Yelp files for IPO, plans to raise $100M

Krystal Peak · November 17, 2011 · Short URL:

The business reviewing site follows up competitor Angie's List public debut with IPO filing

Yelp filed late Thursday an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange commission, signaling its intent to go public in the coming months.

The San Francisco-based social networking and review site for business says that it has generated $58.4 million in net revenue for the first nine months of 2011 and it booked a net loss of $7.6 million over the same time.

Yelp plans to raise $100 million in the initial public offering and has the intent to trade under the symbol YELP.

Goldman, Sach & Co will take the lead managing the offering.

Several organizations have estimated that a Yelp IPO could reach $2 billion.

Yelp's latest round of financing in January 2010 valued the company near $500 million and kept the public buzzing over how the company was going to be able to leverage the popular site into a money making institution.

Rival company Angie's List went public on Thursday. The new NASDAQ stock rose as high as $18 a share, up nearly 40% from the original $13 price tag.

Angie’s List sold 8.8 million shares and is currently valued at nearly $912 million.  The company took ahold of 6.3 million of the shares sold, while stockholders offered the remaining 2.5 million shares.

Yelp has more than 22 million reviews and 61 million monthly unique visitors, up 63% year-over year.

Top shareholders for the company include Bessemer Venture Partners, with 22.5%, Elevation Partners, with 22.4%, Benchmark Capital, with 16.2%, Max Levchin, with 13.8% and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman with 11.1%.

Social media analyst Lou Kerner with Liquidnet spoke with me about the inevitable IPO of Yelp earlier this morning, stating that investors are excited by companies that are showing great growth online and the ability to scale but that Yelp is in an increasingly competitive landscape.

"While Yelp is a great franchise, other sites offering reviews and daily deals do challenge the Yelp business model more than other social networking sites out there," Kerner told me.

In the coming days more analysts and competitors will get the opportunity to look into the finances that Yelp has made public and will be able to compare its business model with that of the newly public Angie's List.

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