Raleigh’s Levitate Keeps Rising With New Funding, Rapid Growth

Levitate employees at the February 2020 company party.

Raleigh-based startup Levitate is staying true to its name by today announcing its scale-up in customers, funding, and number of markets.

The company that helps businesses stay top-of-mind with clients just reached 1,000 clients of its own, having tripled its customer base since this time last year. The company has grown from 30 to 80 employees in the same timeframe.

And it has the investors to match: The company just raised a new $6M funding round co-led by Tippet Partners and Peter Gassner (Co-Founder and CEO of Veeva Systems, a publicly traded SaaS company in the life sciences space) with participation by Durham’s Bull City Venture Partners. Levitate’s total funding is now up to $12M.

[Editor’s Note: GrepBeat first featured Levitate in August 2018 not long after its launch, when it was still primarily known by its “official” name of Real Magic, and later in June 2019 when it raised its first $6M.]

Since its April 2018 launch, Levitate has catered primarily to relationship-based businesses and companies, like insurance agencies and law firms, and allowed them to easily keep in touch with clients through email plug-ins.

Founder and CEO Jesse Lipson says the company positions itself against mass-blast email marketing tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp by helping customers send authentic, human emails—in mass quantity.

“We use some software tools to help people do a better job of that,” Lipson said, “and kind of move from keeping all that in their head about who they should be keeping in touch with and reaching out to, and allowing them to scale that and keep in touch with a lot more customers and prospects and referral sources.”

Now, Levitate is also scaling the number of industries it operates within, moving into real estate and financial advisors.

“We’ve been continuing to add additional industries to give us more runway to grow,” said Lipson, “and just getting really deep in improving the product and understanding what the barriers are for them to keep in touch. Then making the software better and better and kind of tuning it to help them solve that problem.”

Lipson, who previously founded and exited ShareFile—by selling it to Citrix and then staying on to help build Citrix’s now-substantial Raleigh presence—says starting a company from scratch is not easier the second time around. But Levitate’s two milestones are certainly validation that he’s figuring it out once again.

“There were definitely days where I would come home, and be like, ‘Why did I do this again? Why didn’t I retire after ShareFile?’” Lipson said. “But every month that goes by, I feel more and more confidence that we’re on the right track.”

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About Elizabeth Moore 38 Articles
Elizabeth Moore tells the stories of the Triangle's tech startups as GrepBeat's summer intern. She is a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in journalism and Spanish. You can contact Elizabeth on Twitter (@elizltmoore) and LinkedIn.