The Coolest hit Kickstarter in 2014, raising over $13 million and promising backers “a party disguised as a cooler.” That party may be winding down or at least significantly delayed, as the project’s creator says that they’re looking for an investor to help keep cranking out coolers.
It turns out that Team Coolest had always planned on having a budget shortfall, but expected to make it up in sales. We don’t have the e-mail sent to backers, but Crowdfund Insider does, and it read in part:
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.
Translation: if you have millions of dollars and also think that smart coolers are the future, drop them a line. Either way, the coolers will be delayed even more… unless you want to pay extra on Amazon.
Yes, the controversial Amazon listing is back, where the Coolest sells for its full retail price of $499, compared with the price as low as $165 that some early Kickstarter backers paid. The idea behind the Amazon listing was apparently to raise more money to keep making coolers for those early backers, who remain outraged that there are finished coolers for Amazon customers, but not for them. Remember, the campaign concluded in August 2014.
Unlike some other spectacular crowdfunding failures, at least the Coolest ended with a product that actually works, as backers who have received their coolers report.
Yet stories like this are a cautionary tale for aspiring creators of products: it’s possible to be too successful and promise too much to customers after a successful crowdfunding campaign, which is a dangerous position to be in when creating an entirely new product. Remember, Kickstarter is not a store
Coolest Cooler Not So Cool as Project Runs Short of Cash [Crowdfund Insider]
COOLEST COOLER: 21st Century Cooler that's Actually Cooler [Kickstarter]