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The second-biggest Kickstarter project ever is also a spectacular fail

Published Apr 15th, 2016 6:50AM EDT
Kickstarter Coolest Cooler Fail

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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.”

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What’s disturbing about this request is that you can purchase a Coolest Cooler from Amazon, pay $399.99 for it, and have it shipped to your home by the weekend, Motherboard reports.

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.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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