From the Wires
Optoro Closes $7.5M Series A Round Led by Grotech Ventures
Cloud-Based, Multi-Channel Marketing Platform Used to Sell Open-Box and Excess Inventory Online for Increased Recovery Rates
By: Marketwired .
Jan. 16, 2013 07:00 AM
LANHAM, MD -- (Marketwire) -- 01/16/13 -- Optoro (www.optoro.com), a technology company helping retailers to better manage and increase revenue from their returned and excess inventory, announced today that it has closed a Series A-1 round of $7.5M in venture funding led by Grotech Ventures. Previous investors SJF Ventures and QED also participated in the round. This brings Optoro's total funding since inception to nearly $10 million.
Optoro provides a better way for retailers and manufacturers to process and remarket returned, overstock, and damaged-box products, driving higher recovery rates and quicker turn times on their inventory. Using its proprietary cloud-based software and marketing platform, OptiTurn, Optoro simultaneously posts inventory of all categories across the most popular online marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, Buy.com and Sears, instantly connecting once idle products to hundreds of millions of secondary consumers.
From merchandising and channel management, to direct marketing and email campaigns, to customer service and returns processing, Optoro handles the entire remarketing process. Use of the OptiTurn platform significantly boosts recovery by leveraging big data sets and proprietary selling algorithms that optimize product pricing to match real-time market conditions. Furthermore, OptiTurn provides a robust business intelligence suite to help retailers better manage their inventory and keep it from becoming distressed in the first place.
"The market is demanding more liberal return policies, which is changing the economics for retailers," said Lawson DeVries, a general partner at Grotech Ventures and new Optoro board member. "Optoro allows these retailers to extract far greater economics from ballooning returned goods inventory than existing methods of dealing with it. The OptiTurn platform can handle enormous volumes of inventory, which allows Optoro to target the industry's largest players with the greatest need for this solution."
According to Optoro President and CEO Tobin Moore, recent industry reports are estimating that U.S. holiday returns are expected to surge about 37 percent over last year to $63B (U.S.) with retailers typically making around 20 cents on the dollar when trying to sell off that merchandise. "Optoro's cloud-based software and marketing solution, OptiTurn, allows retailers to achieve significantly higher recovery rates, often up to twice as much as they were getting with their previous solutions. This funding will help us to accelerate the adoption and implementation of our platform by retailers and to expand our own ecommerce site, Blinq.com, which is one of the many marketplaces through which we sell inventory," said Moore. "To do so, we will be looking to grow our software engineering and ecommerce marketing teams significantly over the next year."
Optoro's current customers using OptiTurn include several of the nation's top 20 retailers, with many more to soon follow. These customers have seen increased revenue from Optoro streamlining their process, and could see even greater revenue with the additional investments in Blinq.com and new international selling channels.
Optoro's advisors and investors include notable figures in the industry. Nigel Morris, co-founder of Capital One and managing partner of QED Ventures, has been involved with Optoro since its early days, pushing its focus on data driven solutions and business analytics. SJF Ventures, a North Carolina-based venture firm focused on green tech, was attracted to Optoro for its potential to reduce waste in the retail sector. Dendy Young, managing partner of McLean Capital, a private equity firm, is another early investor, who was interested in the multi-channel marketing and dynamic pricing algorithms that Optoro developed to disrupt an old-school, traditional industry.
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