Last week it looked almost certain that Yelp would sign a deal with Google. However, sources now reveal that Yelp has decided to back out of the deal.
Yelp, which was founded in 2004 by two former employees of PayPal, is a local review website that allows users to read or write reviews about various businesses. Their revenues in 2009 will be around $30 million and are expected to touch $50 million in 2010.
comScore has estimated that Yelp receive nearly 9 million unique monthly visitors, though the company claims that they get close to 25 million unique visitors per month.
Google has been developing its own local business directory, with Place Pages and Google Maps, wanted to have Yelp on their side, and were believed to have offered them around $550 million plus earnouts to do so.
Talks were believed to be at a very advanced stage and the deal looked almost certain to go through. But, almost at the last minute, something made CEO Jeremy Stoppleman change his mind, and he has turned down Google’s offer.
It is not yet known what influenced this turn around, but speculations are rife that some other big company, possibly Apple or Microsoft, made a counter offer or a strategic deal with Yelp, which has caused this sudden change of heart.