Yelp to Gain $50 Million Round?

TechCrunch is reporting that Yelp will soon announce a new funding round of roughly $50 million. I had heard something like this during the Google-Yelp acquisition talks: that an “alternative” to the acquisition would be Yelp raising a “Zynga-like” funding round.

Let’s assume it’s an accurate report. What might that fund?

It might fund some employee buyouts/payouts, as the TC report suggests. But that’s not especially interesting, except to the employees getting the money.

It could fund further European or potentially Asian expansion. It could also fund an increase in the sales force, now standing at roughly 200 reps. It might fund a small acquisition or two.

There’s also the possibility that some money might be used for advertising to consumers or outreach to SMBs in some way other than sales.

If you were the Yelp board/management how would you spend the money, especially now that Google is coming after you with improved mobile offerings, maps everywhere and Place Pages?

Related: Inc. magazine provides a sprawling profile of Yelp. There are some revenue estimates and a few anecdotes that are interesting but there’s not much here that you don’t already know.

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4 Responses to “Yelp to Gain $50 Million Round?”

  1. Sebastien Provencher Says:

    I would spend some of it on technology (making sure they stay up to date in the “arms war”, I would continue building my direct sales team to improve monetization of current traffic and I would staff up my biz dev team to strike sales partnerships with companies that have large sales organizations.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    All good uses. The greatest challenge for Yelp is SMB ad sales (and just getting SMBs to claim and enhance listings, as it is for everyone else).

  3. Bloomberg on Yelp’s Funding Round « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] on Yelp’s Funding Round By Greg Sterling Bloomberg writes about the potential $50MM Elevation Partners investment in Yelp: Yelp is in talks with Elevation Partners LP, the biggest investor in Palm Inc., to raise [...]

  4. Yelp Gets $100M from Elevation « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] is 2X what TechCrunch originally reported as a rumor a week or so ago. Some vested employees will make money without the company having to go [...]

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