Kickstarter Fiasco Coolest Cooler Has New Plan To Pay For 20,000 Undelivered Coolers

By Mike Rogoway
The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Coolest Cooler is the second-most popular project in Kickstarter history, raising more than $13 million from 60,000 backers. But the company quickly became overwhelmed by the demand and found the money it raised didn’t cover the cost of manufacturing the coolers.

The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

Supporters of Kickstarter project Coolest Cooler in 2014 paid $200 to support the project in expectation of a tricked-out cooler with a built-in blender, waterproof wireless speaker and other features.

Now, after nearly four years, the Portland company apparently still owes somewhere around 20,000 coolers to its crowdfunding backers.

It appears to have delivered little more than 1,000 coolers to its backers in the past 12 months.

Still, Coolest Cooler said it’s committed to closing the gap.

“We’re still making and shipping coolers, and we’re still focused 100 percent on getting every last remaining backer the cooler they deserve,” campaign founder Ryan Grepper told backers in a YouTube video posted last week.

In the video Grepper said he hoped to finance the projection of more coolers by selling accessories, such as replacement batteries, chargers and other products yet to be identified.

Coolest Cooler is the second-most popular project in Kickstarter history, raising more than $13 million from 60,000 backers after being featured on national TV shows and popular websites. But the company quickly became overwhelmed by the demand and found the money it raised didn’t cover the cost of manufacturing the coolers.

Kickstarter, conceived as a way for artisans and independent craftspeople to fund imaginative projects through crowdfunding campaigns, proved ill-suited for mass-produced consumer products from inexperienced entrepreneurs like Grepper.

Coolest delivered just 39,000 of the 60,000 coolers it promised by June 2017, when the company reached a settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice.

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