Ice cream producer Oppo rose to record crowdfunding campaign heights as quickly as a beachside gelato melts on a hot summer day: fast. UK crowdfunding platform Seedrs today noted that London-based Oppo reached 324 percent (at press time, 339 percent) of its target investment in just a few days, becoming Seedrs’ most overfunded campaign.
Given that the product is premium ice cream, with ingredients inspired by the founders’ kite buggy-fueled trip to Brazil, Oppo’s success isn’t improbable. But the same product also has virgin coconut oil instead of cream; stevia (a natural low-calorie sweetener) instead of sugar; and superfoods that you might only get in a vitamin. Ice cream seems to be a popular food campaign choice among crowdfunding websites—take Germany-based Kyl, selling molecular ice cream, for one example.
Oppo’s financial stats are also worth noting: It originally sought £100,012, with £339,049 already funded. Equity offered was 9.10 percent, and its pre-money valuation was £998,991, according to its Seedrs page. The company was also the winner of the 2014 Innovation Challenge Gold Award, with judges describing it as “Premium product, indulgent but good for you. It’s really yummy and proper ice cream. Really well deserved.”
With taglines such as “Eat like a whale, feel like a mermaid” (mint choc swirl with spirulina), Oppo takes a have-your-healthy-cake-and-eat-it-too marketing angle. Other flavors include salted caramel with Lucuma, and Madagascan vanilla and baobao. And if you simply must check the calorie count, each two-scoop serving has fewer calories than an apple.
But if Oppo’s founders, brothers Charlie and Harry Thuillier, had decided to skip their 1000 km trip along the northeast coast of Brazil, sans knowledge of Portuguese or kite buggies—their method of transport—none of Oppo’s flavors would exist. If completed, the brothers’ jaunt, sponsored by equipment companies and raising money for a charity, would be an official world record.
But there were a few mishaps en route. The brothers ran out of food, given the enormous caloric loss (7,000 calories per day) from frequently walking over 30 miles dragging their 75 kg kite buggies, often on sand. To survive the rest of their trip, they took advantage of the local wild cuisine: coconuts, coconut milk for hydration and coconut meat for the healthy fats and protein. This new diet saw them to the finish line, and inspired the brothers to create an indulgent food that didn’t sacrifice flavor.
Oppo is now available at Ocado.com and Waitrose, a chain of British supermarkets, after launching last October. Unfortunately, an ocean—rather than an ice cream display case window—currently separates would-be U.S. or other consumers from Oppo ice cream. But with hope and continued crowdfunding success, a pint of mint choc swirl with spirulina may someday be available at a freezer near you.
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