Nearly two years after paying around $75 million for StumbleUpon, a content discovery service founded in 2001, eBay is handing the company back to its founders as well as a group of venture capital investors. The move was actually rumored back in September but founder Garrett Smith today confirmed the transaction with claims that there were few long-term synergies between the two businesses.
Ironically, eBay had originally claimed it acquired StumbleUpon for the synergies between the two companies and similarities in their approaches to the concept of community. The change in ownership will reportedly help StumbleUpon move quickly and stay true to its focus of helping people discover interesting web content – all while Digg breathes down its neck with its recently released web-based toolbar.
For its part eBay said it will focus on reinvigorating growth in its core business, which includes its auction and online payments platforms but not necessarily its VoIP wing. Looks like the rumored buy-back of Skype could indeed take place soon if the price is right.