It’s official. Yelp is raising a huge chunk of change from Elevation Partners. According to a release, Elevation will invest as much as $100 million in the startup. For now, Yelp will be raising a $25 million in a Series E round from the firm. We broke the news last week here, when talk of the round was in the $50 million range. The initial infusion is half that, but Elevation could end up investing much more over time.
Elevation co-founder Marc Bodnick will be joining Yelp’s Board of Directors. We originally hear that Bono, an Elevation Partners partner, was to be the board representative for Yelp but it looks like Bodnick got the seat in the end.
The investment comes on the heels of dissolved buyout deal with Google. Yelp walked away from an all but signed deal to buy the startup for $550 million.
The investment includes both a primary investment component as well as a secondary offering for long time employees. These deals are now being referred to as “DST deals,” since DST first invested in Facebook in May 2009 at a $10 billion valuation and later funded employee buyouts at a $6.5 billion valuation. They did a similar deal with Zynga.
The release also revealed that traffic on the site increased to more than 26 million unique visitors in the month of December 2009 and the site now has 9 million reviews.
Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Poland and Turkey. Yelp had a monthly average of 86 million unique visitors in Q4 2012*. By the end of Q4 2012, Yelpers had written more than 36 million rich,...