Carlyle co-founder David M. Rubenstein may need to amend his firm’s investment criteria. Rubenstein recently admitted to missing out on a whopper of a deal: getting in on the ground floor of Facebook.
Turns out that a few years ago the future husband of Rubenstein’s daughter pitched the Carlyle chieftain on behalf of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder.
Zuckerberg was dropping out of Harvard to focus on Facebook and needed capital.
Rubenstein asked what the company did.
He was told it helped college students meet each other.
“I don’t think I’m that kind of investor,” Rubenstein recalled saying. “I don’t think I want to meet him.”
Recent valuations estimate privately held Facebook to be worth around $50 billion.
Now, Rubenstein regrets the response.
Though he missed out on the Facebook windfall, Rubenstein is doing just fine. When Carlyle goes public, his share of stock will make him a billionaire — at least on paper.
• Arlington-based Wine Wear, which dresses up wine bottle gifts for special occasions, is now in several Walgreens across the country, including locally in the District and Arlington, as well as in Dallas and Nashville. Wine Wear, started by local husband-and-wife team Jennifer and Jesse Nielsen, officially launched a year ago. Wine Wear is available on www.winewear.com and in bookstores, hardware stores, wine sellers and other retail outlets from Arizona to Connecticut.
• The cash registers at the Giant Food on Bel Pre and Layhill Roads in Silver Spring will ka-ching for the last time on June 16. The store, located at Plaza del Mercado, employs 11 full-timers and 53 part-timers, all of whom will be offered jobs at other stores.
• Tom Billington of Chevy Chase-based Billington CyberSecurity was in Seville, Spain, last week to sign a memorandum of understanding with a 404-member Spanish technology association to help organize trade missions and explore wide-ranging cooperative cybersecurity agreements in training, virtual publications and e-learning between governments and businesses in North America and Spain.
The NHL Washington Capitals, which lost in the second round of the playoffs in four straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, are doing better off the ice than on. Season ticket renewals are clicking at a 98 percent rate, according to the team.
The NBA Wizards, who recorded the fourth worst record in the league at 23-59 , are renewing at an 80 percent renewal rate and expanding their base.
“We have sold more than 1,200 new season tickets thus far after the season,” said spokesman Kurt Kehl, way ahead of last year’s pace.
To help overcome the team’s poor performance and the threat of 2011-12 season cancellation because of labor problems, the Wizards plan to hold a June 23 NBA draft party at the Verizon Center for season ticket holders, prospects and fans.
Venga, the D.C.-based online restaurant app, hired Karl Johnson to be its new chief technology officer. Johnson, who is the majority owner of Eastern Market’s Pound Coffee, has years of experience in all sectors of the software development and consulting industry, from software developer to product management consultant to executive manager.
After opening and running a small Web development firm at 17, Johnson went on to work as a developer for a dot-com start-up in Alexandria, which he helped lead to an acquisition by Microsoft Corp. in 2001.
Columbia-based Maroon PR picked up two Washington-area clients: WTOP Radio, the nation’s top billing radio station; and Virginia Hospital Center, a regional leader in total joint replacement surgery. The firm is assisting both organizations with media relations, social media marketing and building strategic partnerships.
Maroon PR, a public relations and marketing firm led by former Orioles executive John Maroon, has made a recent push, including hiring former Wizards public relations executive Matt Williams, to increase its business in Northern Virginia and the District and expects to announce additional area clients in the very near future.
Rosslyn-based Vorsight, which helps companies train sales people, has doubled annual revenue to $4 million, and grown its employees from 22 to 32.
The six-year-old company won a recent sales association award and is hoping to be in Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies.
Vorsight is run by entrepreneurs Steve Richard, 30, and David Stillman, 33, who learned their sales tricks — how to work the phones to bypass screeners and secretaries and reach corporate decisionmakers — at Arlington’s Corporate Executive Board.