Interview with Rutger Verhoef, CEO and co-founder of gowago.ch

Fiona Egli
November 26, 2020
Startups, Mobility
In October 2019, Baloise announced its investment in the Zurich-based automotive FinTech company gowago.ch, that offers an easy way to get a car for a fixed monthly payment with everything included. In the interview, Rutger Verhoef, CEO and co-founder of gowago.ch, explains how the leasing platform revolutionises buying a car and how the start-up is involved with reforestation in South East Asia.

Rutger, three years ago, you, Leo Chevailler and Iwan Gloor launched gowago.ch. How did this come about?

Seven years ago, I moved to Lausanne from my home country the Netherlands to attend university. After university, I worked for an automotive company, where I was involved in a number of projects, including a customer journey project. This project made it clear to me and Leo that there is a media break in the customer experience. The majority of people look for a new car online, but then they have to go to the dealer, where they have a completely different experience that might include several visits to the dealer, requests for prices and lengthy price negotiations. This whole process is not really in line with advancing digitalisation, which makes it easier for people to do things online – anywhere, at any time. Interest in the concept of paying off a car on a monthly basis was also growing. This is where the idea of developing an online shop for cars that would make purchasing a car as straightforward as possible came from.

Can you describe the services provided by gowago.ch in a little more detail? What are the benefits for the customer?

Mobile phone on which the gowago platform is called.

gowago.ch enables customers to lease a new or used car for a fixed monthly rate in just a few steps.

  1. You simply choose the car you want from a selection of over 13,000 vehicles at www.gowago.ch
  2. sign the contract online; and
  3. wait for the car to be delivered to your home.

Our all-in-one offer is a product that combines insurance, tax, service, tyres and an extended warranty. The advantage of this is that you receive a transparent overview of all costs and pay a fixed monthly leasing rate. In order to provide this service, we work together with Baloise, 200 car dealers and 300 workshops across Switzerland. These partnerships allow us to guarantee that our customers pay the best possible monthly price for a car, and that they never have to drive far for a service or a tyre change. Basically, customers can use our platform for simple, transparent and affordable car leasing at home – a unique service in Switzerland.

Working with a number of different car dealers, gowago.ch offers customers over 13,000 cars to choose from. Which model is currently the most popular?

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is currently leased most often. However, the fully electric Tesla Model 3 is the model generating the most interest among visitors to gowago.ch., and we have also seen an increase in interest in electric vehicles overall. We want to react to this trend by focusing even more strongly on electric cars in the coming year. For example, we will also offer charging stations on our website and provide clear answers to the most important questions about electric vehicles: How long does the battery last? When do I need to change it? Where can I charge my car? Our aim is to make a contribution to affordable electromobility in Switzerland.

A number of different studies confirm that electric cars are better for the environment than petrol and diesel cars. What role does sustainability play at gowago.ch?

Our digitised processes are highly efficient – it has never been easier or cheaper to buy a car. However, at gowago.ch, we are still well aware of the impact cars have on the environment, and we want to do our bit to promote sustainable mobility. That is why, in September of this year, we became the first company in the automotive industry to enter into a partnership with carbon-connect AG. Together, we support the reforestation platform www.treellionaire.com. For every leasing contract signed, five trees are planted in South East Asia. The aim of the Treellionaire project is to plant one million trees as soon as possible. Supporting initiatives such as this is an important part of our corporate culture and a way of helping to make the world a better place for us and for future generations – even as a small company.

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gowago.ch

Insurance, taxes, servicing, tyres&an extended guarantee into a monthly payment.