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.