An update on our business

Automatic was founded with one simple idea: connecting cars to the internet would revolutionize the automotive industry.

We live in a world of increasing connectivity, where our phones, computers, and even thermostats have grown far more useful with the power of the cloud. With hundreds of billions of dollars spent every year on owning and maintaining cars, we knew that insurance companies, fleet providers, car manufacturers, and drivers themselves are going to be looking for ways to improve their driving experiences, their relationships with customers, and their overall bottom lines by embracing connectivity.

What started as five colleagues building a small device that gave people insight into their driving habits has grown into an 85 person company that provides automotive cloud services to the largest players in the automotive industry. We’ve spent the past two years building our platform and working with partners across the entire ecosystem, and we’ve helped countless drivers diagnose engine trouble, save money on their insurance, coach their teenagers to safer driving, and get help in an accident. We’re proud of that.

However, we’ve come to an inflection point that calls for us to double down in two specific areas where we’ve already found success, and where we see the most potential for growing a long-term business: auto insurance and fleet management.

This doesn’t mean that Automatic is exiting the consumer market. In fact, we’ve got something big that we’re excited to launch soon. Our consumer products showcase the variety and value of the services our platform enables, like third-party integrations or teen driving apps. Our success attracting and working with partners is directly attributable to the quality of products we ship to consumers. And our partners provide enormous channels to get our products into more drivers’ hands.

Sadly, narrowing our focus means that I’ve made the painful decision to let 24 of our colleagues go today. This isn’t something that I take lightly; in fact, it’s the hardest decision I’ve made in my professional life. We’re all incredibly sad to see our colleagues leave, and I am sincerely grateful for all that they have contributed to Automatic’s success so far.

As sad as it is, I believe that in the current climate, moving the business towards profitability as soon as we can is the most prudent thing we can do. Automatic’s revenue quadrupled from 2014 to 2015, we’ve signed deals with 4 of the top 10 insurance companies in the United States, we’re winning large distribution deals for our fleet business, and we’re on track to continue growing at an aggressive pace for 2016. I have confidence that we are still in a great position to build the automotive cloud as every car on the road becomes connected.

I’m incredibly proud of what Automatic has built so far. But more than that, I’m humbled by the women and men who come into the office every day and share their talents with me. I can’t wait to show you what they come up with next.