99Designs Gets $35M, Should Spend Some Of It and Buy Logo.com

99 DesignsA friend of a friend emailed me a press release announcing that 99Designs, a popular  logo and web design company, just received a $35 million investment from Accel Partners and other angel investment firms. Wow… that’s a lot of money, especially when it didn’t seem to me like they had funding needs.

So what will 99Designs do with this very large investment? I would imagine they will spend some of the money on marketing the brand. Another suggestion from the TechCrunch article covering the news was that the company might be interested in acquiring a smaller competitor. The logo design space is crowded, and acquiring another company might be a smart way to grow.

My personal suggestion would be to reach out to the team at Logo.com and see if there’s any chance of an acquisition. Since this is a very recently launched website that will likely become a thorn in the side of 99Designs, the revenue is probably light and it will be cheaper now than if the site is a big success. Not only would this type of acquisition eliminate a potential competitor, but it would also allow them to grab a great domain name that is memorable and likely good for SEO.

Of course 99Designs doesn’t need to buy Logo.com, but now is the time that this company is obtainable at its cheapest (in my opinion).

I have no idea what it would take to buy Logo.com, and I can’t speculate on whether Logo.com would be interested in selling at this early stage in their history, but now seems like a good time to get a deal done.

** Disclaimer: One of the principals of Logo.com is a good friend, although I don’t know if the company would be for sale. However, if the company is anything like mine, everything is for sale for a price.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Wow, $ 35 million…eeek

    I’d be wanting Logo.com + LogoTournament.com

    The best possible domain and knock out a couple of rivals while gaining a ton of great designers at the same time, they’d still have millions left over 😉

    Should be really interesting to see what they do with that kind of dosh behind them.

  2. RunningShoes.com just sold for $700,000. It was a Pvt sale. Google Adwords Traffic Estimator says for those exact keywords you can expect at least 667 clicks a day which you will pay Google $1,272.000 a Day for showing Running Shoes 667 times. I personally have domains that get 100 to 1,500 clicks a day. So I’m putting a few “traffic getting” on the market for Cheap compared to running shoes. LastThe.com 503 Clicks a day, OfDept.com 407 Clicks a day and OfMexico.com 365 Clicks a day.

  3. just found another lead source, LOL

    everyone of their ‘designs’ is crap, all template garbage, now if they got one lawyer or doctor there, that’s a ‘lead’, the reason, the clowns they got doing their work can’t hit page one of google for any professional term.

    so show me your clients 99 designs, that are lawyers and doctors, then everyone who wants to actually hit PAGE ONE for their high value cpc terms will have to TRASH the garbage their ‘designers’ is churning out

    at least some of them are paying minor sums for ‘designs’

    and NONE of them are hitting page one for any high valued cpc terms

    as soon as professionals learn whatever they spent on the ‘designs’ is wasted and won’t be used by a professional sem company, they’ll understand, they got the shaft 99 ways

  4. Interesting post Elliot – i have to disagree though. 99 Designs don’t need Logo.com – their brand is well established and built, buying Logo.com wouldn’t add anything IMO.
    Still it’s a nice chunk of change to receive and it’ll be interesting to see what they do with it.

  5. James – It’s all a matter of cost vs. benefit. Logo.com is a better name to go after certain types of business. 99designs will probably not rise to the level of fame of a groupon and having an additional serious name (once again at the right price) would certainly help them sell into additional markets. They can use both names and use the logo.com brand for something different maybe even a premium service.

    As an example a direct mail campaign from “logo.com” will, all else equal, work better than a campaign from “99designs”. An ad in an industry trade publication (say “dental news”) with logo.com will work better than 99designs. Not all business is over the web business. I’d rather pitch a Fortune 500 company with a business card that says “Logo.com’ then “99designs”. Etc.

    I’m not entirely sure though that the people who run, invest in, or work for 99designs will think that way simply because they are geared toward thinking about the Internet as the source of all business possibly. And maybe they don’t want the name because they will flip the company. After all HP owns a company that does logos.

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more Elliot. It makes great sense for 99designs to acquire strategic assets when these are undervalued. If Logo.com grows its business, revenues, and profits, then the price that one would have to pay also goes up. No sense in burning through the money 99designs raised on expensive acquisitions. Buying undervalued assets is a key element in many businesses success.


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