Yelp to Go Public; Files for $100 Million IPO
San Francisco-based review site Yelp has decided to go public. On Thursday, the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of up to $100 million.
Yelp secured notable underwriters including Jefferies, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and has not disclosed how many shares it will offer or at what price. The amount it is currently seeking is likely to change within the next three to four months, as bankers analyze Yelp’s valuation.
According to CNN Money, reports have indicated that Yelp will seek a valuation of between $1 billion and $2 billion.
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In the filing, Yelp said it relies on website traffic from search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing. Google accounts for more than half of Yelp’s Internet search visits. But Yelp has openly criticized Google and stated that it stands the risk of taking a hit in traffic if Google tweaks its search mechanics. The company noted that it has already encountered difficulties when search engines have altered rankings to suit their own sites.
“We compete with Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing,” Yelp said. “In some instances, search engine companies may change these rankings in order to promote their own competing products or services or the products or services of one or more of our competitors.”
On the same day Yelp filed for its IPO, another online reviews site began trading its stock. Angie’s list Inc., a consumer review site for businesses like contractors, auto repair shops and dentists, raised $114 million in its initial public offering. At the end of its first day on Wall Street, Angie’s List shares closed at $16.26—a 25% increase from its IPO price of $13.
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