Hamburg, Germany based Qype, a Yelp-like site that's focused on European markets, has recently had long acquisition looks from both Google and Nokia, we've heard from multiple sources. A deal with Nokia in particular was looking extremely likely until recently.
The site was first launched in 2005 and today attracts 9 million monthly worldwide visitors, according to Comscore, just a little less than Yelp's 11 million. Both likely have far more actual visitors, but Comscore is good for comparision – in December, for example, Qype told us they had 17.7 million unique visitors. A year ago the company brought in a new CEO and have been expanding rapidly across Europe.
Google supposedly took a look at the company and passed, opting instead to just import Qype's content. Nokia made a run for the company after Google, with one source saying that a term sheet had been signed in the $50 million range.
But another source says that a term sheet was never signed and the deal negotiations broke down over both price and other contract terms.
Qype isn't helping much with the story, sticking to their no comments. But founder Stephan Uhrenbacher did email to tell us that the site has 500,000 registered users who've left over 1 million reviews. They are available in seven languages and have sites in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Brazil, Ireland.
So for now at least Qype may remain independent. But like Yelp, which had its own acquisition drama late last year, Qype is in the local advertising sweet spot, where billions of advertising dollars (and euros) will be flowing over the next few years.
Qype has raised around £8 million in venture capital.