“Bridge Bank is much more startup friendly. They understand that sometimes we don’t know what’s coming up the next day and they can move very quickly. There is a lot of uncertainty in a startup, and you need a partner that’s flexible.” ~Mark Bartels, StumbleUpon
“Bridge Bank’s strength is that they work closely with the team and understand the business. They understand the operational challenges that come with a small company. It’s not purely domain experience in tech; they work well with smaller companies because they’re flexible and can move quickly.” ~Mark Bartels, StumbleUpon
“Bridge Bank understands the cycles of the business and the drivers. Bridge Bank was able to come up with a structure that is beneficial to the bank and beneficial to StumbleUpon.” ~Mark Bartels, StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of a web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to people based on their interests. Headquartered in San Francisco, StumbleUpon was founded in 2001, received angel investor funding in 2005 then sold to eBay in 2007.
By 2009, they had doubled in size, but wanted to return to their independent, startup roots. They wanted to buy themselves back from eBay and needed a trustworthy partner to guide them through the process.
They were looking for a bank that was responsive, could move quickly and, of course, could respect the very confidential nature of the arrangement. They also needed a day-to-day banking partner to keep the business charging ahead.
Being entrepreneurs ourselves, we didn't flinch. We understood StumbleUpon was growing by the day and couldn’t stall their business while the buyback was executed. They needed to hire new employees, pay existing employees, make operational decisions and have access to flexible working capital. We didn’t hesitate to work with them.
While we can’t take credit for the results of the company, we’re happy to report our friends at StumbleUpon are doing quite well. They’ve tripled their revenue and tripled in size over the last three years. They also now have 30 million registered users and are entering the mobile market.
If you’re a startup who has stumbled upon this case study and like what you see, call us. We understand the roller coaster you’re on. And, we can help.