TrustedPlaces

Yell acquires TrustedPlaces for its recommendations potential

Next Story

Google officially announces Android 2.2, or "Froyo"

It’s been a four year ride, but TrustedPlaces, the UK’s earliest and oldest Yelp-like local reviews site, has been acquired by Yell Group Plc, the holder of the Yell.com local business directory. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but we understand both founders and investors HOWZAT Media, the fund setup by dotcom veterans Hugo Burge and David Soskin, are “very happy”.

Sokratis Papafloratos, chief executive and co-founder of TrustedPlaces, is now joining Yell as head of social products in the UK. His former co-founder Walid Al Saqqaf departed last year for other opportunities but we understand the parting was amicable.

The reason for the purchase is clear. Yell has been unable to innovate well enough to generate recommendations from local consumers. As a small fast moving startup which has iterated well TrustedPlaces now has a tonne of expertise in this. And the last we heard, the site also become profitable last year.

The question is, will this be enough? Yell has certainly dropped off my map for years now when I’m looking for local businesses. It’s either a Google Maps search or, while mobile, an iPhone app such as Qype, Rummble or Yelp which can geo-locate me and tell me what’s around.

However, Yell does plan to do a lot more with it’s 3D maps going forward, which are at least as good as Google’s.

Yell has 399,000 mainly small business advertisers. Mark Canon, president of new media at Yell in the UK, is calling this “a significant growth opportunity” since recommendations help local businesses to attract new consumers.

TrustedPlaces reviews will be added to Yell’s business listings, eventually leading to full integration under the Yell.com domain.

TrustedPlaces was launched in late 2006 and is now on 700,000 unique users a month.

  • Yell is a Dinosaur

    Does anyone except my grandmother use the yellow pages anymore? They will need to do a lot more innovation or bolder acquisitions if they want to remain relevant.

    • Felix

      No kidding.

      Yell is a sinking ship, and even the captains are bailing.

      Both the CEO and CFO said they were leaving!

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/yell/7737526/Yell-shares-drop-by-20pc-as-CEO-and-FD-say-to-go.html

      “Yell shares tumbled by more than 20pc yesterday after its chief executive and finance director said they would leave the struggling directories group. “

      • Cantor Jones

        The problem with Yell is that they don’t own any real technology assets. All they have is the Yellow pages.

        Even the hyped up maps stuff is not theirs, it is just licensed from another party.

        This acquisition is definitely the step in the right direction. They need to do a lot more of these types of acquisitions to beef up their company.

    • meeka

      Sounds like the future of Yelp to me.

  • Scott Jones

    Having quit Yell a few months back I can tell you that they are a basket case of a company. From a sales perspective they seemed to change priorities every two days with clearly too many chiefs and not enough indians. Condron going can only be a good for thing for them if they want to survive – in my opinion. However, hiring Sokratis must be seen as a very positive step and hopefully he’ll drag them into this century and get their priorities right. Well down to TP and good luck!

  • http://maxniederhofer.com Max Niederhofer

    I really want you to start digging more deeply into acquisition terms and numbers. The bankers around the deal will know, the founders know, something always leaks to PR folk, some of your readers may have access to stuff like mergermarket where these numbers are often thrown around.

    It’s superbly interesting for the people reading Techcrunch and I think you should make it a priority to report stuff like real revenue numbers, profitability and the multiples that have been paid (enterprise value = how many times last twelve months’ revenue in this case?). More transparency on this stuff will benefit many people.

  • http://www.pcartisan.com David1984

    if the CFO and CEO both are leaving then indeed it is a sinking ship.

  • oliphant

    Does anyone except my grandmother use the yellow pages anymore?

    Yes, of course they do.

    It may be a sinking ship but it regularly sends converting leads , something Trusted Places has never done for me over several sites.

    Yell has a lot going for it brand-wise and Trusted Places and its expertise should be just what they need.

    Fingers crossed.

    • VC London

      I would not rule out Mark Canon. He is a visionary, and he is just the right person to help turn this ship around. He is the best hire Yell has ever made, and while the situation at Yell is very dire (with about 3 billion dollars of debt and CEO and CFO jumping ship), I will bet my money on Mark Canon to help Yell become a true online powerhouse.

    • Scott Jones

      ROI on YP is horrendous. A lot of advertisers continued advertising as they thought they “had” to be in YP and a lot are just plain stupid. Internally everyone knows YP is basically dead, but it still makes a few mill or so a year profit and they need that cash to decrease the deficit. yell.com is a different matter though and in certain sectors gives a really good ROI. The whole business certainly needs a complete shake up though and hopefully with the departures and moves like this it will happen. However, they need to move swiftly from a massive plc with zillions of sales staff to a streamlined online company.

      • http://www.freddestin.com Fred Destin

        Yell has some great assets such as a unique brand, cash-flow and a “local” salesforce. It also sucks and time is running out for them. They did a really, really dumb free deal providing a ton of content to Google a few years back. Don’t think it will die, but time is indeed running out for them.

        Product is terrible, listing are flat and not enriched, navigation all taxonomy driven, looks more like a link aggregator / seo play than a value-add listings site

        I hope they can attract and retain talent to make the transition and not waste the incredible legacy assets they still have. A great opportunity.

  • http://searchengineland.com/searchcap-may-20-2010-42486 SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 20, 2010

    […] Yell acquires TrustedPlaces for its recommendations potential, TechCrunch […]

  • Interested observer

    Condron was a visionary in his day and for 20 years executed very well. However, issue is as per newspapers, with a model predicated over exclusivity of paper format. Once this became redundant with the web they needed to innovate and cannibalize themselves, whilst this is par for course in silicon valley, it’s alien to UK media companies and will cause them to simply have a long and painful death. Having multiple owners bleeding business dry won’t have helped.

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/05/21/how-much-did-trustedplaces-sell-for-and-does-qype-now-have-a-problem/ How much did TrustedPlaces sell for? And does Qype now have a problem?

    […] since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase […]

  • http://juegando.com/uncategorized/does-europe%e2%80%99s-yelp-now-have-an-exit-problem/ Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem? | Juegando

    […] On May 21, 2010, In Uncategorized, By juegando Share So since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://liftedlogic.com/site/?p=378 Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem?

    […] since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://vmmo.org/internet/does-europe%e2%80%99s-yelp-now-have-an-exit-problem/ Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem? | Magazine

    […] RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entrySo since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://vc-list.com/?p=4619 Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem? | Venture Capital & Angel Investors Lists News and Jobs

    […] since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://www.techsynd.com/2010/05/21/does-europe%e2%80%99s-yelp-now-have-an-exit-problem/ Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem? | TechSYND

    […] since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://123-sale.com/2010/05/24/searchcap-the-day-in-search-may-20-2010/ SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 20, 2010 | 123-sale.com Blogs

    […] Yell acquires TrustedPlaces for its recommendations potential, TechCrunch […]

  • http://ccna.com.ru/2010/05/21/does-europe%e2%80%99s-yelp-now-have-an-exit-problem/ Does Europe’s Yelp Now Have An Exit Problem? » technology

    […] since TrustedPlaces announced its acquisition by Yell we’ve been digging around to try and find out the purchase price. Understandably, we […]

  • http://www.lawncaremarietta.com Lawn Service Milton

    what does yell.com do exactly?

  • http://www.picciz.com Vaughn Cappiello

    The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  • http://www.awningclassics.com Awning Classics

    I agree that the fact that yell does not have any technological assets could be a big problem.

blog comments powered by Disqus