fredag 19. februar 2010

Yelp CEO says no IPO for “several years”

Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive and co-founder of popular review site Yelp, let investors know on Thursday that the company won’t be  looking for an IPO for several years. 
Yelp “will definitely not go public this year,” he said. “2011, who knows? But why rush out the door if I can avoid it?”, according to an article in the WSJ.
Over the last couple of months there have been a whirlwind of activity involving Yelp. In mid-December of last year, rumors flew of talks between Google and Yelp for a possible buyout. While those proved to be just rumors, TechCrunch reported the potential deal at around $550 million plus earnouts.
Reinforcing the idea that a Google buyout was squashed, Elevation Partners announced that it had invested $25 million in the company with plans to increase its total investment up to $100 million. The new funding will help Yelp to deepen its market share in the U.S. and Europe as well as help to advance its mobile capabilities. Last month, Yelp added a “check in” feature to it’s mobile application which some believe was an attempt to stay relevant among growing platforms like Foursquare and Gowalla.
More good news for Yelp, the company recently announced on its blog the opening of its Scotsdale, Arizona office with plans to hire some 200 employees in 2010. In an effort to make Yelp businesses more searchable and precise, the company also added additional business categories, like archery and Tai Chi.
The WSJ article goes on to state that Yelp currently claims close to 9 million reviews almost double from last year and estimates that January had 29 million unique visitors.

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