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January 18, 2013

StumbleUpon Lays Off 30 Percent of Workforce

StumbleUpon laid off 30 percent of its staff Jan. 17 bringing its numbers from 110 to 75, according to news reports.

The company told TechCrunch the lay off is part of a restructuring plan to put the firm back in the black in the first quarter of 2013.

“The main drive here is to become more streamlined and to better execute against our goals for 2013,” StumbleUpon’s CFO and interim CEO Mark Bartels told Tech Crunch.

The layoff also helped to “rebalance” the engineering team now that 40 percent of the discovery engine’s traffic is from Smartphones and tablets.

Bartels said the majority of the layoff effected non-technical employees such as those in the marketing and community departments, although some desktop-focused engineers were also part of the cut.

Bartels told Tech Crunch the top-line part of the firm’s income is good. Revenue has increased by 300 percent in the past three years and the company has 80,000 paid advertisers including heavy hitters Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.

“The company is in a healthy financial state,” Bartels said. “What this change does do is it brings us into a profitable situation.”

StumbleUpon approaching profitability does not mean it will go on the market, however, Bartels said.

“The way I see it is that profitability allows us to experiment more,” he said. “The board and the leadership team here want to be an independent entity. We’re not looking at strategic options right now. We want to continue to grow and continue to hire.”