Oogavé, a Denver-based organic soda company, is battling the beverage giants. The company was started when the founder was searching for a healthier soda alternative for his all-natural sandwich shop.
Finding no suitable alternatives, he created his own fountain soda using agave nectar as a sweetener, in place of high-fructose corn syrup. He soon found that customers were coming back just for the soda.
That's when he knew he had to start his very own soda company.
Oogavé has been in business for four years selling both bottled soda and organic fountain syrups, and recently exceeded $1 million in annual sales.
The beverages are on store shelves in natural food retailers across the country, including Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Vitamin Cottage.
However, as owner Gannon Merrell says, "It takes small consumer packaged goods companies like Oogavé about five years to get to cash flow positive. We need about 18–24 more months of runway before we get there."
The company has come to a critical juncture where it needs a cash infusion to get past the threshold to profitability. It’s looking to the organic-loving masses to help it get there.
It's launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com to raise the estimated need of $500,000.
As with most crowdfunding efforts, Oogavé offers rewards for those that contribute, such as T-shirts, cases of soda, and other offerings. The campaign includes a four-and-a-half-minute video of the owners telling their story and asking for help.
The company founders are undaunted by the challenge before them and are willing to be totally transparent.
"Coke and Pepsi each sell more soda in 20 seconds than Oogavé sells in an entire year,” Merrell says, “just to give the scope of what we're trying to achieve."