• Yelp Taking Big Investment From Elevation Partners

    Yelp, fresh off of leaving Google at the altar, is closing a hefty fifth round of financing from Elevation Partners, say multiple sources. The deal isn’t closed yet, says one source, but the guys at Elevation Partners have been telling friends that it’s a done deal. The size of the rounds is in the $50 million range, but includes both a primary investment component as well as a… Read More

  • Foursquare Not Flattered By Yelp Check-Ins

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But Foursquare doesn’t seem too tickled by Yelp’s newest feature. On Friday, Yelp fired a major shot across the bow of the location-based services with the launch of the latest version of its iPhone app. The app’s big new feature is the ability to check-in at venues in cities, which is of course exactly what Foursquare is built around. Read More

  • Hyperlocal Business Directory MerchantCircle Signs Up Millionth Merchant

    Hyperlocal business directory MerchantCircle has been steadily growing as an online network and business directory for merchants in smaller towns to advertise to consumers. MerchantCircle has long targeted its site’s features towards merchants versus catering towards the consumer, as sites like Yelp and CitySearch do. Today, the network has hit a milestone by signing up its one… Read More

  • Wahanda Aims To Become Yelp-Meets-Groupon-For-Health

    We first covered Wahanda, a social network for people who use spas and other “wellness” products, way, way back in 2008 but they’ve been busy. After raising £1.5 million to become the ‘Amazon of wellness’ it’s now built the world’s biggest vertical database of health and beauty spas via their Yelp-like social network. Wahanda now has 10,000 venues… Read More

  • Yelp Enables Check-Ins On Its iPhone App; Foursquare, Gowalla Ousted As Mayors

    When you think of the idea of “checking-in” at a venue in a mobile app, you likely think of Foursquare or Gowalla right now. The two gained significant momentum, funding, and users in the location space in 2009. But even with the growth, both services are still relatively small, neither much bigger than 200,000 users. That’s why much larger social networks like Facebook… Read More

  • The Top Ten IPO Candidates For 2010

    It’s been a long drought for IPOs, but venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs are hopeful that 2010 will be the year they rain down on the Valley once gain. Earlier this year, a handful of IPOs trickled out, such as OpenTable, Rackspace, and A123Systems. But what people are really waiting for is another Netscape moment—an iconic IPO which will whet investor’s appetites… Read More

  • A Peek At ReachLocal's $100 Million IPO Filing: It's All About Building A Local Ad Sales Army

    In the wake of Google’s dalliance with Yelp, another online local advertising company, ReachLocal, filed for an IPO today to raise $100 million. In a guest post yesterday, Paul Kedrosky suggested that startups like Yelp and others may opt to try their luck with IPOs instead of trying to be acquired. It looks like ReachLocal is ready to get the IPO ball rolling again. ReachLocal provides… Read More

  • Are Startups Getting Crazy, Or Just IPO Crazy?

    Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Paul Kedrosky, a senior fellow at the Kaufman Foundation who blogs regularly about venture capital and finance at Infectious Greed. Yelp may have just turned down a half-billion dollar takeover offer from Google. Zynga does a crazy-big $180m funding. Not long ago,Twitter took another $100-million in financing, and now we learn it’s . . . Read More

  • Yelp Walks Away From Google Deal, And Half A Billion Dollars

    Jeremy Stoppleman, the CEO of Yelp, has walked away from an all-but-signed deal to be acquired by Google for more than half a billion dollars. The deal was, as we wrote late last week, in the later stages of negotiation. The two companies had agreed on a price – around $550 million plus earnouts – and were working through the final details of the acquisition. Then something… Read More

  • Loopt Ventures Into Yelp's Territory With New Local Reviews Site

    Before there was Gowalla or Foursquare, there was location-based social network Loopt. Launched in 2006, Loopt was one of the pioneers of the location-based mobile social network. And Loopt has gained a huge number of users of its mobile apps; the social network currently has 3 million mobile users, 1 million of which are on the iPhone. Compared to Foursquare and Gowalla, which have 150,000… Read More

  • Google In Discussions To Acquire Yelp For A Half Billion Dollars Or More

    Google and Yelp are in advanced acquisition negotiations, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. And while the deal isn’t done, we’ve heard that it’s very likely to close. The price is supposedly at least $500 million. Yelp was founded in 2004 as a way to let users leave reviews on local businesses. Comscore puts worldwide traffic at nearly 9 million monthly unique… Read More

  • Exclusive: Qype reveals global traffic and plans for social

    Last week I met with Stephan Uhrenbacher, the founder and chairman of Qype, the European startup which competes most directly with Yelp in local reviews and listings. He revealed to me some exclusive information about where Qype is now. In Jan 2009 Qype had 8m uniques across Europe. As with Yelp, Qype members evaluate businesses, places or services such as bars, restaurants, stores, petrol… Read More

  • Qype Makes Europe Tough For Yelp, Reveals Traffic And Social Plans

    Last week I met with Stephan Uhrenbacher, the founder and chairman of Qype, the European startup which competes most directly with Yelp in local reviews and listings. He revealed to me some exclusive information about where Qype is now. In Jan 2009 Qype had 8m uniques across Europe. As with Yelp, Qype members evaluate businesses, places or services such as bars, restaurants, you name it. Today… Read More

  • Foursquare Faces A Rummble In The Jungle

    Social mobile location startup Rummble has gradually been updating its service over the last few weeks to meet the oncoming competition from new kids of the block like Foursquare. As we prefaced recently in the Summer, today it’s launched a new Android app for its service (download here). Rummble has had an iPhone app for a while and a Windows Mobile version is in the works. Furthermore… Read More

  • Yelp Is Growing 80 Percent A Year, While Citysearch Remains Flat

    Say what you will about the quality of the reviews on Yelp or the lengths it will go to get verboten features into its iPhone app, it has made the jump from Web 2.0 darling to a mainstream service. Over the past year, Yelp has nearly doubled its U.S. audience, while incumbent CitySearch has remained flat. In July, Yelp had 8.6 million unique U.S. visitors, up 80 percent from a year ago. … Read More

  • How Yelp May Have Further Harmed The App Store Approval Process With Its Easter Egg

    Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Matt Galligan, CEO of CrashCorp, a company working on a product called SimpleGeo providing “location as a service” as well as an Augmented Reality SDK for app developers. (We covered their founding here.) As such, Galligan clearly has a stake in the AR game, but he was genuinely surprised by the revelation of the AR element to… Read More

  • Yelp Launches Bing-Powered Blackberry App

    We’ve written about the many iterations of Yelp’s iPhone app and today, Yelp has broadened its mobile horizons by launching the much awaited Blackberry Yelp app. You can download it here. Similar to the iPhone app, the Blackberry app uses location-aware technology to determine your current location and will then let you search for nearby businesses, read reviews and access a… Read More

  • Yelp iPhone V.3 Hits The AppStore – Find Local Deals

    Yelp keeps rolling out new iPhone apps with compelling features. In April they released version 2 and added the ability for users to leave reviews on local businesses, a much needed feature since people want to chronicle their experiences as they happen. Version 3, which should be available soon, adds more useful features. The one that really stands out is “Sales And Offers Near… Read More

  • Qype – What's the latest at the "European Yelp"?

    I met Qype last week at the Seedcamp Speed Dating event as part of the Traveling Geeks tour.  Here’s a quick heads-up if you’re new to it: Qype is a way to discover new places (restaurants, events, nightlife, sports, etc.) with a focus on European cities, by going through other users’ reviews and feedback. There are many categories for each vertical, along with a simple to… Read More

  • MojoPages Raises $5 Million For White Label Local Business Search Engine

    MojoPages, a local listings search engine, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Austin Ventures. MojoPages’s search technology powers local business listing search engines for local newspapers, and TV and radio stations. Originally a stand alone search engine site for business listings, the company found that it could not compete with bigger players like Citysearch and Yelp. Read More

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