Remember your “coolest” friend from high school? The one who didn’t care about smarts because he was just going to party forever? Now he’s probably working as a gas station attendant in New Jersey bragging about his job security because drivers can’t pump their own gas in New Jersey.
That metaphor describes where we’re at with the “Coolest Cooler” pretty well. Over the weekend, Crowdfund Insider reported that the team behind the most heavily-funded Kickstarter project ever sent an email to backers essentially saying that they are broke. Two years ago, the Coolest Cooler – a souped-up cooler with things like speakers and a blender – promised supporters an all-in-one-party. But many of those coolers still haven’t materialized. And even if they ever do, like your sad high school friend, they’ll probably evoke more feelings of regret than the desire to try and relive the heady Kickstarter glory days.
If you need a recap of where things started to go wrong for Coolest Cooler, we covered it in November. At that point, the man behind the project, Ryan Grepper, was simply telling people to chill. But those who payed $185 or more for a cooler back in 2014 got an even more chilling message last week, when Grepper finally admitted the project was out of money.
“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,” Grepper wrote according to Insider, later stating, “The process is well underway to find the best partner, and then ramp up production and get every backer his or her Coolest as soon as possible. However, at this point, we can’t estimate exactly when this will happen.”
So what happened? Last year, Coolest Cooler realized that the funds raised via Kickstarter wouldn’t be enough to cover all the production costs, “but with such huge interest we knew we would find a way to help us finish the process and grow as a company,” the email to backers stated.
Plans to get back on track haven’t panned out yet though. If anyone out there has a spare million dollars or so, give Ryan Grepper a call.