Director Richard Batchelor had no hesitation in approaching Reward Finance Group for a quick working capital injection to help meet the huge demand created by the Covid-19 pandemic for his company's dry sanitiser product.
Batchelor’s faith in Reward, specialists in tailored finance solutions to support business, was fully merited with the lender quickly agreeing and providing a £400k business finance facility.
Thanks to the money, Wolverhampton based X-Mist is ramping up production to cater for surging demand. It comes after a two-year process to address a need by the hospitality industry to shift difficult smells. When the pandemic struck the product was quickly adapted to fight the virus and it has now emerged as a leading sanitiser in the fight against Covid-19.
Fellow director and X-Mist founder, David Muirhead, a commercial carpet cleaner by trade, worked with a Yorkshire based chemical laboratory to develop the X-Mist aerosol spray. The innovative can is easily activated with the click of a button whereupon it disperses a broad-spectrum biocide evenly over an area of five metres by five metres.
The droplets disperse easily because they are ionised and therefore repel against each other. With a germicidal log reduction between 5.3 and 6.4 (most bleaches are around 3), it comfortably exceeds the minimum figure of 3-4 needed to kill coronavirus and remains active for seven days.
Unlike current sanitisation processes which are wet and can take up to three days to dry out, X-Mist is dry which means a vehicle or room can be available for use just an hour after application.
Little surprise then that X-mist is already being used in schools, care homes, the HQ of a major high street pharmacy and numerous large coach companies. Furthermore, it’s now being stocked by a number of leading retailers including Costco, CEF and Plumbase.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company was producing 10,000 canisters per month, primarily for the hotel sector. Since March however demand has grown rapidly and with interest being shown by the NHS, X-Mist now has scheduled production runs of more than 100,000 cans every month.
To meet the production levels, the company chose a leading canning and fulfilment company, which guarantees the product for up to 12 months. However, being a relatively new business, X-Mist was required to make payment on a pro forma basis.
“In order to help with essential sanitising requirements, it was vital for us to fulfil the growing orders rapidly. However, we understood the banks would take weeks to reach a decision, especially in the current economic climate.
"I was therefore recommended to Reward by my partner Tina Brown, who has been a client of theirs for more than six years, as she said they would be able to turn the deal around in a few days."
The proposal was discussed with Alan Sanderson of Reward via a video call who quickly understood the business and realised the huge potential for the product: Batchelor commented:
"Alan was incredibly helpful in sorting out all the necessary paperwork without making us ‘jump through hoops’ and the funds were provided to us within two weeks, which was a miracle bearing in mind the COVID-19 situation had everyone in lockdown including our solicitors!’’
For his part Sanderson knew a quick turnaround was vital to enable X-mist to ramp up production levels. He added:
“The company has created a fantastic product, which will prove invaluable in helping companies combat Covid-19 with minimum disruption. Its effectiveness is proven, having been tested by a leading pharmacy, which then placed a large order.
"It was essential we pulled out all the stops to ensure X-Mist could produce the canisters as quickly as possible to help fight this killer virus and save lives.”