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.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags stumbleuponebay

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?