If you’re not hot on beverage cooler Kickstarter campaigns right now, because of what’s happened with Coolest Cooler, the folks at Kulr hope you’ll chill for a second and give their product a closer look.
The Kulr Kickstarter goes live Tuesday morning, and the developers are promising “a new class of beverage cooler” which is designed “for style and function.”
Founder and CEO Dane Jackman told GeekWire that not only will functionality set the Kulr apart, but the way in which the company conducts business will be noticeable, too.
“We’ve learned to plan, plan and then plan some more,” Jackman said. “We’ve approached this campaign almost methodically, weighing every decision based on how it will affect our overall manufacturing plan and business strategy. While it’s great to be able to say, ‘Throw another gizmo on there,’ we’ve realized from watching these other campaigns that each and every change you make to the product has a tangible effect on the delivery timeline and overall expense. Every design choice made with Kulr has been made with intention, with the goal of delivering the best possible end experience for the consumer.”
Jackman also said Miami-based Kulr has learned a lot about how to manage a campaign financially.
“Up until this point, Kulr has been entirely self-funded,” Jackman said. “We’ve invested about $60,000 — in comparison to the $2 million some outlets reported that was spent by Coolest. So already we are in quite a different place on the path to becoming a profitable operation.”
The 8-pound cooler certainly looks cool, with its removable Bluetooth speaker, charging bank, storage console, removable inner container, and bottle opener with LED light.
Coolest Cooler looked great to a lot of people, too, to the tune of $13 million. The promise of built-in music and a drinks blender attracted more than 62,000 backers on Kickstarter. But significant delivery delays sparked an outcry.
“Bringing a new high-quality product to tens of thousands of people, all over the globe, on a short timeline is expensive,” founder Ryan Grepper said.
Jackman said Kulr has the necessary plans in place to avoid these pitfalls.
“We do realize people may have a confidence issue with Kickstarter in general, with all the headlines lately of projects not being able to deliver to backers,” Jackman said. “We plan to address this by using an escrow account model for all Kickstarter funds.” This means money raised will be placed in a holding account, and withdrawals will only be made as certain manufacturing milestones are reached.
Not only does Kulr believe that its business plan sets it apart from Coolest Cooler, but Jackman said his product targets a different kind of market entirely.
“Coolest Cooler is on wheels, made for large crowds and entertaining,” Jackman said. “Kulr is a more compact personal cooler, perfect for grabbing and bringing with you on a bike or skateboard, or when you plan on trekking across sand at the beach. Coolest Cooler’s target market is more of the tailgate party crowd, whereas Kulr caters to a fashion-conscious, tech-savvy audience.”
Kulr is offering a range of rewards to potential backers, starting with your name on their website if you give $5. You can get the LED-enabled bottle opener for $25; a drinks tumbler for $45; a beach towel for $65; and the Bluetooth speaker for $85.
Fifty backers at the early bird price of $165 are promised a Kulr cooler, which has an estimated retail price of $265. Delivery is promised, anywhere in the world, by December. High rollers with a lot of drinks to put on ice can pledge $1,650 and get 10 Kulrs.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking a cooler just used to be a Styrofoam or plastic box for keeping your drinks cold during a party or day at the beach. But technological advances and the desire for our devices to either do everything or connect to most things has changed the world we live and drink beer in.
“Until the iPhone came along, a cell phone was just a cell phone,” Jackman said. “Now it’s this sleek piece of equipment people love and feel connected to. We hope to do the same thing with Kulr. Right now, I don’t think anyone feels any particular type of way when they look at their plastic beach cooler. We anticipate Kulr will change that, becoming a product that not only works well but one that people love using.”