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Venture-backed Yelp prices shares for $900m valuation

2 Mar 2012

Venture capital-backed Yelp has priced 7.1 million shares for its highly anticipated initial public offering at $15 each, valuing the local business website at almost $900m.

The company has decided to price 7.1 million of its 7.15 million class A common shares at between $12 and $14 each, according to a document filed today with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yelp, which provides users with online reviews of local businesses, filed for an IPO in November last year. The offering has raised $107m for the company, which will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ‘YELP’.

The company follows in the footsteps of venture-backed peers Groupon and Facebook, which raised $700m and $5bn respectively after floating their shares within the last four months.

Founded in San Francisco in 2004, Yelp has now taken root in major cities across the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. Its most recent round of funding was led by Elevation Partners, the private equity vehicle spearheaded by U2 frontman Bono.

In January 2010 the media and entertainment-focused private equity firm agreed to invest $25m in Yelp through the purchase of series E preferred stock, with the intention of driving a further $100m into the company to pick up equity from existing shareholders.

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