ebay Looking to Unload StumbleUpon?

    September 19, 2008
    Chris Crum

StumbleUponTechCrunch is reporting eBay is trying to unload StumbleUpon, citing "sources with knowledge of the sale process." eBay is apparently using Deutsche Bank to find a suitable buyer, and the asking price has not been disclosed.

eBay bought the social bookmarking service (or self-proclaimed "recommendation engine") only last year for $75 million. Wired points out that this is only the latest in disappointing acquisitions for them. "This is the second recent acknowledged stumble for eBay in the acquisition department: Skype failed to live up to the company’s synergistic expectations and they were forced to admit they overpaid for the VoIP service by about $1 billion." Ouch.

I’ve personally been a big fan of StumbleUpon ever since I was introduced to it a couple years ago. It’s been an invaluable tool for me to find new interesting sites/pages on any given topic (I love the search feature). Marketers have also been pretty keen on it too. Overall activity has dwindled lately though.

According to Wikipedia, StumbleUpon was in talks with Google back before being acquired by eBay. I have to wonder if there is still any interest there. Google would seem like just the right company to propel the success of StumbleUpon. A pre-installed StumbleUpon toolbar could even help Chrome usage. Of course, they already have the Google Toolbar, and even some StumbleUpon-like technology, but they had Google Video when they bought YouTube too. 

Google or no Google, I am very curious to see what suitors StumbleUpon will have, because it is one of my favorite social tools and I hope that it will be treated right.