Yelp will need to get some momentum going outside of New York and San Francisco if it hopes to fend off the growing local review threat coming out of the Googleplex.
Yelp Inc., a U.S. website seeking to compete with Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. in online reviews of products and services, bought European peer Qype GmbH to boost its user base and sales workforce abroad.
Yelp paid about $50 million for Qype, including 18.6 million euros ($24.1 million) in cash and 970,000 shares of its Class A common stock, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement today.
The company, started by CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in 2004, lets users post reviews of neighborhood businesses ranging from plumbers to pet shops on the Web. As Google and Facebook boost local content, Yelp is adding mobile features and using a partnership with Apple Inc. to integrate local content into software for the iPhone and iPad devices.
Closely held Qype, founded in Hamburg in 2006 and with operations in Germany and the U.K., has about 15 million unique visitors every month in 13 countries, according to the statement. That adds to the 78 million unique visitors Yelp reported in the three months through June.
“We have built a solid foundation in Europe, and this acquisition should significantly increase our international presence,” Stoppelman said in the statement. “Qype will help Yelp become the de facto choice” for local information searches in Britain and Germany.
The U.S. company also said today that third-quarter revenue was probably $36.4 million. That exceeded the $35.7 million average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The net loss amounted to $2 million, it said. Yelp said it plans to update its full-year forecast and provide a fourth-quarter target on Nov. 1.
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