Yelp continues with its march across Europe to build up its reach in local listings in the region. Today, the company announced the acquisition of Cityvox, a reviews site in France that focuses on restaurants and nightlife and “providing great consumer insights for businesses ranging from restaurants and brassieres to cinemas and clubs, basically any business falling into the restaurant and nightlife categories,” writes Mike Ghaffary, VP Business & Corporate Development at Yelp in the blog post.
And, as Yelp continues to turn up the heat on Google in the regulatory arena in Europe, now as a formal complainant in the EU antitrust-search investigations, some of the logic of why they are getting more vocal in Brussels is getting clearer: it wants to ramp up in Europe, and it doesn’t want to be handicapped right out of the starting gates.
“The acquisition of Cityvox further illustrates Yelp’s commitment to the development of the European market and clearly underlines our goal of becoming the go-to local business review site internationally,” writes Ghaffary.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed but we are trying to find out. It is not clear how many users or listings Cityvox had, and it only names one investor in its Crunchbase profile, Frabice Grinda, a very prolific angel investor in Europe, who put in an undisclosed amount back in 2000, the year Cityvox was founded.
The Cityvox deal comes less than a week after Yelp announced another European acquisition, that of Restaurant Kritik in Germany — also in a deal where the terms were not disclosed. In the recent past it also acquired Qype in the UK — a deal that was worth $50 million.
Purchases like these give Yelp a potentially quick way of building up its inventory in specific countries, and also acquiring existing user bases.
It’s not clear whether Yelp will keep Cityvox branding or integrate it on to the wider Yelp platform, although it sounds like the latter: “We are looking forward to integrating this review and photo content into Yelp and putting it at the service of consumers throughout France, whether they be locals or one of the millions of annual visitors to the culture-rich country,” Ghaffary notes.
Groupon, one of Yelp’s rivals in the U.S. vying to “own” local merchant relationships, has taken years to integrate the many acquisitions that it has made in different geographies — some of which still operate on separate platforms even if they all retain Groupon branding.