After already launching in France and the UK, Germany and Spain were the other first tier countries that were missing in Yelp’s initial European roll out phase. It’s likely, therefore, that Spain will be next.
Today’s move was long expected and as a result, European Yelp equivalents Qype and Tupalo will need to fight harder than ever to compete with Yelp’s aggressive expansion strategy and controversial practices. Compared to some of the smaller European startups in the space, Yelp also has a lot of cash in the bank having raised an unconfirmed and unattributed amount of funding in January thought to be in the $50m range and with that Google deal not happening they clearly want to grow and become the world’s primary local reviews site.
In a blog post, Yelp’s COO Geoff Donaker, also mentioned that they plan to reach out to local communities via Community Managers in Berlin and Munich to begin with and expand from there.
I wouldn’t therefore be surprised if Yelp’s Spain launch is as little as weeks away. For now though, Qype in return is definitely still the dominant player in these territories with strong local communities and very healthy traffic.