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LogoGarden says $2MM B-raise underway,
Brentwood firm vamps as strategic target
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John Williams

Update: Founder John Williams disclosed this afternoon that FCA has invested $750K in the Series B underway. Williams invested $100K, and the balance sought is about $1.15MM.-Ed.

LOGOGARDEN, the Brentwood-based logo design and automated website-creation business, is "in the process of closing" a $2MM Series B capital raise, said Founder and CEO John Williams.

Meanwhile, Williams told VNC he is proud of his "branding dynamo," and hopes larger strategic players view LogoGarden as "a prime acquisition target," given its positioning as a "gateway" to the entrepreneurial sector's growth companies.

Asked about its penetration of the "instant branding" market, Williams said the company opens 50,000 new accounts monthly and projects reaching 1 million entrepreneur customers annually, by year's-end. He cited a published estimate of 6.7 million U.S. startups annually.

Estimating the timing of LogoGarden's sale, Williams said, "We expect to exit in three years." Williams, age 59, confirmed for VNC that he is currently majority owner of the company.

Spurred in part by a total $3.1MM invested previously by FCA Venture Partners, an affiliate of Clayton Associates, LogoGarden projects profitability by 2Q 2015, Williams said. According to a 2013 post by Williams, the Series B was set to begin in April 2014. FCA is participating to some extent in the B round, as well.

Series B capital is to be used to further develop revenue from its automated SmartSite website-creation, white-labeling and related lines of business. Currently, 90% of its sales are derived from logos and logo-bearing merchandise.

Chad Wright

The company has 12 employees, including four full-time senior developers; and, each month it uses up to six senior developers and freelance writers, said Williams. Its CTO is Chad Wright.

The company has been "investing heavily in converting/building our technology platform to JavaScript. Flash, our previous technology was replaced by JS two years ago, [in part], because smartphones do not support the Flash," Williams explained. In 3Q 2014, he plans to launch an unbundled SmartSite.com, which will enable customers to upload their own logos to their newly minted sites.

As reported earlier by VNC, Williams previously booked a successful exit from startup LogoYes, after that company reached $1MM annual revenue. The now-competitor's site refers to LogoYes.com as "the original" DIY logo site. Williams cited LogoMaker.com as another competitor. In 2004, Williams also exited LogoDesign.com, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Asked to name some logical strategic bidders for LogoGarden, Williams cited Yahoo.com, Web.com, Godaddy.com, Google.com, LegalZoom.com, Intuit.com, SalesForce.com, Microsoft, HP, Sprint, AT&T, Staples, FedEx Office and UPS.

At the time of LogoGarden's Series A raise in 2011, a spokesman told VNC that FCA's investment was from the firm’s fifth fund, focused on healthcare and digital media companies. At that time, FCA's Matt King and John Burch served on the LogoGarden board of directors. FCA V had its first close in mid-2011, according to VNC research.

Updating outside advisors, Williams said the company relies on attorneys with both Neal & Harwell and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. It now banks with Wells Fargo, and its accounting remains with Smith Wiles.

LogoGarden's Twitter feed is here. Its Facebook page shows more than 13K Likes. The company recently took up new residence at 1620 Westgate Circle, Suite 120, Brentwood. VNC


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Tags: advertising, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, branding, Chad Wright, Clayton Associates, design, DIY, entrepreneurs, FCA Venture Partners, John Burch, John Williams, LogoGarden, LogoMaker, LogoYes, Matt King, Neal & Harwell, SaaS, small business, Smith Wiles, software as a service, startups, Venture Capital, Wells Fargo

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