Georgetown start-up Tuckernuck lands $400,000
By Thomas Heath,
Tuckernuck, an e-commerce start-up headquartered (literally) in a Georgetown garage, has grown quickly since its June launch. The company just closed on a $400,000 fundraiser from friends and family.
The retailer (www.tnuck.com) aggregates and sells hundreds of brands, similar to the Urban Outfitters business model, but for a preppy customer.
Investors include LivingSocial co-founder Eddie Frederick, Carlyle Group Managing Director Ed Mathias and CoStar Chief Financial Officer Brian Radecki.
The company, which has two employees in addition to the founders, also received funding from 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley incubator where the team recently learned how to grow the business.
Tuckernuck’s co-founders are Jocelyn Moore Gailliot, 30; Madeline Moore, 25; and September Rinnier, 25. Gailliot and Moore are sisters, grew up in Georgetown and attended National Cathedral School. Rinnier and Moore met at the University of Pennsylvania, where they both majored in communications.
Gailliot went to Brown University and moved to New York City and Hong Kong after graduation, where she worked in investment banking and private equity. When Gailliot moved back from Hong Kong, she joined forces with Rinnier and Moore, who had been working for a retail company, to start Tuckernuck.
Moving on up
CityStash Storage, an Arlington-based storage start-up that opened in February, is expanding from its 2,000-square-foot warehouse in Shirlington into a facility more than twice as large in Alexandria.
The company allows customers to place orders online for pickup and delivery of their storage items, which are kept in climate-controlled warehouses. Rent is based on a per-item basis. For example, CityStash will store a couch for $29 per month. A filebox costs $2 per month.
The business currently brings in $10,000 a month in revenue.
“I knew ... it would be a winner,” said investor Gregory Youngblood, who is also an adviser to the start-up. Youngblood is a Silicon Valley veteran who has worked for Intel and Broadcom.
Youngblood said the majority of the clients are women and college students. There are only three employees, but there are plans to hire more soon.
The company is also thinking about expanding outside the Washington area.
The Buzz hears
Welcomemat Services, which mails new residents envelopes filled with gift certificates to local businesses, is falling in love with Washington.
The Atlanta-based company is eyeballing Georgetown, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Loudoun County, Alexandria and Arlington as franchise locations.
Welcomemat is based in Atlanta and owned by private investors. There are no franchisees in Washington yet, but chief executive and co-owner Brian Mattingly said the company typically looks for areas that have a lot of turnover in housing.
“It has a wonderful demographic from the consumer side and also a high density of local businesses, museums and other organizations that benefit from meeting new families and professionals coming in to the area,” Mattingly said in an e-mail.
Welcomemat has 21 franchises across the country, including eight that are company-owned.
The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation is dedicating a $10 million facility in the District’s Ward 7 on Nov. 17. Private donors included attorney C. Boyden Gray, real estate businessman Calvin Cafritz, developer Joe Horning of Horning Bros. and the Verizon Foundation, which gave $350,000.
“This is a great setting to get kids to hook up with new technologies for a better learning environment,” said Peter Davidson, Verizon senior vice president for federal government relations.
David Roodberg, president of Horning Bros., said the District-based firm donated $250,000.
“The Horning family has lived in the city for more than 50 years, they have a strong commitment to D.C. and education, in Ward 7 and Ward 8,” Roodberg said.
Bill Ridenour has been a banker for 38 years — and a biker for more than 40.
Those two worlds came together recently in the Reston parking lot of John Marshall Bank, of which Ridenour is president.
Ridenour gathered a group of 26 bank employees, customers and shareholders for a 200-mile motorcycle ride through Virginia to benefit Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that helps injured veterans.
“You would be surprised at the number of professional people who are motorcycling enthusiasts,” Ridenour told staff writer Abha Bhattarai. “We had folks in the real estate business, construction, business. One guy was a retired CIA officer.”
Local business owners including Bob DeHaven of Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax and Phil Cantor, president of Jendell Construction in Rockville, rode along, as did Ridenour’s wife.
Ridenour’s oldest son, Tom, was wounded by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq in 2008.
“Fortunately they were all able to recover from their wounds,” Ridenour said. “But because of that, I have a soft spot for all wounded veterans.”
Ridenour said he hopes to expand the event to become an annual fundraiser open to the entire community.