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Ep 9: The grit (& credit cards) it takes to build a disruptive start-up with Adam & Tobin of Optoro

Tobin Moore and Adam Vitarello, co-founders of Optoro, talk about the evolution of their company from eBay resale shop in a Georgetown garage to one of the fastest growing start-ups revolutionizing the retail returns industry.

More than 15% of all goods are returned or never sold, a costly problem faced by virtually all retailers, thanks in part to the ever-popular money-back guarantee. That's close to $500 million dollars in revenue lost, not counting the amount of physical waste added to landfills. Optoro, founded by childhood friends Tobin and Adam, is on a mission to modernize the antiquated process and become the leading platform for returned and excess inventory. A client list of top national brands, team of 200+ employees, and recent $50M Series C Fund all indicate they're well on their way to achieving it.

In this episode, we talk to Tobin and Adam about valuable guidance from both pawn shop owners and angel investors alike; the importance of building sustainable supply chains; and how they are using big data and cutting-edge technology to disrupt the returns industry.

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Why can't we take this massive, ludicrously undeveloped industry and change it on it's head? Might as well be us.


[Our investors] really taught aim big and really try to have something truly disruptive and transformative.

Find out more about Optoro at, or shop their e-commerce site Blinq. Follow @Optoro. You can reach The Protagonist @hughandcrye, #theprotagonist.