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Yelp IPO To Raise $100M

11/17/2011 08:50 PM ET

Yelp IPO - Yelp, the giant local-reviews network, filed to raise as much as $100 million in an initial offering-one that, should it come off as planned, would allow the startup to boast it was right to spurn would-be suitors Google and Yahoo.

Yelp didn’t disclose a target share price or a potential market-cap valuation, which is par for the course in initial IPO filings. Fortune’s Dan Primack notes that Yelp is reportedly seeking a valuation in the $1 billion to $2 billion range.

The IPO filing is a big, but long-expected, move for Yelp, which was founded in July 2004 and has raised $56 million in venture funding to date. As of September 30, Yelp said it has roughly 61 million unique visitors every month and more than 22 million reviews.

In the nine months ended September 30, Yelp said it posted a net loss of $7.6 million on revenues of $58.4 million. That represents 80 percent revenue growth and a narrowing of the $8.6 million net loss in the year-earlier period.

While the company has grown quickly, it has long faced doubts about its ability to survive as a standalone firm, not least because of its prickly relationship with Google. Yelp has repeatedly accused Google of “scraping” its business listings and reviews of restaurants, bars, and retailers without agreement or compensation for use in its own Google Local service.

In 2010 Yelp reportedly received buyout offers from both Google and Yahoo, each in the range of $500 million. Instead, the company said “no thanks.” Yelp later received $25 million from Elevation Partners, and ever since has moved deliberately toward a public offering.

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