StumbleUpon Stumbles Onto Profits

Website recommendation service StumbleUpon doesn’t make the news very often, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been growing. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Mark Bartels said the company is now profitable and expects to grow revenue by 33% this year,  up to $40 million dollars. Fueling this sudden growth is increased mobile usage, which now makes up almost 40% of their traffic. In addition, applications for smartphones and tablets were responsible for 20% of their yearly ad sales.

Although they now have over 100,000 clients – some of which pay up to $75,000 for just a few days of advertising – StumpleUpon wasn’t always on such good footing. Founded in 2001, the company was acquired by eBay, then eventually spun off. Their last CEO stepped down to focus on transportation startup Uber, and earlier this year they cut their staff from 120 to 70. According to their website, they boast over 30 million registered users.

Their recent mobile growth, which doubled this year from last, has been responsible for much of their new-found success. Now restructured and apparently profitable (Bartels gave no hard profit numbers to Bloomberg, so you’ll have to take them on their word) StumbleUpon has refocused their priorities on mobile and international expansion. They’ve even started hiring again, looking to flesh out their mobile development team.

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Born in Alaska, Cameron is now a resident of Nashville, TN. He graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a degree in English and Political Science. He enjoys following emerging technology and its impact on business. Follow Cameron on Google+, or email him with any questions or comments.