Apple-Inspired Auto Parts Company Goes Out Of Business

Pearl Automation's initial product, a $500 rear-view camera, was too expensive and faced sluggish sales.

Automotive components startup Pearl Automation reportedly shut down its operations last week after three years in business and just one year with a product on the market.

Axios reported that the company made the decision amid slow sales of its wireless rear-view camera and a high rate of spending.

Founded in 2014 by three former Apple engineers, the company sought to develop driving technology with the help of $50 million venture capital funding.

But reports indicated that its initial product, a $500 rear-view camera that sent data to a drivers' smartphones, was too expensive. Although millions of cars continue to operate without rear-view cameras, drivers that chose to install them tended to go with cheaper options.

“We ran out of money,” Pearl chief executive Bryson Gardner told The New York Times. “We were probably two years ahead of our time.”

A source told Axios that the company received several acquisition bids but that the executives instead decided to go their separate ways. The Times added that Pearl reached an agreement with American Road Products to serve its current camera customers.

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