New products are sometimes discovered serendipitously. This story is one. In 1990 Lynn James-Meyer was working on a humanitarian project in Brazil when she was introduced to a small research team seeking non toxic methods for controlling insect on plants. Having a biology background and great interest in finding safer products for the environment, she began assisting the group by field testing various formula compositions derived from plant sources. Lynn found that several of the formulations worked well on blood sucking insects affecting humans and animals, particularly fleas, mites and lice.
These insects were a huge problem in the neighboring area on both humans and animals. She developed lice shampoos using the newly discovered active ingredient compounds tested during plant studies. The products showed amazing results. It wasn’t long before Lynn returned to the US to patent the technology both domestically and foreign and begin clinical trials.
In the late 1990s Lynn started selling her product in the U.S. through her website and formed BioSafe Technologies, Inc. in 2000. A research specialist in the UK amazed at the results from his clinical work with the product, encouraged the company to export its head lice shampoo to a European distributor. Later other large European companies expressed interest in private-labeling her lice care product.
Cash flow reality quickly dampened this good news. Essentially, Lynn required funds to manufacture her products and she was also concerned about receiving payment after the product was delivered. Offering long lead times for receiving payment was not possible if the company was to meet supply timeframes and raw material purchases. Therefore market expansion opportunities were difficult to consider.
Fortunately, Lynn attended an exporter forum in Dallas and discovered EXIM through a broker from United Risk Consultants. EXIM’s export credit insurance provided two solutions for BioSafe Technologies. First, they received a line of credit from their commercial lender by assigning its insure foreign accounts receivable. Second, export credit insurance empowered the company to offer open account credit terms.
The additional cash flow from its line of credit enabled BioSafe Technologies to purchase raw materials, fund manufacturing, and meet the time frames required by international customers. The ability to offer credit terms to international buyers made them more competitive in international markets and provided peace-of-mind by protecting the company from nonpayment by foreign buyers.