Wilmington’s Web3 World: Local Startup Raleon Raises $3.8 Million Seed Round

Armed with a $3.8 million seed round, Wilmington, North Carolina-based Raleon is on a mission to change the Web3 marketing landscape. 

Marketing within decentralized networks – a concept that underpins the move into Web3 – is a bit “like driving in the fog,” says Raleon co-founder and CEO Nathan Snell

While there are quite a few pain points when it comes to engaging in Web3, the two that we hear most often are an inability to understand who users are, and an inability to reach them. This is usually due to those users being primary wallet-based, and often not having provided an email yet,” he told Hypepotamus. “It’s like driving in the fog. You might get to your destination without any visibility, or you might end up in a ditch.” 


How Raleon Works

The startup Raleon works to improve in-app engagement by “incentivizing and rewarding user behavior” in Web3 spaces. The goal is to give brands a “platform that not only lets them understand their users, but engage them in-app in a hyper personalized way,” Snell added. The startup does this through Embedded Quests, which are no-code “conversational, chat-like” experiences that allow brands to personalize how they talk to customers on their own websites.

The Embedded Quest feature is “more than just gamification” and is about “growing and nurturing communities, improving user onboarding, and driving long term loyalty in a fun and interactive way,” Snell said in a company blog post. 

Snell said the startup’s primary customers are brands, games, and dApps (decentralized applications that run on smart contracts). The team’s early focus is on “attracting customers involved in DeFi and dApps, to find solutions and innovative ways to engage and retain their users. We do this through on-chain and off-chain data, web3 marketing automation and now, embedded quests.” 

Raleon’s approach has caught the eye of VCs both across the country and around the globe. It’s seed round investors include Blockchange Ventures (New York), Play Ventures (Singapore), Alliance DAO (Chicago) and Portal Ventures (New York). 


Building In Wilmington 

Raleon is one of several startups to be created by alumni of Wilmington’s fintech scene. Snell previously worked as a product lead for small-business focused Live Oak Bank and was co-founder of nCino, a cloud-based banking platform that went public in 2020.

Hypepotamus has covered the nCino and Live Oak Bank employee-to-founder pipeline before, like the teams that launched Ohanafy and Telios over the last few years. 

“Wilmington is actually becoming a hidden gem when it comes to startups. We’re seeing quite a few tech startups beginning to emerge in the area since nCino’s IPO. Being able to build a great tech company at the beach tends to have a strong appeal,” Snell added. “We also find there is a lot of great talent locally, but we also operate in a hybrid environment where we can work very effectively with people that are not directly located in Wilmington.” 

For now, Raleon is focused on both growing its product and its employee base. The team is currently made up of six people, with Snell telling Hypepotamus that he plans on using some of the new funding to expand the team.