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|Release date||24 July 2015|
|Sound||Bluetooth water-resistant speaker|
2x USB charging port |
(5 volts, 1 amp & 2.1 amp)
|Power||20V Rechargeable lithium ion battery|
The Coolest Cooler is a multi-function cooler that was initially funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. In the summer of 2014, Ryan Grepper raised over $13 million, making it the most funded Kickstarter campaign of 2014. Crowdfunders were offered the product at a discounted rate but there are still problems with orders being fulfilled.
Grepper was a product developer from Portland, Oregon. He first tried to raise funding for the product in November 2013 but fell short of the $125,000 goal and failed to secure any funding. He launched a second campaign on July 8, 2014, and critics attribute the success of the second Kickstarter campaign to the timing. The Coolest received extensive press coverage when it topped the funding goals of the Pebble watch, and ended the campaign in August with $13,285,226 and 62,642 backers making it the most funded Kickstarter campaign of 2014. To this day, roughly one third of Kickstater Backers(20,121 backers) are still awaiting fulfillment of their rewards...
Grepper, an entrepreneur, designed the Coolest, initially using a weed whacker to build a portable gas-powered blender. He subsequently re-engineered a cooler with a car stereo to bring to a 4 July beach party for friends. Grepper has said that improvements in technology and the reduced size of components made him realize that the multi-function cooler could be engineered as a consumer product and developed a prototype using 3D printing technology.
It includes an ice-crushing blender, a Bluetooth water-resistant speaker, a USB charging port, LED lamps, a bottle opener with magnetic cap catch, plates, knife, corkscrew and a removable divider that can also be used as a cutting board. The split lid design is made with steel hinges and includes cup-holders.
The cooler's hexagonal shape has a 55+ quart capacity. The cooler is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and the removable Bluetooth speaker is also rechargeable and can be paired with a second speaker up to 30 ft away. One reviewer described it as a "party in a box". Time magazine listed the Coolest cooler as one of its 25 best inventions of 2014.
Development and delays
When Grepper launched the Kickstarter campaign for the Coolest, the company planned to deliver to backers their Coolest reward in February 2015. The success of the campaign significantly increased demand, and they are being made  in China. Due to the change in quantity, complexity of shipping, logistics and certification processes, production has taken longer than expected. In February 2015, the company announced a postponement to July 2015. Grepper cited improvements and upgrades as partial reasons for the delay in a post on the company's blog.
The first units were shipped in July 2015, and by November 2015 tens of thousands of backers received their cooler. The company estimated they would clear the large backlog by April 2016. During a live-streamed web conference in March 2016, Grepper admitted production had stopped, and he was seeking an additional $15 million, with one third of this to be put towards meeting 36,000 outstanding orders from backers. In April 2016, Grepper added an option to spend $97 in order to get expedited shipping on the backer's delayed coolers. In May 2016, it was reported that more than 10,000 backers had supported this option and production had resumed in China. The company said it would fund delivery of the remaining 27,000 backer rewards from profits from retail sales.
In September 2016, after receiving 315 consumer complaints in the past year, the Oregon Department of Justice confirmed that it was investigating Coolest Cooler for possible violations of the state's Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
As of February 2017, some backers were still waiting, but Coolest claimed to use funds from sales on their website to deliver coolers to backers at the rate of 30-50 per week.
In June, 2017, Coolest Cooler, LLC entered into an agreement with the Oregon Department of Justice that specifies the plan for fulfilling remaining Kickstarter Backer rewards.
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