round21 bags $250K deal with first NFT based pitch on ‘Shark Tank’, fans don’t find value in it

NFTs or Non-fungible tokens are the latest fad to sweep the globe. From rappers to bankers, everybody seems to want a piece of the action. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that ABC’s hit entrepreneurial show ‘Shark Tank’ featured its first-ever NFT based pitch on-air.

Jasmine Maietta, the founder of round21, a brand that celebrates athletics and creativity by bringing them together in the form of highly customized sports merchandise and also NFTs, made her big debut on ‘Shark Tank’. She came in seeking $250K for a 3% stake in her company which had an $8.3 million valuation. What set Jasmine’s pitch apart from the several other sports-based pitches we have seen in the past on the show is the inclusion of NFTs. She emphasized how the NFTs were a pass to the full round21 community and experience. The Sharks- Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary, were pretty fascinated by her pitch.


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Jasmine Maietta on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC, Christopher Willard)

Although Sharks couldn’t stop raving about her pitch and her entrepreneurial skills, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec decided to sit out on the deal as they weren’t completely sure about NFTs and if they could any value to her brand. Mark Cuban too joined his fellow Sharks’ footsteps and didn’t make any deal as he felt that the brand was still at a nascent stage.

Kevin O’Leary, however, was super excited about closing the deal. The word NFT caught his attention. Kevin then revealed that he already had the website and infrastructure needed for trading NFTs, so he felt that he was the perfect Shark for the deal. He then rolled out the offer of $250K for a 15% equity in the brand. Jasmine made it clear that she wasn’t willing to part with so much equity. She, however, made a counter-offer and decided to sweeten the deal for Kevin by throwing in royalty. Jasmine’s counteroffer was for a $250K investment in exchange for a 5% stake, plus 1% in advisory shares, and a 1% royalty for every NFT sold.

While Kevin was pleased with the royalty clause, he wasn’t satisfied with the equity percentage, so he countered his offer by asking for an 11% equity stake and 2% royalty for every NFT sold. When Jasmine looked hesitant about it, he revised his offer further by bringing down the equity to 10% and the royalty to 1.5%. After some deliberation, Jasmine agreed and closed the deal. While Jasmine and Kevin were grinning from ear to ear, and the other Sharks declared that she would be a huge success, fans were left feeling puzzled.

Kevin O’Leary and Jasmine Maietta on ‘Shark Tank’ (ABC)

Several fans took to Twitter wondering what the NFTs were and questioning the hype behind it. A fan tweeted, “NFT=no effin time for this. I’m out #SharkTank.” Another fan wrote, “I hate NFTs, why would you want own something, you can’t touch? #SharkTank.” “I’m still kinda confused on what NFT’s are #SharkTank,” expressed a fan. “I just can’t understand the value of buying an NFT.,” seconded a fan.

If you too are wondering about what NFTs are then we got you covered. NFTs are essentially digital assets that are a representation of real-world objects like art, sports, music, etc. They can be bought and sold online, mostly using cryptocurrency.

‘Shark Tank’ Season 13 airs every Friday at 8/7c on ABC. Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. You can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

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