• Yelp Hit With Second Extortion Lawsuit, CEO Calls It Meritless

    Last week, we reported on a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleging that Yelp was running an “extortion scheme”. Today, the company has just gotten slapped by a second, similar suit, this time coming from the D’ames Day Spa of San Diego County, which is accusing Yelp of removing many positive reviews because the spa declined to run ads on the site. In a very… Read More

  • Google, Nokia sniffing around local business review site Qype

    Hamburg, Germany based Qype, a Yelp-like site that’s focused on European markets, has recently had long acquisition looks from both Google and Nokia, we’ve heard from multiple sources. A deal with Nokia in particular was looking extremely likely until recently. The site was first launched in 2005 and today attracts 9 million monthly worldwide visitors, according to Comscore, just… Read More

  • Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An "Extortion Scheme"

    Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An "Extortion Scheme"

    Two law firms, Beck & Lee from Miami and The Weston Firm in San Diego, have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court alleging unfair business practices by local business review and rating website operator Yelp. The plaintiff in the suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, CA, is said to have requested that Yelp remove a negative review from the website, which was… Read More

  • San Quentin State Prison On Yelp: 3 Stars, Horrible Food

    No one likes the food at San Quentin State Prison. That’s the gist I get from reading its reviews on Yelp. Yes, it’s on Yelp. Maybe this shouldn’t be all that surprising since there is a museum that you can take a tour of (and they occasionally do private tours). But if you read over the reviews, a number of them are from people who have family inside or have been in themselves. Read More

  • If Google Wave Is The Future, Google Buzz Is The Present

    If Google Wave Is The Future, Google Buzz Is The Present

    See our live notes from today’s Google Buzz event here. Google has a problem. Despite having their hands in just about everything online, they’ve never been able to tackle what is a key part of the fabric of the web: social. Yes, they have Orkut and OpenSocial, but no one actually uses them. Okay, some people use them, but not in the meaningful social ways that people use Facebook… Read More

  • Citysearch Unleashes CityGrid, A Massive Local Advertising And Content Network

    The momentum around local online advertising is growing, especially with the expansion of the Web to mobile devices and flowering of Geo-mobile apps which need a way to make money. Today, Citysearch is throwing its hat into the local advertising ring with the launch of CityGrid, a set of APIs which makes all of Citysearch’s local listings content and advertising available to other… Read More

  • Loopt To Start Pushing Check-In Specials Hard Using A New App And Facebook

    When Loopt released its iPhone app alongside the App Store launch in 2008, it seemed to have everything going for it. Founder Sam Altman was given time on stage at WWDC to show off the app. It was featured prominently in the App Store for a while. And it was really one of the first hot location-based services. But then it cooled off, partially because the app needed to be open to update… Read More

  • Tagcrumbs lands on iPhone – social bookmarking for places

    [Germany] Berlin-based Tagcrumbs wants to be the YouTube for places, although a much more apt comparison might be Delicious. The location-based service, which on the surface competes with usual suspects Foursquare, Yelp, Gowalla and Germany’s own Dailyplaces, enables users to bookmark, tag and share places. This week Tagcrumbs debuted its iPhone app (iTunes link), which takes advantage… Read More

  • 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

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