Capital Growth Investments LLC is a private equity firm located in Portland, Maine focused on growth investment objectives. Formed in 2004 to invest in business opportunities and offer consulting services in the area of information technology.
Founder: Darren MacDonald
In 2000, Darren MacDonald left Apple Computer's education sales division to join a family owned and operated welding supply company, Portland Welding Supply where he had previously held both part and full time positions in their gas production plant and Advantage Gases & Tools retail store sales division.
Having developed several successful websites for local area merchants, Mr. MacDonald joined the new eCommerce division, headed by the corporation's president. The position required performing every conceivable duty: customer service functions, web design and development, product launches, 3rd party vendor management, order management through to fulfillment.
Sales grew steadily. Redesigns were rolled out. New vendors were carefully managed and leveraged to reduce costs and enhance the customer experience. The eCommerce platform was replaced, a new database constructed, new features were rolled out for customers and marketing efforts returned high yields.
In 2002, Mr. MacDonald joined the executive management committee of the corporation. In 2006, he was promoted to vice president of technology. He managed the day to day operations of the eCommerce business as well as worked with the retail store managers to provide training on management policies. He chaired and served on committees to choose new credit card processors, B2B website development, and substantial capital technology expense purchases.
In 2008, the family sold the business to the largest privately owned gas distributor in the US, Valley National Gases. At that time, VNG did not have any eCommerce business and required an involved backend integration which took 9 months or more. During this time, the marketing budget and software development was frozen. An inventory reduction plan, a pay freeze, and layoffs across the company ensued. In 2009, VNG was acquired by Matheson Tri-Gas, the U.S. division of Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation. Once again, a transition took place during which Mr. MacDonald was instrumental at reducing costs and increasing efficiency through vendor contract negotiations and B2B initatives.
In January of 2010, Mr. MacDonald started working on Capital Growth Investments. The mission, to consult with businesses and develop growth through ecommerce.