Dapper Labs: A Blockchain of Fun and Games
Dapper Labs can give you exclusive access to sports events you won’t see on TV!
With the ever-increasing number of intellectual products and properties, the problem of authenticity also becomes much more complex. These days, people can hardly distinguish between an original or a copy, between a unique piece and a dupe.
This is where Dapper Labs takes the stage as an NFT (Non-fungible) company that provides blockchain services. The company’s ultimate mission is to cover some of the best games and entertainment events while providing customers with a chance to participate by buying NFTs proactively.
Dapper Labs was founded in 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, by Roham Ghareghozlou, Dieter Shirley, and Mack Flavelle as an answer to the ever-growing crypto market and Metaverse and the increasing popularity of sports like NBA, NFL, and UFC.
Read on to discover the full story of the way 3 young men took matters into their own hands and made a name for themselves.
The Dawn of Dapper Labs
1990 is the year Roham Ghareghozlou was born in Iran, but he spent most of his childhood in places like the Emirates, Canada, and France. Young Roham traveled a lot and met many successful and creative people from all around the world.
Being a restless, adventure-seeking, and knowledge-hungry young man, Roham Ghareghozlou decided to enroll at the Stanford University of Economics in 2004.
On the other side, we have a computer scientist like Dieter Shirley, a tech aficionado with an interest in programming and computers. The thirst for knowledge led Dieter to the University of Waterloo where he enrolled in Computer Science studies in 1991. By the time Roham went into college, Dieter was already establishing himself as a software engineer.
On the contrary, all the info we have about Mack Flavelle is scarce, but we know that he has been interested in games and sports since a very early age. That’s how he decided to start learning all about game design at the Vancouver Film School and then proceeded to study programming at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
When comparing the interests of the three young men, it’s evident that all of them were drawn to the pretty same field of interest. Be it business, programming, or entertainment, Mack Flavelle, Dieter Shirley, and Roham Gharghozlou are innovators bound by the spirit!
These three guys are an example of how different people with different backgrounds can come to the same conclusions and worldview.
Dieter, Mack, and Roham all knew what the blockchain market and sports lovers needed, and their path to glory was well set!
How Dapper Labs Came to Be
You won’t hear a success story that happened on its own; there’s a creative, restless mind behind every attention-drawing tale of success.
Right after he graduated from the University of Waterloo, Dieter started working as a software developer. In 2005, he became a Senior Software Engineer at the giant in the IT industry - Apple. However, he didn’t stop there - from 2007 to 2013, Dieter worked as a Director of Development at Atimi Software.
Meanwhile, the all-time gamer Mack Flavelle started building his career in the gaming design and development sector. He switched many jobs - at one point, Mack worked as an advisor at CareLedger, a company backed by Ycombinator, one of the biggest start-up incubators worldwide.
In the following years, Mack broadened his experience with the foundation of Hammer & Tusk, a virtual and augmented reality company. As you can tell by the name, he worked extensively with virtual and augmented reality, and his interest in metaverse, blockchain, and similar emerging technologies rose.
Roham, on the other hand, finally settled in California and started his career as an advisor at Field Power. However, he wasn’t pleased with this position and moved to Vancouver, where he founded Axiom Zen. Roham became a specialist in mainstream applications and emerging technologies like blockchain.
However, Deiter was the precious link that connected Mack to Roham. The reason for this is Dieter’s parallel work as an advisor and developer for both Mack’s Hammer & Tusk and Roham’s Axiom Zen. Dieter’s in-depth knowledge of software engineering and tackling IT problems made Mack and Roham immediately choose him as the third co-founder of Dapper Labs.
They all had a different view of emerging technologies like blockchain, opposite to the prevalent marketing trends. Mack, Roham, and Dieter knew that a blockchain shouldn’t be only profitable but also fun!
Finally, one faithful meeting in Vancouver initiated the idea for a blockchain-based entertainment platform. Roham Gharghozlou, Mack Flavelle, and Dieter Shirley were now ready to take technology and games to a whole new level!
The Laboratory That Soon Became a Hit
Dapper Labs was finally founded in 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. However, the team was already working on the blockchain-based game, CryptoKitties. The project was launched in 2017 and soon became a hit.
After its release in 2017, many companies working with emerging technologies started noticing these three creative and bold Vancouver lads.
Roham Gharghozlou, Mack Flavelle, and Dieter Shirley launched Dapper Labs even before it was officially founded as a company. ‘Dapper Labs’ was the nickname for the developing team that was behind the creation of CryptoKitties. With an already established base of clients and partners, Dapper Labs started receiving numerous calls and offers worldwide.
At this point, Dapper Labs was initiated as a blockchain technology company in 2018.
After carefully examining the blockchain and crypto market, Roham Gharghozlou, Mack Flavelle, and Dieter Shirley decided that NTFS were their next objective. This non-fungible and non-interchangeable token was introduced in 2015 and six years later became the most popular token available online.
The three young entrepreneurs recognized the need for decentralization of both entertainment and finances, coupled with the opportunity to provide customers with some of the best sports moments and events locked under an NFT license.
Even though the NFTS became a hit in 2021, Roham, Mack, and Dieter knew well the potential in these tokens, and they knew how to use them to give customers a chance to watch the most legendary sports moments in history.
Funding the Fun
Each start-up has to have a funding strategy, and the three lads knew exactly how to handle such a situation. Till now, Dapper Labs has gone through 8 different funding series, the last one ending on September 21, 2021.
Their first series of funding was raised by Andreessen Horowitz and Unique Square Ventures, two household names in the venture capital business. Series A, held on February 27, 2018, right after the initiation of the platform, brought 12.9M dollars to Dapper Labs.
Investors such as Warner Music Group, Accomplice, and Venrock supported the other seven series. With the last funding round earning Dapper Labs a mind-boggling sum of a total of 250 million dollars, the company’s bankroll substantially expanded.
After their partnership with Warner Music Group and UbiSoft, the company started looking for ways to offer its stocks publicly. There are many rumors that Dapper Labs will go IPO, but the management hasn’t officialized the decision yet.
The Lab Keeps on Steaming
Currently, Dapper Labs works with some of the most prestigious sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, and La Liga. In a recent interview, Roham said that he wouldn’t stop until he reached a customer base of 3 million users.
Dapper Labs is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with more than 400 employees and 96 investors under its belt. Their NBA Top Shot, UFC Strike, and NLF All Day are their most precious products right now.
However, Dapper Labs still provides its customers with the famous CryptoKitty game and thus opens the way for new investors in the crypto and meta industry.
Lately, Dapper Labs has managed to attract more than 1 million users, and there’s a constant influx of new customers. However, Dapper Labs would first have to tackle cunning competitors like Bridgez, Dharma, Bitpanda, and Topos Network.
One thing’s for sure - the laboratory is here to stay! We hope to see many new collaborations with leading developing and entertainment companies, IPO offerings, and millions of new customers.