You know how that old rhyme goes: I scream, you scream, we all scream when we learn that the Museum of Ice Cream has been valued at $200 million. Apparently there are a lot of zeros hidden in that Sprinkle Pool, because Figure 8, the newly launched parent company of every Instagrammer's favorite museum, has already raised $40 million in funding, largely from two consumer venture capital firms.
Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora, who brought the Museum of Ice Cream into this world, say that Figure 8 was created to design additional spaces where millennials can connect with each other. (Or, we're guessing, where they can quietly acknowledge whoever else might be using the same hashtags at the same time).
"Over the past 3 years building Museum of Ice Cream, we have learned so much from our guests and gained endless insight. Globalization and technology have made the world smaller, yet people are more lonely than ever," Bunn said in a statement. "I want to inspire people around the world with what I call experiums, emotional and transformative moments and spaces for people to reconnect with themselves and those around them."
So yeah, expect more selfies and hashtags—probably a lot more. According to The Guardian, when the Museum of Ice Cream launched in New York City in 2016, it sold more than 300,000 tickets—worth around $5.4 million—in its first five days. During the next two years, the pop-up traveled to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, and its ticket prices jumped from $18 to $38—but it still sold out everywhere. (The admission fee is still $38 for every visitor over 2 years old.)
Co-founder Manish Vora says that, in addition to branded, uh, experiums for corporations and new Figure8 launches, the Museum of Ice Cream will travel to a new location every quarter going forward. It will be interesting to see how that goes, to see whether we're all still hype for undeniably flattering indoor lighting, and whether several months' worth of tickets will still sell out in under 20 minutes.
After the Museum of Ice Cream launched—and cashed in all of those high-dollar admission fees—a number of single-minded copycat pop-ups followed: The Museum of Pizza, the avocado-stanning Cado, and the by-many-accounts-unenjoyable Boba Room in New York City. But the Museum of Ice Cream is the only one that's still in operation, the only one adding additional events to its calendar, and (eventually) adding additional cities to its itinerary.
Is that worth $200 million? Right now in 2019, the Year of Our Divine Influencers, apparently so.