Two years after purchasing web-page rating tool StumbleUpon for $75 million, eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) is handing the company back to its founders as well as Sherpalo Ventures, Accel Partners and August Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed. In a blunt statement, StumbleUpon founder Garrett Smith said there were "few long-term synergies" between eBay's online retail business and StumbleUpon. "It is best for us to part ways and focus on our respective strengths," he said.
Contrast that with StumbleUpon's statement when eBay bought the firm: "We think eBay is a great fit for us because eBay and StumbleUpon share similar approaches we're both driven by our community of users, and we are both dedicated to connecting people."
The move will be closely watched by those wondering whether eBay will shed its Skype calling service next. On Friday, The New York Times reported that Skype's founders were looking to raise money to buy back the firm. eBay CEO John Donahue has seemed to imply that like StumbleUpon, Skype also has little in common with eBay's core business, noting that it would be a "great stand-alone business."
By Joseph Tartakoff