It’s not long since local reviews site Yelp made its first step into German speaking territory with the launch of a localised version for Germany. But now we’re hearing that the US company is about to embark on the next logical step by launching in Austria, Germany’s smaller neighbour.
Right now, Yelp.at is still redirecting to its Top Level Domain, but we expect that to change at midnight tonight, a move that has probably been long expected by local competitors Qype and Tupalo. Both companies have a significant userbase in Austria where Tupalo is in fact headquartered.
Yelp of course has plenty of cash in the bank to take the fight to local rivals and looks to have been hiring ready for the Austrian launch. A few weeks ago a “US-American local reviews site” was reportedly looking for people who’d like to contribute to a new web startup in Austria in the form of reviews and in exchange for payment. No mention of Yelp in the job advert but it’s not hard to put two and two together.
We’re also hearing that Yelp will not have an Austrian office for the time being and that monetization via advertising won’t be ramped up until 2011, which might give the likes of Qype and Tupalo a little breathing space for the time being at least.