Art Market

The Museum of Ice Cream has been valued at $200 million.

Christy Kuesel
Aug 16, 2019 4:47PM, via Wall Street Journal

A Museum of Ice Cream pop-up in Miami. Photo by Phillip Pessar, via Flickr.

The company behind the Museum of Ice Cream is now valued at $200 million, in part due to its plans to expand past its flagship, dessert-themed attraction into branded food, clothing and makeup lines. On Wednesday the museum founders Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora announced the launch of an “experience-first” parent company, Figure8, Inc., which has scooped up $40 million in investments.

The Museum of Ice Cream was among the first in the recent wave of “museums” made for and popularized by social media. Its Instagram account, boasting almost 400,000 followers, is a millennial pink wonderland, showcasing the company’s ice cream flavors as well as visitors to the museum diving into what it claims is the world’s largest sprinkle pool.

Bunn told the Wall Street Journal:

Everyone has a connection to ice cream. [. . .] It doesn’t see gender, it doesn’t see religion.

Bunn and Vora launched the museum’s first location in New York City in 2016, where it became an immediate sensation, attracting celebrities like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian. Since then, it has traveled around the country, holding temporary exhibitions in Los Angeles and Miami. The museum’s only permanent location is in San Francisco, though Figure8 is based in New York.

The museum launched “The Pint Shop” in New York City last June, offering seven different ice cream flavors, as well as unique tasting experiences. It started selling its ice cream in Target stores across the country soon after, and worked on a clothing line for Target and a makeup line for Sephora.

The company prides itself on “experiums,” a now-trademarked Figure8 word that is a portmanteau of experiences and museums. In a recent Forbes article, Bunn described experiums as “spaces and places for people to reconnect with themselves and those surrounding them.” Figure8 plans to launch a non-ice cream themed experium in 2020.

Further Reading: Are Selfie Museums an Affront to the Art World?

Christy Kuesel