Yelp launched its local review site in Australia today and cofounder Jeremy Stoppelman traveled to the country for the occasion. Since 2004 the company has accumulated a database of more than 22 million reviews, none of which has included Australian businesses until now.
Yelp’s revenues have come from the sale of online ads on its review site to U.S. businesses. In Australia Yelp is partnering with Sensis, which is providing business listings and online advertisers.
The Australian expansion comes as Yelp is poised to raise up to $100 million in an initial public share offering next year, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The IPO could value the company at $2 billion. Not a trivial sum, but a fraction of the $100 billion Facebook hopes to generate from its IPO next year.
Yelp had an average of 61 million unique users in Q3 2011. A large base of amateur reviewers are rewarded with badges and social events. However, the company has experienced both gains and losses in 2011. Its SEC filing revealed a net loss of $7.6 million this year to Sept. 30.