Unlike most companies that create non-fungible tokens (NFTs), round21 aims to link the virtual and physical worlds. The company makes digital artwork and sports equipment as a platform for professional athletes to promote their message. Founder Jasmine Maietta appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank and got a deal with Kevin O’Leary. As of 2023, round21 is worth $2 million.
About the Founder
Jasmine Maietta is from Washington, DC and has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Bowdoin College. She also has a master’s degree in economics from Trinity College – Hartford.
She played professional basketball for a year at Club Baloncesto de Tres Cantos. After retiring, she became a head coach at Trinity College and Lakehill Prep School. Five years later, she started to lean more toward office work.
Maietta was hired as the Managing Director of CATZ Sports Magazine. Then, she became the Brand Marketing Manager for Reebok and was later recruited to work on the brand marketing teams of companies like Hasbro, Under Armour, and Peloton Interactive.
Founding the Company
Though her professional playing days are long over, Maietta’s love for sports never left. She was still an athlete at heart who eventually stumbled upon the futuristic capabilities of NFTs.
She realized that these unique digital art pieces could create a special business model. Jasmine wanted to start a company to tap into the community aspect of NFTS. When someone buys one of their NFT’s they become community members and gain access to events, early product drops, and more.
Jasmine launched round21 in 2020 after a simple agreement for future equity that raised $1.39 million. In two years, the company was on track to make about $510,000 in revenue.
Shark Tank Appearance
Although Jasmine Maietta’s company was making revenue, it wasn’t profitable. In fact, it was burning about $10,000 in cash every month. The founder needed help and appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank, seeking $250,000 for 3%. An outrageous valuation!
Fortunately, the aspiring entrepreneur didn’t have a lot of trouble explaining the basics of NFTs to the Sharks. However, it took some time for them to fully understand her complex business model.
Kevin O’Leary was the only Shark who didn’t go out. He liked the startup and is a big believer in cryptocurrencies but didn’t like the valuation. O’Leary offered $250,000 but wanted 15%. After some deliberation, they settled on $250,000 for 10% equity and a 1.5% royalty on each NFT sold.
After Shark Tank
Jasmine’s appearance on Shark Tank gave a massive boost to her company. After the show, round21 has partnered with established sports firms like Fanatics, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and NBALAB.
For their blockchain operations, they have teamed up with Bored Ape Yacht Club and Coinbase. round21 NFTs are listed on multiple platforms, but the most popular ones are RareRooms and OpenSea. They are now selling physical products such as soccer balls and basketball hoops with most of them getting 5-star reviews.
The company has suffered with the huge sell off in the crypto market and NFT trading volumes are down significantly compared to 2021. Unless the crypto market bounces back soon, round21 will struggle in the future. They have around 6,000 followers on Instagram but engagement is very low. Currently round21 is worth an estimated $2 million.