Anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins are overexpressed in a wide spectrum of cancers and have become well validated therapeutic targets. Cancer cells display survival dependence on individual or subsets of anti-apoptotic proteins that could be effectively targeted by multimodal inhibitors. We designed a 2,5-substituted benzoic acid scaffold that displayed equipotent binding to Mcl-1 and Bfl-1. Structure based design was guided by several solved co-crystal structures with Mcl-1, leading to the development of compound 24, which binds both Mcl-1 and Bfl-1 with Ki values of 100 nM and shows appreciable selectivity over Bcl-2/Bcl-xL. The selective binding profile of 24 was translated to on-target cellular activity in model lymphoma cell lines. These studies lay a foundation for developing more advanced dual Mcl-1/Bfl-1 inhibitors that have potential to provide greater single agent efficacy and broader coverage to combat resistance in several types of cancer than selective Mcl-1 inhibitors alone.