Car-leasing platform Rodo has built a presence in the auto finance industry at a time when online car-buying is growing.
Chief Executive Nathan Hecht started Rodo, formerly known as Honker, in 2016, after a bad experience trying to lease a car for his family at a dealership. Hecht now drives an Audi A5 because he “got a great price on it.”
Since founding Rodo, Hecht has set his sights on growing the leasing and financing app. The New York City-based company expanded into three new markets in December 2019 — Atlanta, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio — through a marketing partnership with iHeartMedia. Rodo leveraged the partnership to launch an additional advertising campaign amid the COVID-19 crisis “explaining to consumers that they can still get a car from their local dealer,” Hecht previously told Auto Finance News.
Hecht also saw an opportunity to offer more than leasing to customers via Rodo’s mobile app. In May, the company expanded its proprietary technology to the retail financing, allowing consumers to finance a new car “in a couple of swipes,” Hecht said. Rodo matches a consumer’s purchase with rebates, incentives and coupons, and competitive financing terms, then processes the down payment and sets up delivery of the car through the dealership.
Hecht isn’t alone in seeing the potential of Rodo’s platform. Rodo added an estimated 300,000 users to its platform in July by partnering with Boston-based management solution company Motus, which facilitates compensation for gas and mileage between employers and employees. Rodo provides an option for Motus employees to purchase vehicles from their employer without having to enter a dealership.
There are more than 1,500 dealerships on Rodo’s platform, Hecht said.
Auto Finance Excellence recently asked Hecht five questions about his company goals, advice he works by, and his biggest influence. Hecht is a man known to get right to the point, and who is purposeful with his answers. This interview was no different.
Auto Finance Excellence: What are your company goals in about 10 words or less?
Nathan Hecht: To bring the new car transaction online.
AFE: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice ever received?
NH: Hire slow, fire fast.
AFE: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
NH: My wife. She has always supported my wild ideas and ventures.
AFE: What do you think is the most underrated lending trend?
NH: Consumers using Affirm at checkout on e-commerce sites and paying over time. Affirm is a new company founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal. It allows consumers to pay with a loan at checkout instead of a credit card, and Affirm pays the vendor. Consumers then owe Affirm the money and pay it off in four installments within a specific time frame.
AFE: What’s something your employees would be surprised to learn about you?
NH: I am a champion boxer. (Kidding.)