LogoMix: Bootstrapped Boston Startup is Helping Small Business Around the World
Craig Bloem has an entrepreneurial journey dating back to the early Internet days when he worked in New York City as an account executive for Modem Media, an interactive media company eventually acquired by Digitas.
Bloem, who grew up in Marlborough, MA and has been in Boston just about his entire life, became intrigued at the pace in which startups move, iterate and grow during his various career stops — most notably his seven-year stint with BuyerZone.
As the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, Bloem played a key role in the growth and eventual acquisition of BuyerZone by Reed Elsevier [NYSE:RUK]. This was also where he would meet one future business partner, David Cancel.
After the sale of BuyerZone, Bloem spent time as VP of Marketing at another startup and remained in touch with Cancel who departed BuyerZone in 2000 to launch Compete.
The two would bounce ideas off one another every now and then and in 2009 they decided the time, opportunity and idea were right to join forces, along with Elias Torres and Joshua Porter, to start Performable, a marketing software platform for businesses looking to optimize their marketing, sales and customer service efforts.
The trio was at it for less than two years before being scooped by HubSpot [NYSE:HUBS] in 2011 (the Inbound marketing company’s first acquisition) for a reported $20 million (Bloem would not confirm any acquisition details).
It wasn’t long after the HubSpot acquisition that Bloem got the startup itch once again — just a few months, actually.
His burning desire to build something from the ground up coupled with his passion for “helping the little guy,” led to the launch of LogoMix to provide small businesses with easy-to-use tools to design and purchase identity products including logos, business cards, pens, polo shirts and other promotional products.
Bloem and his team (now upwards of 40 people worldwide including contractors) have developed proprietary technologies in dynamic image rendering and creation, product recommendations and search, multi-currency and multi-language e-commerce and international product fulfillment.
Bootstrapped from the get-go, LogoMix now serves more than 300,000 customers worldwide, operates in 10 languages and has 25 million global users.
Bloem was very clear that the company is super focused on small businesses. “Our typical customer has 1–5 employees,” he told me. Adding “We’re talking about the house of pizza down the street or the maid service coming to your house once a month. That’s who we’re focused on helping.”
When discussing what sets LogoMix apart from others in the space, Bloem told me:
“Our software platform. We’ve developed a technology platform that’s revolutionizing the way micro-business interact when it comes to face-to-face marketing.”
What about this platform?
You can actually get a great feel for how impressive the technology is (and they’re not finished building yet) by just playing around on the site’s “Logo Design” feature.
I jumped on to create a logo for soon-to-be renamed Atlas / FKA. I used SCOOPS VC (I submitted it too, just in case…).
First off, the site is simple to use. An important element as their core audience may not always be the most technical of users.
I’m prompted to enter in a company name and any additional text or tagline I may want to include. There is also an option to select specific industries if so desired.
Once submitted, LogoMix offers up pages of logo designs from which to choose (my first time messing around I found it to be a useful idea generator). From there you’ll be given the opportunity to design your business cards and even check out your new company logo on different promotional items — T’shirts, window decals, pens, etc. They’ll even ship you an email with your newly-created logo on various items in real-life settings.
LogoMix is not in the manufacturing business. Bloem was quite clear on this as well.
“We have partner facilities around the world, close to our customers. This speeds up our end-to-end process and gets the product in the customers hands quickly and affordably.”
With 14 such facilities in the US alone, Bloem is proud of the fact that his company plays a part in supporting jobs in the States — another way his bootstrapped business helps the little guy.
Bloem likened this relationship and his company’s technology to that of UBER:
“The same way UBER uses software to manage resources around the world, we’re doing this with manufacturers. A simple switch and our software is integrated with facilities around the world to streamline the process.”
Last summer, in a move to ramp up the business, Bloem brought on Dena Enos, who spent time in top marketing roles with Carbonite, Hopper and TripAdvisor, to head up aggressive marketing efforts. Enos and Bloem will now be getting their own logo in the hands and eyes of many more in the coming months as the talented LogoMix team is poised to take things to another level — beyond their 300k customers across 234 countries (I’m told they have processed a transaction in every country in the world).
While Bloem is thinking about raising his first outside capital he tells me it’s not imminent. “It’s just something to consider,” he told me.
You can tell Bloem is extremely proud of having made it to this point completely bootstrapped. But you also know he’s a smart businessman and an extremely successful entrepreneur, so there’s no doubt he’ll choose the path that’s best for LogoMix.
As for now, Bloem is continuing to impress his current customers, building out his already impressive team (that includes alumni from Wayfair, TripAdvisor, Karmaloop and other Boston success stories), focusing on metrics and, most importantly, “executing and getting $h!% done!”
Originally published at venturefizz.com.