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Local reviews site seals deal with Vodafone to have Qype app pre-installed on Blackberry and Android
Qype, the Yelp of Europe, announced Tuesday that it has raised 3.5 million euros (about $4.72 million) from Vodafone Ventures and a further 3.0 million euros (about $4.05 million) from its existing three investors, Advent Venture Partners, Partech International and Wellington Partners, for a total of 6.5 million euros ($8.77 million). This is Qype’s second major funding round.
The similarities between Qype and Yelp are numerous, and why not? Founded in 2004, San Francisco-based Yelp at the end of 2009 managed to attract Google as a potential buyer, and rumors said the deal would go down for a half billion dollars. Though the deal never happened, it proved the outstanding value of the location-based reviews site.
Launched in 2006, Qype allows users to browse and add reviews for restaurants, hotels, bars and pretty much any other kind of establishment that you might recommend (or not) to a close friend. Business owners can claim their listing in order to guarantee that all the details are accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, businesses can pay a fee to have their listing appear higher than others.
Qype is the largest provider of this kind of service in Europe, serving over 17 million unique monthly visitors from 158,000 towns and cities. Over 600,000 businesses have been reviewed on the site. The Qype iPhone app launched in January of this year, followed by Blackberry and Android versions, covering the most important mobile bases.
As part of the deal, Qype and Vodafone have partnered to introduce co-branded Blackberry and Android devices with Qype pre-installed. The phones will be made available in UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, and Germany.
It is absolutely imperative that Qype push its efforts in the mobile space, especially as Yelp tries to expand to Europe. Review and recommendation services like Yelp and Qype are powerful tools in front of a computer screen, but their usability skyrockets when on the go. Being able to search for a restaurant or bar in the city while actually roaming around the city is one of the coolest tools to come out of more widespread mobile usage.
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Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your world. You already know that asking friends is the best way to find restaurants, dentists, hairstylists, and anything local. Yelp makes it fast and easy by collecting and organizing your friends' recommendations in one convenient place.
...the ultimate city guide that taps into the community's voice and reveals honest and current insights on local businesses and services on everything from martinis to mechanics.
...just real people, writing real reviews, and that's the real deal.
...a fun and engaging place for passionate and opinionated influencers to share the experiences they've had with local businesses and services.
...the definitive local guide in the San Francisco Bay Area and a force to be reckoned with in Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle. But really, we're everywhere. From Austin to Madison and everywhere in between, reviews are coming in from all over the country!
...word of mouth marketing - amplified. Savvy local marketers now have a great channel to effectively target local consumers.
Since July 2004, co-founders Jeremy Stoppelman (CEO) and Russel Simmons (CTO) and their Yelp crew have been striving to make life better for people who love to patronize great local businesses. Discovering accurate information on local establishments has never been this entertaining. Writing reviews has never been this fun, easy and addictive!