James Middleton’s branded marshmallow business loses nearly £250,000 in year one

Figures obtained by The Sun newspaper found that, for the period between November 2013 and December 2014, Boomf posted a loss totalling £243,986 – set against £1m in fundraising secured to help with the growth of the company.

The Boomf online platform allows users to upload photographs and then purchase a box of nine personal marshmallows for £15.

Middleton’s previous food-based business venture, cake and bread company Nice Group London, also turned losses during the first two years of operation – albeit smaller ones of £19,928 in year one and £21,148 in year two.

As a way of increasing consumer interest away from the company’s website, Boomf created a bicycle-based mobile printing unit to take products directly to customers. It was taken to high street shops such as Topshop, offering free photo marshmallows to anyone spending over £50.

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When the business was unveiled as the creation of Mint Digital and Middleton, Andy Bell was named as CEO while Middleton took up the role of production director – in charge of further innovation, manufacturing and logistics.

Describing why Mint Digital and Nice Cakes came together, a blog post read: “When the Mint team met the Nice team, we hit it off immediately. We’d both been working on personalisation for several years, Nice coming at it from food, Mint from technology. The sort of products we had been dreaming of could be realised only through the fusion of our respective fields.”

The high-profile recruitment of Moonpig founder Nick Jenkins as chairman was secured in August 2015. He led the £1m investment into Boomf, saying at the time: “Boomf is a very personal and rather tasty way to say happy birthday, thank you or congratulations. A card you can eat. What is not to like about that!”

Middleton also said then: “We are delighted to have an entrepreneur with Nick’s track record becoming Boomf’s chairman. There are few people with better experience of personalised ecommerce in the UK. It is wonderful that he sees the potential of Boomf and feels able to help steer our growth.”

Other investors at the time included VoucherCodes founder Duncan Jennings and DriftRock founder Matt Wheeler.

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