Remember the Coolest Cooler Kickstarter that became the most funded Kickstarter project in the summer of 2014? With more than $13 million in pledges, the Coolest surpassed the Pebble smartwatch by promising to become the high-tech cooler that the 21st century deserves. However, the company behind it failed to deliver the product on time. Fast-forward to spring 2016 and Coolest is asking backers who have not received their cooler to pay an extra $97 for “expedited delivery.”
The Coolest Cooler packs a variety of exciting features. Aside from keeping things cool at the beach, the Coolest has a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, a built-in blender, and many other neat tricks.
Initially, the Coolest sold for as low as $165 on Kickstarter, with prices going all the way up to $225, and it was backed by more than 56,000 people.
Coolest creator Ryan Grepper said in an update to backers the price was too low.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t set the pledge levels high enough to cover the final quality of the Coolest Cooler,” Grepper wrote. “The Coolest Cooler ultimately cost more than we expected to develop and manufacture.”
Apparently Coolest doesn’t have money to produce the remaining coolers, and it’s selling existing stock on Amazon. But it’s not shipping the available units to backers – so far, some 20,000 people received their Coolest, with more than 36,000 waiting for theirs.
For every two to four retail sales, Grepper said it can ship one new cooler. Motherboard says that Coolest needs some $15 million to deliver the remainder of Kickstarter orders, after having burned through the initial $13 million it crowdfunded in 2014. That means the company has to sell some 144,000 units on Amazon to deliver its Kickstarter promise.
But angry backers are apparently flooding Amazon with one-star reviews for the Coolest, making the company’s job harder. Some have even threatened the company and showed up at the office and at Grepper’s house.
A different course of action involves partnering up with a company to fund the extra money, though nothing is ready to be announced.
Either way, from the looks of it, the Coolest appears to have become the biggest Kickstarter failure to date.