|Type||Privately held company|
|Industry||Computer software, reverse logistics|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|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. 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. Optoro also liquidates goods in bulk through its other proprietary website, BULQ.com.
Optoro was founded in 2004 by Tobin "Toby" Moore as eSpot while he was a student at Brown University. 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. Moore and co-founder Adam Vitarello, now Optoro's president, opened one of the first eBay drop off stores in Washington, DC. In 2008, the company became Optoro, Inc., and the pair opened an office and warehouse in Lanham, Maryland, where they process goods from retailers. In September 2013, Optoro moved its corporate headquarters to a 13,000-square-foot office in downtown Chinatown, D.C. 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.
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. The software tracks and dispositions inventory as it flows through a warehouse until it reaches consumers. Using OptiTurn, workers mark the conditions of returned products as new, open box, refurbished, or used in good condition. OptiTurn analyzes this, along with other product information, to divert items to the channel that will get retailers the most money back. Possible dispositions include selling directly to consumers, reselling to wholesalers, returning to vendors for repair, donating, or recycling.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. The financing from KPCB came from its Green Growth Fund.
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.
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.