Optoro


Website: optoro.com
Twitter: @optoroinc
Founders: Tobin Moore, Justin Lesher

Overview

Optoro offers an cloud-based Reverse Logistics system that helps retailers manage and sell their excess and returned inventory. The startup based their idea on a problem that 15% of all excess inventory is either returned or unsold, and it often ends up as garbage in landfill. [1] To solve this problem, the company sells excess inventory directly to consumers via platforms like eBay, Amazon, and its own consumer-facing site, BLINQ.com. Their software lists products on these marketplaces, using algorithms to choose the right website, price, and timing. [3] Retailers can track the goods while they are in transit. [1]

History

Headquartered in Lanham, MD with an office in Washington, D.C., Optoro was founded in 2004 by Tobin Moore and Justin Lesher. Optoro is an offshoot of an eBay drop-off startup that Moore co-founded in 2004 while attending Brown University. After creating his drop-off startup, Moore saw the need for retailers to handle their excess inventory better. Usually, retailers and manufacturers let inventory accumulate and sell it to liquidators who resell the material to dollar stores and second-hand shops, or the goods end up in landfills. Moore saw that losing inventory to landfill was expensive and environmentally degrading, and thus he created Optoro. [1]

Funding

In July of 2013, Revolution Growth, the hands-on venture capital firm led by Steve Case, Ted Leonsis, and Donn Davis, invested $23.5 million in Optoro in a Series B round, with participation from repeat investor Grotech Ventures. Revolution Growth only makes a few investments each year in non-Silicon Valley startups that empower consumers and disrupt old industries. [3] Optoro used the investment to scale its SaaS products and marketing platform. [4] In December of 2014, Optoro raised $50 million in Series C funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Green Growth Fund and others, with former Vice President and KPCB Green Growth Fund partner Al Gore adding $10 million of his own investment. [2] Optoro will use the investment to scale partnerships and expand into new markets. [5]

Funding rounds

Funding RoundDatePaper AmountInvestors
Series CDecember 10, 2014$50 millionKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Revolution LLC, SWaN & Legend, Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures
Series BJuly 16, 2013$23.5 millionSWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Revolution LLC, Grotech Ventures
Series AJan 16, 2013$7.5 millionQED Investors, SJF Ventures, Grotech Ventures
Series AJanuary 21, 2011$1.9 millionQED Investors, SJF Ventures

References

  1. Anne Field "Social Enterprise Optoro Raises $50M In Round Led By Kleiner Perkins" Forbes December 14, 2014

  2. Jonathan Shieber "Turning Unwanted Goods Into New Sales, Optoro Raises $50 Million" Tech Crunch December 9, 2014

  3. Kira M Newman "Steve Case’s Revolution Growth Leads Series B Round in Optoro" Tech Cocktail July 16, 2013

  4. Rebecca Grant "http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/17/revolution-growth-fund-invests-23-5m-in-optoro-to-find-unwanted-goods-a-home/" Venture Beat July 17, 2013

  5. "Optoro Raises $50 Million in Funding Round Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers" Revolution December 10, 2014

  6. Bill Flook "Optoro makes good on D.C. office plans" Washington Business Journal September 20, 2013

  7. "The Daily Startup: Optoro Raises $50M Series C Led by Kleiner Perkins" Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ December 10, 2014

  8. "Company Overview of Optoro Inc" Bloomberg Business Week