This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner Device Magic.

Starting a company is tough. Keeping it afloat is even tougher, and growing it at a profitable, yet controllable rate, is more challenging still. However, Raleigh-based SaaS company Device Magic has managed to thrive, all while maintaining its company culture independent of outside forces.

In a time when many startups are chasing venture capital funds, Device Magic, a mobile forms solutions business, has fought to remain organically funded. Why? For one, Device Magic’s traditional direct-business model precludes it from fluctuating outgrowth targets. As a subscription-based software, clients pay for a service on a monthly basis — it’s straightforward and simple.

“The thing about VC is they need big outcomes,” explained Dusan Babich, CEO, and co-founder of Device Magic. “They have to sometimes artificially push the portfolio companies to grow at rates or do things to scare them outside of the investment. We’re lucky to not have that pressure; we can grow in a way that’s sustainable.”

Babich and his co-founder, Mike Welham, who serves as CTO, launched Device Magic in 2011. In the past three years, the company has grown from six employees to a team of 25, including two hired executives. In terms of revenue over the same time period, it has experienced 480 percent growth — an impressive feat for any business, no matter how young or old.

Device Magic also recently moved into a brand new headquarters downtown on Fayetteville Street to accommodate for its current and projected expansion.

While a lot has happened since its beginnings to where it is now, Babich noted that the way Device Magic has grown in a “thoughtful, careful” way has been intentional, adding they hire slowly to see what works.

“When you’re just throwing tons of money and people at a problem, and hoping it works, it has the potential to flame out,” Welham said. “That’s not what we want. Clearly, this is a big marketplace, and there’s lots of growth potential for us. But we want to do it in a way that is sustainable.”

In addition to being organically funded, Device Magic is customer-driven and attributes its success thus far to listening to the needs and desires of its client base. Babich and Welham remain major stakeholders in their own business and are primary outcome drivers.

If there’s a way to improve, they want to hear about it.

“I like the fact that we’re close to customers. We speak to them; we hear their pain. We hear when they’re angry and frustrated, and when things don’t work out. It kind of keeps us honest,” Welham said. “We’re not building a product that’s, in our minds, what we think it should be. We’re building something to actually solve real people’s problems.”

While many companies tout a company culture that is “hip and flexible,” Device Magic describes its culture as “transparent and hardworking.” It’s not to say that Device Magic isn’t anything else, but it values these two things first and foremost.

“This is not flowery, fluffy stuff,” Babich said. “People come to work; they get stuff done, they like what they do. We built something that’s valuable and useful. We are trying to differentiate on the strength of the product more than some sort of trick or hack.”

This story was written for WRAL TechWire Innovator partner Device Magic.