StumbleUpon, which started as a simple extension for Firefox, has grown into a medium-sized startup with more than 2 million users within a couple of years. While it wasn’t stated whether the acquisition was all-cash or there was stock involved, it looks like it’s likely to have comprised of both. For StumbleUpon, which gives more than 5 million recommendations a day, I think this is a deal they would’ve never got with any other large company.
To recap (again!), this acquisition follows a bunch of other Web 2.0 startup/big company/big value acquisitions we’ve had. MySpace went to Fox for $550m, YouTube for $1.6b and FeedBurner for $100m to Google, Grouper for $65m to Sony, and very recently Last.fm for $280m to CBS. Right, who will it be tomorrow? Send us tips to this address (I’m only half joking.)
With the number of acquisitions we’re seeing, I think there’s a bubble that’s getting bigger and bigger. It’s not long till we’ll see more and more people heading for the gold (that is, if we aren’t already), and more of these companies getting scooped up. StumbleUpon is one of the services I’ve loved since day one, and while it’s sad to see them go — seeing eBay’s history of acquisitions with Skype and PayPal — I think it’ll be in good hands. And once again, congrats to those involved in both sides of the deal.