Optoro—a Lanham-based startup specializing in reselling items that have been returned to major retailers—is flexing its fundraising muscles.
Technically Baltimore reports that the 5-year-old company has raised $23.5 million in equity, based on its latest U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
The company’s innovative approach to asset recovery has attracted multiple investors. In 2010 and 2011, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development invested $200,000 in Optoro through the Maryland Venture Fund. Ted Leonsis, a world-renowned entrepreneur and owner of the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards, the Washington Mystics and the Verizon Center, has actively invested in the company and serves as a director. Lawson DeVries of Grotech Ventures is another active investor and director. Grotech Ventures, in 2012, was chosen as the state’s first InvestMaryland venture capital firm. Its Hunt Valley office was awarded $12 million to invest in Maryland startups.
Co-founder and CEO Tobin Moore sat down with MD BIZ News in February 2012 to discuss plans for expansion. At the time, it was focused almost exclusively on buying returned goods from Walmart, Best Buy, Staples and other retailers, and reselling them on websites like Amazon and eBay.
The company has since further developed OptiTurn, cloud-based inventory management software that allows the company to “simultaneously post inventory of all categories and conditions across the most popular online marketplaces, instantly connecting our clients’ products to the hundreds of millions of secondary buyers regularly searching for them,” according to its website. Moore said he believes the software is a major step toward growing the startup into a $500 million company.