By any stretch of the imagination, 2022 was a wild ride, especially for CFOs. A business’ ability to demonstrate durable profitable growth has become a focal point for investors regardless of a company’s stage. Gone are the days of easy money, vanity metrics, and stories about how a business will eventually generate a profit.
Fundamentally strong business models and direct progress towards bottom line accretive economics are back en vogue, and in my opinion, they will always be how businesses are valued.
Given these shifts, leaders across the organization have needed to lean even heavier on their Finance function. The simple reason being: a company’s Finance department sits at the cross-section of strategy, operations, anchoring to actual results, and having the wherewithal to deeply understand the drivers in a business.
At Rhino, we are fortunate enough to have built our platform, which is now offered in over two million homes with a six million home partner network, on the back of a business to business to consumer (B2B2C) foundation. We are deeply embedded in the leasing cycle with 33 out of the top 100 landlords / property managers offering Rhino as a deposit-free option to their residents at the time of move-in. In an environment where the cost of capital is exponentially high, this type of model is the bedrock of being able to attract consumers in a disciplined, cost-efficient way.
We have created a new category of insurance that has exceptional product-market fit. More than 4 out of every 5 residents who receive a quote to move-in deposit-free end up purchasing a security deposit insurance policy from Rhino. The combination of Rhino’s B2B2C business model and product-market fit has allowed our Finance function to not only create reliable projections on where the business is headed, but also create an explicit focus on the specific areas that accelerate and drive improvements to unit economics.
Finally, companies that have a strong financial footing and deep understanding of the economics associated with existing service offerings can be opportunistic on the acquisition front to bring forward profitable growth. Rhino’s Finance function played a leading role this year in doing exactly that by signing a definitive agreement to acquire Deposify, making Rhino the first and only deposit management and compliance platform for the rental industry.
Disrupting an antiquated industry and building a business in a greenfield market category will never be easy, but why do anything else? A little more than 5 years in, Rhino has already saved renters over $1B in move-in related costs.
By continuing to embed our Finance function in the business and create a virtuous cycle of setting targets, constantly measuring progress against those targets, and making course corrections along the way, I’m confident that we are in the early innings of building a business that resonates with renters, landlord / property managers, employees, and shareholders alike.