, WisBlock was developed to bring our modular vision to life.

Our Design-to-Fulfillment Manufacturing Approach

Tesla not only designs cars, but they also create a manufacturing system to deliver their vehicles to customers. We share a similar approach.

Innovation often starts small, with trials and experiments. We aim to support global innovators in the IoT space, helping them bring products to market faster with flexibility and customization, even from the sample stage.

With this vision, it’s not enough for RAKwireless to simply design products and rely on existing outsourcing companies for production. We needed to create a manufacturing system that is agile, data-driven, and focused on lean production.

Combining Flexibility and Efficiency in Production

Similar to how McDonald's centralizes the production of bread and beef, we have built an agile manufacturing system in our factory. Instead of maintaining a stock of finished products, we keep 60–80% of our inventory as semi-finished products.

This approach, driven by real-time inventory insights and demand forecasts, ensures operational agility and a swift response to market fluctuations. For the remaining 20–40% of finished products, our streamlined process allows us to complete them within a rapid 3–7 day window post-order confirmation.

Our vision is to offer users the flexibility to accept their customized orders with low barriers and costs.

Cost-Effective, High-Quality Customization and Rapid Delivery in Agile Manufacturing

Despite the customized nature of these orders, our system ensures they are cost-effective, avoiding excessive costs for our customers. We achieve this vision through a system and automation-driven approach.

By relying heavily on automation and minimizing human intervention, we maintain high-quality standards without compromising on the agility of production. This approach also ensures rapid delivery.

We aim to provide low-cost, low-barrier customization, high quality, and fast delivery. This vision is the foundation of our manufacturing system, designed to meet our customers' needs.

We use a system-driven approach to address the dynamic needs of the IoT market. The numerous SKUs and PIDs reflect our commitment to tailored solutions, where every product embodies unique customization. Lean production principles help us maintain high quality control and production efficiency. Our agile manufacturing system is specially crafted to accommodate small batch production, high-frequency orders, short lead times, and market diversification.

Final Thoughts

RAKwireless, a key provider of private network solutions for IoT applications, has experienced a remarkable 10-year journey marked by innovation and teamwork.

Over these years, we've learned, explored, envisioned, executed, and delivered, but one principle has always remained at the forefront of our minds: listening. This is our core belief.

Today, we are proud to have over 5,000 customers worldwide and more than 3,000 private networks deployed in various fields. Our mantra, "come to the field," has guided us since last year. We've visited over 100 solution creators in more than 20 countries.

Listening has helped us understand more clearly where we are and where we plan to go. Each field visit is more than just a meeting—it's a journey with our customers.

We proudly stand with you, NONSTOP.

Share our story on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin for a chance to get a 10th-anniversary mug. Simply copy the link of this article then paste it on your post, tag RAKwireless, and use the hashtag #RAKat10.

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we've made incredible updates to our store collection.


  • RAKwireless is celebrating its 10th anniversary, highlighting a decade of dedication and innovation.
  • Ken Yu, CEO, recalls the early days and the vision that led to IoT advancements.
  • Mandy Ye has grown with RAKwireless and played key roles in finance and strategic adjustments.
  • Todor Velev shares insights on the evolution from DIY kits to commercial gateways.
  • Gavin Brown discusses custom solutions and the impact of WisBlock on IoT development.
  • The company's strong global culture is driven by diverse teams and collaboration. Xose Pérez, Carl Erick Rowan, Herculano Costa, Jeff Wang, and Ting Huang emphasize the value of diversity and teamwork.
  • Bernd Giesecke explains the vision behind WisDuo, WisTrio, and the creation of WisBlock.
  • RAK's production strategies focus on customization and agile manufacturing.
  • The company remains committed to quality and innovation, looking forward to future growth.
  • In celebration, RAKwireless offers exclusive discounts of up to 25% on WisBlock, Meshtastic, and more.