Yelp has gone ahead and filed an initial public offering for $100 million of Class A common stock on Thursday.
The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that Yelp has secured some heavyweight underwriters, chiefly Jefferies, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. However, the report did not cite any specific valuation that Yelp intends to declare just yet.
But CNN Money cites reports that Yelp will seek out a valuation ranging between $1 billion and $2 billion.
Here are some interesting numbers included in the document:
So why does Yelp think it can reach its IPO and maintain a successful business? Essentially, here's the answer:
Online Reviews are Gaining Credibility. With the growth of the Internet, online reviews have become a regularly relied-upon source of information. According to a 2011 survey of U.S. consumers conducted by Cone Communications, a public relations and marketing agency, 87% of respondents said that positive information they read online reinforced their decision to purchase a product or service and 64% of respondents said that they go online to search for customer or user reviews.
We believe consumers are drawn to our platform because Yelp reviews reflect recent, firsthand experiences from the community that help consumers find the best local businesses for their everyday needs. The Yelp platform is free and easy to use and has broad demographic appeal, serving local communities in the United States and internationally.
Yelp's decision to go public didn't exactly come out of nowhere. The San Francisco-based reviews site launched in 2004, so one might argue this has been a long time coming.
Furthermore, co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman recently touched on the matter briefly while at TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 in September, explaining that Yelp was planning to go public within "reasonable time frame."
The time is now.