Automotive startup Pearl is shutting down just one year after coming out of stealth mode, a source has confirmed to The Verge. The small company’s first (and now only) product was a $500 wireless backup camera that fit around your car’s rear license plate. The news was first reported by Axios.
Pearl built its early reputation on the fact that most of its employees used to work at Apple. At the time of Pearl’s launch last year, around 50 of its 70 employees boasted a resume with time spent working for the tech giant.
All that Apple talent was supposed to have translated into an extremely polished product. By all accounts, the backup camera, called RearVision, was pretty sharp as far as license plate attachments go. It was unobtrusive, there was no wires, and therefore, no need for professional installation.
Pearl might have gone on to make other products, but RearVision was filling a gap in the market that was already closing. An increasing number of new cars have cameras built in — especially as automakers continue to make and market semi-autonomous driving features like lane keep and adaptive cruise control.
And while RearVision is still an interesting solution for older cars that don’t have those cameras, apparently the price tag was enough to scare people off, because early sales “disappointed,” according to Axios. The report also says that other companies approached Pearl about a potential acquisition, but that it turned those offers down.