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Innovation & Job News

Reverse logistics firm Optoro opens 13,000-square-foot office in Chinatown today

Optoro, a tech company based in Lanham, Md., opens a 13,000-square-foot location in the District today. The new Chinatown location will house the bulk of Optoro's operations, and the company is hiring 20 to scale operations quickly in response to its clients' needs.
Toby Moore, Optoro's CEO and cofounder, says that the company's new location is strategic on several levels. "We've had some difficulty in tech and marketing hires, and D.C. has a great pipeline [for talent]," he explains. The central location is also ideal. "People in our company are from all over the Beltway, even Baltimore. And we're a block or two from every Metro line. We're encouraging people to use public transportation."
Optoro is a remarketing and reverse logistics company. It helps retailers move returned, open-box and excess inventory quickly and at an optimal price point. Moore explains, "We scan a product's UPC, and our software scans the Internet and databases for current pricing on eBay, Amazon, Google products, etc. The software looks at what they are selling at different conditions and launches the item at a price, which our system then monitors." Prices go up or down based on how many hits an item gets. Inventory is sold directly on multiple online marketplaces, including Optoro's own marketplace, Blinq. The company's client list is anonymous, but "includes the biggest electronics seller and the biggest home and garden seller in the country," says Moore.
Optoro currently employs around a hundred people; forty are moving to the D.C. location. "We can grow to about a hundred in the D.C. office," Moore says. The H St. location itself is a mix of closed offices and open seating. "The tech space and the ecommerce spaces are open," he explains. "About 81 stations are open seating."
In January, Optoro raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Grotech Ventures; in July, the company announced a Series B round of $23.5 million led by Revolution Growth. Moore says the Series B capital helps with hiring and plays a "small part" in funding Optoro's move to D.C. "It's extra fuel for strategic activity," Moore says, touting a possible international expansion later in 2014. "We want to be ready to scale when our clients want us to."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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