Chris Dixon begins this episode of Founder Stories with DoubleClick and FindTheBest Co-founder Kevin O’Conner by telling O’Connor that “DoubleClick is probably the closest thing New York has to a PayPal.” Meaning the two companies share an aptitude for hiring employees that go on to start innovative businesses. Just as Paypal spawned Yelp, YouTube, and LinkedIn, DoubleClick spawned… → Read More
“I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed.”
I’m reminded of Daniel Plainview’s admission in There Will Be Blood when thinking about Google.
While the company is still largely beloved by the public, sentiment seems to have turned against them amongst their peers, and even amongst many of the startups around Silicon Valley. While these tensions have been building for months… → Read More
The next phase of growth for local deals will be mobile. Groupon knows this, and so does Yelp, which today is rolling out Yelp Deals to its iPhone and Android apps. An update to its mobile apps that is getting pushed out today will add a new deals icon to the app. When you click on it you can see a list of nearby Yelp Deals for discounts at restaurants, spas, and other businesses. (These… → Read More
Google Places is at it again, brazenly borrowing reviews from Yelp. But this time it’s in their iPhone app and they are not even bothering to link back to Yelp or attribute where they are getting the reviews. Yelp and Google have a love-hate relationship. Yelp loves when its listings and reviews show up in natural search results, but they hate it when Google scrapes their reviews to populate… → Read More
Yelp’s international sites have been growing like crazy, with non-U.S. traffic doubling in the past year. Today, it is adding a fifth non-English international site, Spain, to its roster. (The other international Yelp sites are in France, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands).
San Francisco City Supervisors are meeting today to vote on whether companies like Twitter moving into the city’s blighted Tenderloin neighborhood will get a generous enough tax break to keep them from leaving the city. It’s an important vote for all of Twitter’s employees, as it will probably dictate whether they start commuting to Brisbane or not. And it’s an important vote for Zynga, Yelp and… → Read More
Over the last couple years, there’s been a huge surge in the suite of online services referred to collectively as ‘local’. There’s Facebook Places, which prompts users to check-in and claim deals. There’s Google Places, which recently launched its own check-in feature and also aggregates reviews from a variety of online service. And of course there’s Foursquare, which popularized the check-in… → Read More
Restaurant review company Zagat is best known for its print surveys that review and rank the best restaurants, bars and more in a particular city or region. But with the success of user-generated review site Yelp, Zagat has steadily been upgrading its online offerings, striking partnerships with Foursquare and Foodspotting and releasing mobile apps. For the most part, the company’s content has… → Read More
Last week we debuted a new show on TechCrunch TV that took us on a whirlwind tour of Scribd, the popular document sharing website. Feedback to that episode of was extremely positive, so we’re not wasting any time in bringing you another awesome tour of a hot tech company. This week’s blinged-out pad: Yelp.
We’re still taking suggestions for more companies to check out, so feel free to leave your… → Read More
Yesterday brought bad news for Elevation with a report that superstar partner Marc Bodnick was leaving the firm. The story seems to have gotten a lot more interesting today. We’re hearing reports that Bodnick isn’t simply heading for a new sexier venture firm– he’s heading to Quora to become the company’s CFO. This certainly adds some credence to those who believe Quora is more than just the next… → Read More
Google Places is now on your iPhone. If you download the app (iTunes link) you get a mobile version of Google Places, Google’s local directory. It shows you nearby restaurants, coffee shops, bars, ATMs, gas stations, hotels, and other attractions. You can also search for any category you like, just like on Google Places proper or on Google Maps for Android.
Perhaps the most important feature… → Read More
Earlier this year, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that Microsoft, not just Google, made a serious attempt to acquire business directory and reviews site Yelp. According to “two people involved in the negotiations”, the Redmond software giant even bid as high as $700 million for the company. Yelp instead opted to remain independent, for better or worse.
Yelp, which has one of the most popular apps on the iPhone, today is finally available on the iPad (iTunes link). The iPad version is built for browsing, with a double-pane experience—lists and search results on the left, profiles, maps, and photos on the right. As you scroll down each listing, the larger window on the right fills with a more detailed drill-down. But what is really different… → Read More
Lots of people argue about which place has the best pizza. But only a geek’s geek would get so obsessed that they spend a whole weekend determining as scientifically as possible exactly who’s right and who’s wrong.
They failed… → Read More
Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal ran an article pointing out how Google is increasingly favoring its own properties, in search results over natural results to outside sites which previously commanded the top spots. This practice is especially noticeable with Google Places and local results, but there are other examples as well from product and mortgage search to health search. We’ve… → Read More
Local reviews site Qype, which lets you review any venue from restaurants and bars to gyms and childcare, has raised a new funding round amounting to a combined 6.5 million euros to throw fuel onto its mobile business. Investors include Vodafone Ventures and existing backers. Currently the largest user-generated local review site in Europe (yes, it’s ahead of Yelp), Qype has raised 3.5 million… → Read More
I’ve had a checkered relationship with OpenTable. Initially, I loved it as a user, then was let down as the service evolved. For instance I found the eat-at-100-restaurants-and-get-a-measly-$20-check rewards system slightly better than a punch in the face and was annoyed that restaurants still required me to call to verify a reservation. If I had time to make a phone call, I wouldn’t have used… → Read More
Yelp got into the location battle earlier this year when the local business listings and review site started allowing users to check-in to restaurants, bars and businesses. Foursquare as long been offering deals as an incentive to check-ins, allowing users to unlock discounts and coupons when they check-in to a venue. It looks like Yelp is following in the footsteps of Foursquare once again with… → Read More
There’s been much hype, crazy valuations, and overall market excitement about businesses that promise to unleash the power of the social graph, location, recommendations and group buying. Facebook’s latest valuation according to SecondMarket is now about $30 billion, Foursquare raised $20 million at a post-money valuation of $115 million while still at a pre-revenue stage, Yelp, short of… → Read More
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.
Back in April, we noted that Google was about to escalate the so-called “location wars” by reworking and rebranding their Locale Business Center as Google Places. They’ve since done a lot of work on improving the area (despite an on-again/off-again war with Yelp over results) and they’re clearly feeling good about it. How do I know? Because starting today, they’re going to add Place results to… → Read More