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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ebaystumbleupon

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?