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Summary:

Yelp, the San Francisco-based local reviews website, has filed official documents to raise up to $100 million in an IPO of its stock. The filing reveals that Yelp pulls in solid top line sales, but has yet to turn a profit at the bottom line.

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The web industry’s IPO wave is not over yet. Yelp, the San Francisco-based local reviews website, has filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of its stock.

The filing reveals that Yelp pulls in solid top line sales, but has yet to turn a profit at the bottom line. The company made $47.7 million in net revenue in 2010 and reported a net loss of $9.56 million for the year.

But despite the lack of profits, Yelp has one major thing going for it that public company investors like to see: healthy growth. The company’s net revenue for the first nine months of 2011 was $58.4 million, representing 80 percent growth from the first nine months of 2010. Its losses are apparently narrowing, as Yelp’s net loss for the first nine months of 2011 was $7.6 million, compared to the $8.45 million net loss it had during the same period in 2010.

Headcount-wise, Yelp runs a relatively tight ship: The seven-year-old company has 892 employees worldwide.

For years now, Yelp has been vocal about its plans to go public, and has recently made moves indicating that its public offering was imminent. Earlier this summer the company hired Rob Krolik to serve as its chief financial officer; Krolik’s resume includes time as the CFO of Shopping.com where he led the company through its initial public offering and subsequent sale to eBay. As we reported at that time, companies often hire IPO-savvy CFOs in the months leading up to their own stock market debuts.

Investment banks Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Jefferies, Allen & Company, and Oppenheimer & Company are all underwriting the Yelp IPO.

  1. I really do love yelp – but seriously? A 1 billion dollar valuation for a company that is not profitable and had revenues of 50 million last year? Come on…

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  2. I would not touch this one with a ten foot pole. YELP is a known extortion scheme whereby businesses who decline to advertise wind up with their positive reviews filtered and their negative reviews made prominent. A cadre of so called elite Yelpers (chronically unemployed losers) are Yelps hired guns who do the dirty work of defaming small businesses for them. If you look at the numbers for this IPO they simply do not add up. After all, how can YELP expect small businesses to advertise with a bulletin board which has already defamed them or threatens to do so? Keep in mind that this MONEY LOSING BUSINESS relies on advertising for over 60% of its revenue! To make matters even worse there are numerous class action lawsuits which have already been filed, one of which has been dismissed WITH PREJUDICE but there are many, many others in the works and the removal of links to Google searches will considerably reduce Yelp traffic.
    No wonder Jeremy Stoppelman and other top brass absconded with 36M in Series E funding for this sham IPO.

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