$2,300 Down, $487,700 To Go: Can Crowdfunding Save Oogave?

In an online plea, Oogave co-founder Gannon Merrell said the company needs to raise $500,000 to be able to reach positive cash flow in the next 18-20 months – or else it will have to liquidate.

Merrell, who started the agave syrup-sweetened organic soda along with Denver restaurateur Stephen “Esteban” Anson, said in an email that the company has started a campaign for the half-mil on the crowdfunding web site indiegogo.com.

In a video on the site, the pair plead for cash while showing how close-to-the-bone the operation is, with a conference table pulled in for free and a $5 shelf, both acquired via Craigslist.

Merrell and Anson point out that for many natural food and beverage brands fighting for shelf space with larger competitors, presence in the store – even presence throughout key retailers like Whole Foods – isn’t necessarily indicative of profitability, or even stability.

“We’re all scrapping it together,” Merrell says of the smaller players in the CPG world.

The company is offering numerous participation benefits in exchange for money – including a visit from the company’s el Camino, which is called “this beast” in the video.