Thought Experiment: The 'Shut Up and Take My Money' escrow account.
What if some of us just set up an escrow account for Ello and started putting $9 a month in? And Ello could take over the account any time they wanted the money, knowing, though, that doing so would make those paying users a counter-weight to other investors. (Freemiuming ourselves, essentially, while getting off the 'cash for features' treadmill.)
I don't know the number of Ello users, but 1% of that number, times $100/yr, would start to look attractive after enough of the current growth.