Online review site Yelp files for $100M IPO

Posted at 11/18/11 10:11 AM

NEW YORK - Yelp, a website which posts user reviews of businesses and services, filed for an initial public offering Thursday seeking to raise up to $100 million.

Yelp, in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), did not say how many shares of Class A common stock it plans to issue or which Wall Street exchange it would be traded on.

The company, which has its headquarters in San Francisco and was founded in 2004, will trade under the symbol "YELP."

In the SEC filing, Yelp said it had a net loss of $7.6 million for the first nine months of the year on revenue of $58.4 million. Yelp reported revenue of $12.1 million in 2008 and $47.7 million last year.

The Yelp website hosts more than 22 million reviews of local businesses -- from restaurants to plumbers -- and averaged 61 million unique monthly visitors during the quarter which ended on September 30.

Yelp earns money by selling advertising on its website to local businesses.

It said it plans to use the money raised from the stock offering for general corporate purposes and possible "acquisitions of complementary businesses."

Online discount deals site Groupon went public earlier this month, raising $700 million in the biggest initial public offering by an Internet company since Google.

Groupon's stock market debut was closely watched by investors hungry for technology stocks and market analysts on the lookout for signs of another dot-com bubble.

There have been several IPOs by Internet firms this year, but the most eagerly awaited are social games giant Zynga, which has already filed its papers for an IPO, and Facebook, which has not revealed its plans.

A Yelp rival, Angie's List, which provides reviews of local contractors, was listed on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday for $13 and closed the day at $16.26, a gain of 25 percent. Angie's List raised $114 million from its IPO.