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Optoro, Inc.
TypePrivately held company
IndustryComputer software, reverse logistics
Founded2004; 17 years ago (2004) (as eSpot)
FoundersTobin Moore
Adam Vitarello
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Key people
Tobin Moore, CEO; Adam Vitarello, President

Optoro is a technology company that works with retailers and manufacturers to manage and then resell their returned and excess merchandise.[1] These products, which range from consumer electronics to home goods to clothing, are automatically listed on online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, BestBuy, and its own eCommerce website BLINQ.com. Through these channels, Optoro has access to more than 500 million customers.[2] Optoro also liquidates goods in bulk through its other proprietary website, BULQ.com.[3]


Optoro was founded in 2004 by Tobin "Toby" Moore[4][5][6] as eSpot while he was a student at Brown University.[7] The business was initially ran out of an attic above the garage at Moore's house before opening a 1,200-square-foot storefront in Georgetown.[8] Moore and co-founder Adam Vitarello, now Optoro's president, opened one of the first eBay drop off stores in Washington, DC.[9] In 2008, the company became Optoro, Inc., and the pair opened an office and warehouse in Lanham, Maryland, where they process goods from retailers.[7] In September 2013, Optoro moved its corporate headquarters to a 13,000-square-foot office in downtown Chinatown, D.C.[10] In June 2016, Optoro moved again to an office space located in the Metro Center neighborhood of Washington, D.C. with double the square footage, which now holds around 160 people.[11]

Products and services

Optoro's main product is a software-as-a-service called OptiTurn, which is used in retailers' warehouses to sort, process, and resell clients' returned and excess inventory.[12] The software tracks and dispositions inventory as it flows through a warehouse until it reaches consumers.[13] Using OptiTurn, workers mark the conditions of returned products as new, open box, refurbished, or used in good condition.[14] OptiTurn analyzes this, along with other product information, to divert items to the channel that will get retailers the most money back.[15] Possible dispositions include selling directly to consumers, reselling to wholesalers, returning to vendors for repair, donating, or recycling.[7]

OptiTurn lists products with a high resale value automatically on multiple online marketplaces under the BLINQ brand, including its own eCommerce site, BLINQ.com. The software will disposition other goods that will net a higher recovery when sold in bulk to be resold under the BULQ brand on BULQ.com.[3]


In March 2015, Optoro started a dedicated sustainability team to measure the transportation and waste impacts of the returns industry and the effects that Optoro's solution has on retailers' carbon footprints.[16]


In July 2013, Optoro received $23.5 million in Series B funding from three primary investors: Revolution LLC, headed by former AOL executives Steve Case, Ted Leonsis, and Donn Davis; Grotech Ventures; and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, which was co-founded by Fredrick D. Schaufeld.[2][17] Optoro was Revolution Growth's fifth investment in its "speed-ups" investment fund, which was created to support the growth of newly formed companies and to widen the audience for their products.[17]

In December 2014, Optoro closed $50 million in funding in a Series C round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, as well as Generation Investment Management, a VC company founded by Al Gore.[18] The financing from KPCB came from its Green Growth Fund.[19]

In July 2015, Optoro received $40 million in debt financing from TriplePoint Venture Growth and Square 1 Bank to support scaling its software and its consumer base.[20]

In December 2016, Optoro raised $30 million in Series D funding from UPS, Revolution Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Generation Investment Management, Tenfore Holdings, SWaN and Legend Venture Partners and the Maryland Venture Fund.[21]


  • 2013, Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, #278[22]
  • 2014, Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, #229[23]
  • 2015, Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, #308[24]
  • 2015, Washingtonians 100 Top Tech Leaders, Tobin Moore and Adam Vitarello[]
  • 2015, CNBC Disruptor 50 List, #38 [25]
  • 2015, Ernst & Young's Greater Washington's Entrepreneur of the Year in the Emerging Growth category, Tobin Moore and Adam Vitarello[26]
  • 2016, World Economic Forum's Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Enterprise[27]
  • 2016, Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, #266[28]


  1. ^ Ng, Serena; Stevens, Laura. "Where Your Unwanted Christmas Gifts Get a Second Life". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Mitchell, Billy (November 25, 2013). "Optoro Gets More Funding, Adds Board Member". DC Inno. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b Tabuchi, Hiroko. "In Season of Returning, a Start-Up Tries to Find Homes for the Rejects". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ staff, Michelai Graham / (2019-12-09). "Optoro lands a partnership with IKEA to reduce waste from returns". Technical.ly DC. Retrieved .
  5. ^ www.bizjournals.com https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2020/07/07/optoro-fiscalnote-ppp-loans-tech.html. Retrieved . Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Adams, Susan. "Optoro Is Building A Billion-Dollar Business Helping Companies Cope With A Glut Of Rejected Stuff". Forbes. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b c Mirabella, Lorraine (December 13, 2014). "Handling Holiday Returns Helps Fuel Lanham Firm". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ Adams, Susan. "Optoro Is Building A Billion-Dollar Business Helping Companies Cope With A Glut Of Rejected Stuff". Forbes. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Ghiloni, Kate (September 4, 2005). "Four Task Masters to Make Life Easier". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ Jacob, Allyson (September 20, 2013). "Reverse Logistics Firm Optoro Opens 13,000-square-foot Office in Chinatown Today". Elevation DC. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Sernovitz, Daniel J. (December 24, 2015). "Optoro to expand with move to new D.C. office space". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Lam, Bourree (December 30, 2015). "The Rise of Return-Anything Culture". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ Null, Christopher (December 22, 2015). "The Cure for Retailers' Holiday Returns Hangover". Rewrite. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ Douglas, Dianna (January 1, 2016). "Maryland Startup Redirects River Of Rejected Gifts". NPR. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Li, Shan (December 25, 2015). "A growing holiday pastime: returning those unwanted gifts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ Bing, Chris (March 31, 2015). "Optoro Hires Sustainability Director, Joins Mayor's Smarter DC Challenge". DC Inno. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ a b Grant, Rebecca (July 17, 2013). "Revolution Growth Fund Invests $23.5M in Optoro to Find Unwanted Goods A home". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Shieber, Jonathan (December 9, 2014). "Turning Unwanted Goods Into New Sales, Optoro Raises $50 Million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ Field, Anne (December 14, 2014). "Social Enterprise Optoro Raises $50M In Round Led By Kleiner Perkins". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ Jayakumar, Amrita (July 28, 2015). "Optoro Picks up $40 Million in Debt Financing". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ "Tech firm Optoro joins forces with UPS as part of $30 million investment". Washington Post. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Technology Fast 500" (PDF). Deloitte. Deloitte. November 14, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "Deloitte's 2014 Technology Fast 500" (PDF). Deloitte. Deloitte. December 11, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ "Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 Ranking" (PDF). Deloitte. Deloitte. November 13, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "Disruptor 50: No. 38 Optoro". CNBC Disruptor 50. Retrieved .
  26. ^ Bousquet, Chris (June 19, 2015). "Optoro Co-Founders Win 2015 EY Entrepreneur Awards For Business Growth". DC Inno. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Dumaine, Brian (January 19, 2016). "Winners of the Circulars Awards Announced at Davos". Fortune. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ "Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 Ranking" (PDF). Deloitte. Deloitte. November 16, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

External links

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