The Carlyle Group needed nearly three decades to amass a paper value of $10.6 billion, CEO David Rubenstein told CNBC on Friday.
In contrast, online home-rental marketplace Airbnb, a start-up that approached Rubenstein for funding in its infancy, could potentially reach that number in three years. Market watchers expect Airbnb to file for an IPO this year, and the company has been courting private equity firms to secure $10 billion in funding.
During an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Rubenstein noted the difference.
"After three years his company might be worth more than mine after 27 years," Rubenstein said. "So, a little disconcerting."
(Read more: Airbnb in advanced financing talks: Report)
Still, the "feeding frenzy" in venture capital activity hitting Silicon Valley tech firms drives growth in an industry unique to the U.S., Rubenstein said. That doesn't mean the sector lacks any risk, he added.
"Technology is one of the things that is driving the economy around the world, and we really don't have competitors around the world with this kind of technology," Rubenstein said. "It really is unique. There may be some bubbles in some companies, but in the end I think it's a great thing for the country."
Later on "Squawk Box" CNBC's Jim Cramer took issue with Rubenstein's comments on private equity, saying it's not better than real equity. Rubenstein said in response that private equity has helped jump-start a lot of great companies.
(Read more: Cramer slams PE firms, while Carlyle boss counters)