Investors buy back StumbleUpon from eBay

Both companies say there were no synergies between the companies following eBay's $75 million buyout in 2007.

The founders of Web recommendation site StumbleUpon have bought it back from eBay, making the company independent again after nearly two years.

StumbleUpon, founded in 2001, is designed to send its users to Web sites based on recommendations by other users. The recommendations are available on the Web and through a free toolbar. EBay acquired the company in 2007 for US$75 million. However, like Skype, StumbleUpon hasn't been significantly integrated into eBay's services.

Cofounders Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith have acquired the company along with Sherpalo Ventures, Accel Partners and August Capital. The price was not disclosed.

Top executives at eBay, including then-President and CEO Meg Whitman, were excited about what StumbleUpon was doing, said Camp, who will now be CEO of StumbleUpon.

"It was a pretty lucrative offer, because nothing really changed," Camp said. The startup remained at its offices in downtown San Francisco, where it still operates, and got a valuable infusion of capital. But ultimately, eBay couldn't find a way to integrate StumbleUpon into the larger business, he said.

"As eBay Inc. expands its leadership in online payments and e-commerce, it has become apparent that there are few long-term, strategic synergies between StumbleUpon and the eBay Inc. portfolio," eBay said on its official blog.

Going back to independence will give StumbleUpon more flexibility in small ways, such as hiring, Camp said. The company plans to make its service more accessible and increase the quality of its recommendations. There are plans for several new products and features to be released in the coming months, the company said. Its workforce of about 30 will remain the same, Camp said.

The new ownership puts StumbleUpon in good company. Sherpalo Ventures founder Ram Shriram is on Google's board, and Accel Partners was one of the original funders of Facebook.

While it was owned by eBay, StumbleUpon grew from 2.3 million to more than 7.4 million members, and from about 150 million recommendations per month to 425 million. In the same period, the number of advertisers grew from a few hundred to about 20,000, Camp said.

Tags stumbleuponebay

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?