X-Mist set to clean up thanks to Reward’s £400k loan deal

Brian West

14 November 2020 15:02 GMT

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.

Batchelor explains:

“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.”

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