Espro, a Canadian coffee innovation company was started in 2002 by Bruce Constantine and Chris McLean. It was founded with the goal of reinventing standard products (such as the French press) to better meet the needs of coffee and espresso enthusiasts around the world. Today, Espro products are sold globally to specialty coffee and tea shops and to consumers online.
The ESPRO Press solves for traditional French presses’ most common complaints, such as grittiness, their inability to keep coffee hot and continuous extraction, which makes coffee stronger. The Espro Press was a huge hit, but Espro needed additional funding in order to expand distribution. Longer payment times were also an issue, as most of the Canadian-based company’s retailers are located in the United States, making collection of invoice payments a belabored process.
Bibby Financial Services provided Espro with a $400,000 invoice factoring facility, wherein Espro sold the financial services company all of its invoices. This allowed Espro not only to cast a wider net in distribution of its flagship product, the ESPRO Press, but also to focus its efforts on introducing a number of new products to the market.
Additionally, as most of Espro’s customers are U.S. retailers, Bibby Financial Services’s global footprint was vital to Espro. Espro’s U.S. customers sent payment to BFS’s U.S. office, while the company managed the relationship with Espro from its Canadian office. This allowed Espro to access payments faster, as BFS was able to transfer money internally, rather than waiting for the money to be processed through the International Monetary System.
With Bibby Financial Services’s commercial lending guidance and financing, Espro more than doubled in size, revenue, units and employee growth. With its newfound growth and success, the company is now able to receive a traditional loan from a bank.