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Returns Technology Company, Optoro Receives Strategic Investment From Zebra Technologies

New investment will support Optoro’s focus on improving customer experiences and reducing environmental and financial waste from returns

Optoro, Inc., the leading technology platform for retail returns and reverse logistics, announced a new strategic investment led by Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge. Circular solutions focused investor, Volta Circle, along with previous investors, including eBay Inc. and UPS also participated in the strategic funding round of $25 million. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Optoro.

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Optoro’s returns technology platform helps top retailers such as American Eagle, Best Buy, Target, Staples, and IKEA turn returns into a strategic advantage by using data science and real-time decision-making automation to determine the best path for each returned item. Technology-powered returns solutions can decrease inefficiencies, maximize repurchases and recovery, and reduce environmental waste—allowing retailers to focus on forward fulfillment and offering the best customer experience.

“Zebra is investing in Optoro based on its strong track record of helping its retail customers overcome the challenges accelerated by the pandemic,” said Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Zebra Ventures, Zebra Technologies. “The results of our recent Global Shopper Study showed eight-in-10 North America shoppers prefer retailers who offer easy returns while only six-in-10 retail associates say their companies are highly experienced with online returns. We believe Optoro will continue to grow in the areas that align well with our own vision for retail and ecommerce in the era of the on-demand economy.”

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Together, Zebra and its Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partner, Optoro bring best-in-class hardware and software to offer an end-to-end reverse logistics solution that optimizes retail returns processing. In addition to the investment, the companies will also pursue new solutions and technology to further innovate returns management, cutting waste and driving more profitable growth for retailers.

“Ecommerce keeps growing, and more online shopping results in more returns. With an already fragile supply chain, retailers need solutions now to efficiently manage returns, and get goods back to stock or secondary markets as quickly as possible,” said Tobin Moore, co-founder and CEO of Optoro. “With Zebra Technologies, we’re offering retailers the ability to accelerate returns processing with our best-in-class software and Zebra’s industry-leading mobile computers. This investment and relationship will enable us to help retailers move inventory faster and more efficiently through the supply chain, which will cut costs, minimize their environmental impact, and improve the customer experience.”

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The investment and strategic alliance come ahead of the annual peak in retail returns following the holiday season. Each year, billions of dollars of goods are returned, creating financial and environmental waste.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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