It's the obvious next step, isn't it: Yelp has a huge database of businesses, perhaps the biggest on the Web. And a lot of people already rely on the site to see which businesses to give their money to. So why shouldn't help Yelp also get a piece of that business?
Yelp is getting into the delivery business with its new Yelp Platform, which it launched on Tuesday. The Platform will allow users to buy good directly from Yelp.
"Yelp connects people with great local businesses, giving users plenty of information to make spending decisions and allowing them to share those experiences online. What about those times when you discover a great business and want to book it directly on Yelp? Well, great news: today we’re introducing Yelp Platform, a new way to transact on Yelp," CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote.
Yelp Platform will not be getting all categories at once, rather they will be rolled out over the next few months. The first category on the Platform will be food, where users can have it either delivered or can go pick it up themselves.
"Starting now, people can order food directly from a select number of restaurants supported by delivery.com and Eat24, like NYC's Harry's Italian Pizza Bar and Layaly Mediterranean Grill in SF. Eventually, consumers will be able to order whatever meal they’re craving for delivery or pickup at thousands of local restaurants across the US, directly from those businesses’ Yelp listings," said Stoppelman.
Other categories coming down the line include spas, yoga studios, salons and dentist appointments starting with Booker, Intuit’s Demandforce and MindBody.
The Yelp is available on both the desktop, web and iOS mobile versions of Yelp. The capability will be added to Android soon as well.
"We know people want an easy, streamlined consumer experience, and Yelp Platform is the next step in directly connecting users with millions of great local businesses," Stoppelman said.
The delivery space
There is good reason for Yelp to enter the delivery business: it is a hot space, with a number of companies recently raising money.
Less than a year after snagging $50 million in a Series D round of funding, global online food ordering service Delivery Hero announced earlier this month that it has raised an additional $30 million. The Berlin-based company has raised over $132 million since its founding in 2010.
In June, home goods e-commerce company WorldStores raised £10 million ($15.35 million), and in April, Madison Color, a company that delivers home hair care supplies, closed a $4 million Series A funding round .
In March, same-day delivery service Deliv closed a $1 million funding round and in October of last year e-commerce same-day delivery service Shutl raised $3.2 million, following a $2 million investment in August.
(Image source: http://officialblog.yelp.com)