StumbleUpon and Ebay Split Amidst Rumours of Skype Sellout

StumbleUpon is no longer part of Ebay after its original founders backed by the financial clout of a group of investors bought back the company from the auction behemoth.

Ebay originally purchased the company two years ago for $75 million but failed, unlike, to seamlessly integrate it within the Ebay family. The move could be seen as the clearest sign that Ebay will be focusing on its core business again.

Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith, Stumbleupon's founders, said that they "were grateful to eBay for its guidance" but "realised there were few long-term synergies between the two businesses" and that It is best for two to part ways and focus on their respective strengths.

The online discovery, sharing and recommendation website allows users to give a thumbs up or down and the divorce now sees Stumbleupon continue to work on becoming the largest of them all.

The website apparently has "plans for several new products and features to be released in the upcoming months". No financial details of the split were announced but it is likely that Stumbleupon bought itself back at a fraction of Ebay's purchasing price.

Over the two year as an Ebay subsidiary, Stumbleupon grew from 2.3 to 7.4 million members and generates a whopping 425 million recommendations per month.

The news comes only a few days after the founders of Skype, the popular VoIP service purchased by Ebay in September 2005 for $2.6 billion, were trying to buy the company back.

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Our Comments

Stumbleupon has only 7.4 million users eight years after it was launched. It is joining a crowded marketplace of "recommendation" services. Digg recently launched a Digg toolbar which mimics Stumbleupon's feature and could steal some of its thunder. Newcomer Twitter could also in a near future include more recommendation capabilities. However, don't discount SU yet.

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