Events / Funding / Lifestyle

A Guard Llama walks into the ‘Shark Tank’ … and walks away with a win

The IRL llama was messy, though.

Guard Llama brought a real one of these on "Shark Tank." (Photo by Flickr user Public Domain Photography, used under a Creative Commons license)

On Friday night the wait was finally over. After taping an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank back in September, Chicago and D.C.-based Guard Llama could revel in the end result — $100,000 from shark Barbara Corcoran.

In both cities this meant a viewing party — D.C.’s was held at WeWork White House, where various members of the #dctech scene converged to drink beer, listen to a panel comprised of various #dctech startups that have appeared on the show and, finally, watch Guard Llama’s TV appearance.

Yes, there was an actual IRL llama on the show with cofounders Joe Parisi and Nick Nevarez. Yes, it was messy. But that didn’t ultimately deter Corcoran, who agreed to invest $100,000 in return for an 18 percent stake in the company.

Now, that’s a lot of equity for the money. That said, for a consumer-facing product, appearing on Shark Tank offers quite a lot of publicity. At least that’s what the founders told the Chicago Tribune for this profile piece. And Corcoran’s ties to real estate were apparently also a draw — Guard Llama targets real estate agents as a primary market.

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