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 secondary offering for long time employees. These deals are now being referred to as “DST deals,” since DST first invested in Facebook in May 2009 at a $10 billion valuation and later funded employee buyouts at a $6.5 billion valuation. They did a similar deal with Zynga.
Here’s a kicker – there may have been a point in the negotiations where Bono, an Elevation Partners partner, was to be the board representative for Yelp. What we’re hearing now, though, is that it will be one of the other Elevation partners to take the board seat.
The valuation is lower than the $550+ million that Yelp turned down from Google, say our sources. It will likely be closed and announced in February.