Yelp, the popular consumer review site, is going public.
The site, which has been on the web since 2004, is readying itself for an initial public offering according to its chief executive, Jeremy Stoppelman. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Stoppelman said it will forgo another round of private funding and try for an intial public offering instead.
We could raise another private round [of funding] and push it off, but I don't see any reason to do that, Stoppelman said. Our existing model feels like a stable platform. AllThingsD recently reported Yelp was looking for a chief financial officer as part of its plan to mount an IPO.
Yelp has roughly 50 million unique visitors per month and last year alone it had approximately 15 million reviews put on the site. There are Yelp versions for eight countries, in four languages and in 50 plus cities worldwide. The company last raised money in January of 2010, when got $25 million from Elevation Partners.
In the past, Yelp has been the subject of acquisition rumors. Both Yahoo! and Google have reportedly proposed deals to buy the company for approximately $500 million, but Yelp balked at both.
The company has faced increased competition over the past year from localized coupon sites such as Groupon and Living Social, as well as services from Foursquare, Facebook and Google that help people find deals from nearby places. Yelp has yet to make a major push into the deals service.
Stoppelman told the Journal he isn't worried about competition from companies that provide the deals. That business will get less exciting. It seems better to serve deals when someone is actually searching for them, he said.
Yelp did not respond to a request for comment.