Coolest Cooler: A Great Idea On The Rocks
A decidedly not chill development for 36,000 Kickstarter backers of the “Coolest Cooler”: Coolest is now considering asking people who haven’t yet received their coolers to pay an additional $97 for “expedited delivery” of the long-past-due all-in-one disaster, a prospect that has allegedly led some backers to threaten Coolest employees.
If you’re not familiar, at the time it launched, the Coolest Cooler was the most popular Kickstarter of all time, raising $13 million. The 55-quart cooler has a built-in blender, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, and a bottle opener. You can buy one on Amazon, right now, and have it by the weekend if you pay $399.99.
That $399.99 price point is important—when Coolest Cooler was launched on Kickstarter, it cost between $165 and $225, a price its creator Ryan Grepper said in an update to backers was far too low. Meanwhile, a blender motor strike in China apparently drove up manufacturing costs of the cooler and pushed back its delivery date.
“However, this update is letting you know that unfortunately there will be further delays for some of you. We are in the process of identifying the right partner who can provide the capital and strategic resources to fund the remaining production of backer rewards and help grow the company to the next level. We’re not quite there yet, but it is moving forward.”
That reality was known last year, but we forged ahead. We were confident in our company and the market for premium quality coolers, which had absolutely exploded. We knew that the Kickstarter funds, in the end, would not cover the actual cost of fulfilling all the backer orders (see below for a detailed financial breakdown), but with such huge interest we knew we would find a way to help us finish the process and grow as a company.” [emphasis added]