April 14, 2009

eBay Sells StumbleUpon Back To Its Founders

On Monday, the website StumbleUpon, an Internet startup bought by eBay two years ago for 75 million dollars, announced that it had parted ways with the online auction giant to focus on its own business strategy, the AFP reported.

Garrett Camp, one of the founders of StumbleUpon, said the company was grateful to eBay for its guidance.

"However, we realized there were few long-term synergies between the two businesses. It is best for us to part ways and focus on our respective strengths," Camp said in a statement.

He said the change would make it possible for StumbleUpon to continue to innovate and focus on becoming the Web's largest recommendation service.

He added that StumbleUpon had now "returned to the ranks of an investor-backed startup" and had so far received backing from Sherpalo Ventures, Accel Partners, and August Capital.

StumbleUpon plans to unveil several new products and features in the coming months, according to the statement.

The popular site's "discovery engine" helps Web surfers find websites that promise to appeal to their passions. Normal search engines like Google are designed to help people efficiently scour the Internet with specific targets in mind.

StumbleUpon claims more than 7.4 million users since launching in 2001.

Recently, eBay has been refocusing its activities on its core business of running an online auction house.

The company may even be looking to sell its hugely popular Internet telephone service Skype back to its two founders, according to a New York Times report on Friday.

Skype, which was started up in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom, from Sweden, and Janus Friis, from Denmark, was sold to eBay two years later for 2.6 billion dollars.

The Times report said the creators are now seeking to raise one billion dollars from private equity firms to re-claim their brainchild.

Skype is a free Internet phone service that bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling calls over the Internet.

Terms of the separation between eBay and StumbleUpon were not disclosed.


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