There are always conversations, stories, speculations, and predictions about the next “it” company that will revolutionize their industry and disrupt the disruptors. Today, I am thrilled to announce that the Revolution Growth portfolio company, Optoro, was named to the 2015 CNBC Disruptor 50 List because they identified an unexploited niche of the retail industry. They beat out 400 companies from the U.S. and abroad that were nominated for the list.
Each year CNBC releases this list as a way to highlight the most ambitious and innovative private companies that have found a lucrative spot in their market and are ready to dominate. As CNBC explains in their methodology for selecting the 50 Disruptors, “a true disruptor’s power is seen in its effects on multiple industries—and its ability to disrupt the public giants.”
We recognized these traits in Optoro almost exactly two years ago when Revolution Growth made our first investment in the company. (We also participated in their latest round of funding last December, which was led by Kleiner Perkins.) We knew the founders, Tobin Moore and Adam Vitarello, had discovered an innovative and disruptive approach to solving one of the retail industry’s biggest and most costly logistical challenges.
If you are not familiar with the business, the Washington, D.C.-based company is a cloud-based technology company that enables retailers and manufacturers to increase their revenue from returned and excess inventory. Retailers that use Optoro’s technology can increase their recovery value by 2x – 10x, enable consumers to shop for better bargains online, and help to preserve the environment by keeping excess goods out of landfills. It is estimated that roughly 10 to 15 percent of all goods are either returned or become excess – totaling $500 billion annually in the U.S – a massive market.
Revolution seeks to invest in and work with companies that have a big, sustainable vision for attacking a significant market like segments of the retail industry. Optoro has truly identified a way to disrupt an old, antiquated sector of the retail business. Since our original investment, they have increasingly gained traction with some of the world’s largest retailers, and it is fantastic to see them recognized as a Disruptor by CNBC.
We look forward to working with the Optoro team on the exciting road ahead as they continue to grow and expand the business!