Yelp is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, hosts and markets Yelp.com and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses. The company also trains small businesses to respond to reviews responsibly, hosts social events for reviewers, and provides basic data about businesses, such as hours of operation.Yelp was founded in 2004 by former Paypal employees at the startup incubator MRL Ventures. It was initially an unsuccessful email-based referral service, but was re-launched on the basis of unsolicited online reviews in late 2005. Yelp grew quickly and raised several rounds of funding. By 2010 it had $30 million in revenues and the website had published more than 4.5 million crowd-sourced reviews. From 2009–2012, Yelp expanded throughout Europe and Asia. In 2009 it entered negotiations with Google for a potential acquisition, but a deal was never reached. Yelp became a public company in March 2012 and became profitable for the first time two years later. As of 2014, Yelp.com has 132 million monthly visitors and 57 million reviews. The company's revenues come from businesses being reviewed on the site paying to advertise.According to BusinessWeek, Yelp has "always had a complicated relationship with small businesses." Some of the disputes between Yelp and business owners are regarding businesses that fraudulently write reviews on their own locations, accusations of Yelp manipulating reviews to extort advertising spend, concerns about the authenticity of reviews as well as the privacy and freedom of speech of reviewers. Wikipedia.
News Article | October 28, 2015
Yelp just released its financial results for Q3, beating Wall Street expectations with revenue of $143.6 million, and earnings per share of $0.03. Net revenue was up 40% year over year. Yelp’s cumulative reviews grew 35% year over year reaching 90 million while app unique devices grew 39% to about 20 million on a monthly average basis. Local advertising accounts grew 37% year over year to about 104,200. Local ad revenue totaled $115.9 million for the quarter. Transactions revenue was $12 million and brand advertising revenue was $9 million. Other revenue was $6.7 million. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, “We executed well this quarter. Consumers are increasingly discovering our app, which represents approximately 70% of engagement across our entire ecosystem. We believe that our highly engaging app, combined with our native local advertising products that generate high ROI for our customers, strongly positions us to capture the large market opportunity.” “We are pleased with our 40% year over year revenue growth,” added CFO Rob Krolik. “We are investing in the business through our marketing programs and continued sales team growth as we work to achieve our goal of becoming the leading destination for consumers connecting with great local businesses.” Yelp shares quickly jumped 7% in after hours trading upon the release. Here’s the release in its entirety: SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects consumers with great local businesses, today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015. Net loss in the third quarter of 2015 was $(8.1) million, or $(0.11) per share, compared to a net income of $3.6 million, or $0.05 per share, in the third quarter of 2014. Non-GAAP net income, which consists of net income excluding stock-based compensation and amortization was$2.7 million, or $0.03 per share, for the third quarter of 2015. Net revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $396.0 million, an increase of 48% compared to$267.6 million in the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was$51.6 million compared to $45.8 million in the first nine months of 2014. Net loss for the nine months endedSeptember 30, 2015 was $(10.7) million, or $(0.14) per share, compared to net income of $3.7 million, or $0.05per share, in the comparable period in 2014. Non-GAAP net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $19.9 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $25.8 million, or $0.34 per share, in the comparable period in 2014. “We executed well this quarter,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s chief executive officer. “Consumers are increasingly discovering our app, which represents approximately 70% of engagement across our entire ecosystem. We believe that our highly engaging app, combined with our native local advertising products that generate high ROI for our customers, strongly positions us to capture the large market opportunity.” “We are pleased with our 40% year over year revenue growth,” added Rob Krolik, Yelp’s chief financial officer. “We are investing in the business through our marketing programs and continued sales team growth as we work to achieve our goal of becoming the leading destination for consumers connecting with great local businesses.” Yelp is providing its outlook for the fourth quarter and updated outlook for the full year of 2015. To access the call, please dial 1 (800) 708-4539, or outside the U.S. 1 (847) 619-6396, with Passcode 40935655, at least five minutes prior to the 1:30 p.m. PT start time. A live webcast of the call will also be available at http://www.yelp-ir.com under the Events & Presentations menu. An audio replay will be available between 4:00 p.m. PT October 28, 2015 and 11:59 p.m. PT November 4, 2015 by calling 1 (888) 843-7419 or 1 (630) 652-3042, with Passcode 40935655. The replay will also be available on the Company’s website at http://www.yelp-ir.com. Yelp Inc. (http://www.yelp.com) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Franciscoin July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken hold in major metros across 32 countries. Approximately 89 million unique visitors visited Yelp via their mobile device3, including 20 million unique devices accessing the Yelp app1, and approximately 79 million unique visitors visited Yelp via a desktop computer4 on a monthly average basis during the third quarter of 2015. By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written approximately 90 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. 1 Calculated as the number of unique devices accessing the app on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period, according to internal Yelp logs. 2 Local advertising accounts comprise all local business accounts from which we recognize local advertising revenue in a given three-month period. 3 Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via mobile web plus unique devices accessing the app, each on a monthly average basis over a given three-month period. 4 Calculated as the number of “users,” as measured by Google Analytics, accessing Yelp via desktop computer on an average monthly basis over a given three-month period. This press release includes information relating to adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share, each of which the Securities and Exchange Commission has defined as a “non-GAAP financial measure.” Adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share have been included in this press release because they are key measures used by Yelp management and board of directors to understand and evaluate core operating performance and trends, to prepare and approve its annual budget and to develop short- and long-term operational plans. The presentation of this financial information, which is not prepared under any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”). Adjusted EBITDA and non-GAAP net income have limitations as analytical tools, and you should not consider them in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of Yelp’s financial results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are: Because of these limitations, you should consider adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share alongside other financial performance measures, including various cash flow metrics, net income (loss) and Yelp’s other GAAP results. Additionally, Yelp has not reconciled its adjusted EBITDA outlook for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 to its net income (loss) outlook because it does not provide an outlook for other income (expense) and provision for income taxes, which are reconciling items between net income (loss) and adjusted EBITDA. As items that impact net income (loss) are out of Yelp’s control and cannot be reasonably predicted, Yelp is unable to provide such an outlook. Accordingly, reconciliation to net income (loss) outlook for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 is not available without unreasonable effort. For a reconciliation of historical non-GAAP financial measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures, see the non-GAAP reconciliations included below in this press release. This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the future performance of Yelp and its consolidated subsidiaries that are based on Yelp’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2015, Yelp’s ability to capture a meaningful share of the large local market, Yelp’s expectations regarding local advertising as the primary driver of growth, Yelp’s estimates regarding local advertisers’ ROI on advertising spend, the future growth in Yelp revenue and continued investing by Yelp in its future growth, Yelp’s ability to drive daily usage and engagement (particularly on mobile), increase awareness of Yelp among consumers, and deliver value to local businesses, Yelp’s ability to take advantage of trends toward app usage and native advertising and to become the leading destination for consumers connecting with great local businesses. Yelp’s actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: Yelp’s short operating history in an evolving industry; Yelp’s ability to generate sufficient revenue to maintain profitability, particularly in light of its significant ongoing sales and marketing expenses; Yelp’s ability to successfully manage acquisitions of new businesses, solutions or technologies, such as Eat24, and to integrate those businesses, solutions or technologies; Yelp’s reliance on traffic to its website from search engines like Google and Bing; Yelp’s ability to generate and maintain sufficient high quality content from its users; maintaining a strong brand and managing negative publicity that may arise; maintaining and expanding Yelp’s base of advertisers; changes in political, business and economic conditions, including any European or general economic downturn or crisis and any conditions that affect ecommerce growth; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; Yelp’s ability to deal with the increasingly competitive local search environment; Yelp’s need and ability to manage other regulatory, tax and litigation risks as its services are offered in more jurisdictions and applicable laws become more restrictive; the competitive and regulatory environment while Yelp continues to expand geographically and introduce new products and as new laws and regulations related to Internet companies come into effect; Yelp’s ability to timely upgrade and develop its systems, infrastructure and customer service capabilities. The forward-looking statements in this release do not include the potential impact of any acquisitions or divestitures that may be announced and/or completed after the date hereof. More information about factors that could affect Yelp’s operating results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Yelp’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q at http://www.yelp-ir.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release, which are based on information available to Yelp on the date hereof. Yelp assumes no obligation to update such statements.
News Article | October 28, 2015
It appears Big Blue might be close to securing a big digital acquisition. Shares of International Business Machines are up slightly off the news. Let's take a look at tech stocks to watch Wednesday: IBM. The tech giant could announce a deal Wednesday to acquire the digital and data assets of The Weather Channel owner Weather Co., reports The Wall Street Journal. The acquisition is valued at $2 billion. Weather Co. CEO David Kenny will reportedly join IBM's once the deal closes. Twitter. Wall Street is not happy with the social network's stalled user growth. Shares are down 11% after the company reported 320 million monthly active users in the third quarter, missing estimates. Twitter also fell short of analyst forecasts for its fourth-quarter outlook. Apple. Shares of the iPhone maker are up nearly 2% as a huge bump in fourth quarter earnings and revenue were offset by a weaker-than-expected outlook for the first quarter. During the fourth quarter, Apple sold 48 million iPhones and earned $11.1 billion. Yelp. The online recommendations site announces third quarter earnings after the markets close. Analysts forecast Yelp will report a loss of 9 cents a share off $141.42 million in revenue.
News Article | October 29, 2015
The days where the biggest companies and the smallest startups all had an equal opportunity to build a following online have long gone. David and Goliath are at it again and this time the battle is online. Armed with better engineers and software designers from around the world, the biggest web giants are defining what people expect online. 1. Important section need to be in the text Startups may struggle at first to get a foothold, but there are some simple design techniques they can use to make their site a whole lot friendlier and win over the internet. Here are the easiest styling and design tips you can implement right away. 2. Needs to be responsive More than half the people who visit your website now are on mobile. Screen sizes used to be standard laptop or desktop monitor sizes not too long ago but now they’ve gone in all directions. Some are tiny while others are huge and your website needs to fit them all. This SEO agency in Syracuse explains how the expectations of visitors are shaped by the responsiveness of the site on the device they pick. Online reviews are the virtual equivalent of word of mouth marketing and can often lead to more customers. Ask anyone how they got better responses online and they’ll instantly point to reviews online. Start by claiming both your Google and Yelp presence and manage the reviews appropriately. Ask the negative reviewers what can be done to improve and always thank those who took the time to comment positively on your profile. Reviews go a long way towards improving your company’s performance. SEO and social media now go hand in hand. A better social media presence could often lead to better rankings on Google and this will determine how well your investments in SEO are really doing. Take the time to construct an online presence that will not only enhance your reach but also position your brand a certain way. Start by creating a business profile on the largest social media platforms out there and slowly master them to fine tune your online marketing. Search engine optimization will help to boost your web traffic and this leads to better results for your website. Optimize the images you use and the way the navigation works. Images that take too long to load or are not crisp enough will turn people away and once gone they’ll never head back. On the other hand, navigation needs to be as clear and simple as possible. Try to construct a website that flows effortlessly and leads a person from the top to the call-to-action button in no time. Remember, if they have to exert too much effort in getting your site to work, they will be less likely to visit it again. The takeaway is that there are always ways in which a website could be improved and a startup founder should essentially start with the basics to get things right.
News Article | November 4, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO -- Creating online accounts can be as easy as registering your email address, but deleting them is an entirely different story. For some popular online services, such as Spotify and Netflix, deleting your data can be more tiresome than cutting through thick cable, if not altogether impossible. But it's more than just frustrating. Experts say online companies' habit of storing account data indefinitely puts consumers at risk. If those services get hacked, as was the case with Ashley Madison, or purchased by other companies, customer information ends up in the hands of different people and organizations -- from the annoying to the downright nefarious. Unreasonable policies around data retention can also be bad for business. “Deleting user accounts for websites and apps can often be an unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming process,” said Steve Black, CEO of Techboomers, a website that teaches older consumers how to navigate popular online services. “Frustrating users by making them jump through hoops to delete their accounts is surely going to eliminate all chance of them ever coming back.” Among the worst culprits are companies that make consumers jump through countless hoops before finally relenting and agreeing to delete their accounts and data. This is a “wrongheaded approach” that companies think will lock in users and keep them from leaving their services, said Rainey Reitman, activism director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “While this might seem to make sense in the short term, long term this will only create frustration and resentment for users who feel trapped,” Reitman said. Other services, like Netflix, refuse to delete users’ data. That’s because data is a valuable asset that companies can use for a number of things, ranging from creating personalized marketing that can be used to draw users back in or by simply holding on to it to retain accounts. A worst-case scenario played out earlier this year when the extramarital-affairs dating site Ashley Madison was hacked. There, users were forced to pay $19 to fully delete their data, an obstacle designed to keep them from fully leaving the service, but even for those who did pay, their information was also exposed due to Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media not fully deleting their information. As a result, Avid Life Media is now facing a class-action lawsuit. “These companies are there only for subscription growth, so they actually will do everything they can to keep you connected in some form so that in case you change your mind, it’s easy to come back,” said Johnny Won, founder of Hyperstop, a consultancy firm. Currently, consumers have few laws to protect them from companies who want to hold their data hostage or make it difficult for them to delete their accounts, said Bradley S. Shear, an attorney who specializes in social media and privacy law. The U.S. is starting to take baby steps toward giving consumers more protection, with California this year implementing "Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World," the Federal Trade Commission last year fining Snapchat for not doing enough to protect user data and the Supreme Court on Monday hearing a case that could potentially make it easier for consumers to bring class-action lawsuits against Internet companies. The FTC is "moving toward trying to get a handle on these issues and to really help consumers," Shear said. Below are five popular online services that are also among the worst websites when it comes to letting users delete their accounts, according to Techboomers. Spotify requires that users message its customer service before it will delete their accounts. Dado Ruvic/Reuters Canceling a Spotify subscription is actually fairly easy (just head here), but deleting your account and your data from the service is a trying task that takes numerous steps, lots of time, patience and persistence. Users who want to delete their accounts must head to Spotify.com’s Contact page and then select “Contact form.” Next, they should choose “Account,” followed by "I want to close my Spotify account permanently." Avoid the option that says “How can I close my Spotify account?,” as it will send you into an outrageously frustrating feedback loop, and instead click on “I Still Need Help.” That will open up a dialogue box where users can tell Spotify that they want to delete their account and why. This process might take numerous back-and-forth messages between users and the company before Spotify will finally close the accounts, but Spotify does seem to delete your data if you are persistent enough. Spotify did not respond to a request for comment. Groupon is among a number of services that tries to keep users locked in by making it difficult for them to close their accounts. Cindy Ord/Getty Images For NYCWFF Groupon is great for quickly finding a deal, but it’s the exact opposite if you want to delete your account. Users who want to leave Groupon must click on “Help” in the top right corner of the company’s website, and then click “FAQ” on the next page. There, users should type "I want to delete my account" into the dialogue box next to "What can we help you with?" and hit enter. This action will pull up a bunch of help pages. Click on “I have a Groupon account I'd like to close,” which is where Groupon specifies that it “can permanently delete your account on request,” but doesn’t explain where you can make this request. For now, try tweeting at Groupon and letting them know you want to close your account. Groupon did not respond to a request for comment. Skype customer service can take as long as one month to delete users' accounts after the request is put in, according to Techboomers. Dado Ruvic/Reuters Skype was once the top tool for video calls, but now there’s a bunch of other great options, including Apple’s FaceTime, Google Hangouts and even Snapchat. So if you want to delete your Skype account you can, but it won’t be easy. First, users have to head to Skype’s support page and log in. In the following menus choose "Account and Password" followed by "Deleting an account," and then click on “Next.” On the following page, select "Text chat support," and on the page that comes up, hit “Next” again. Then on the next page, users can finally choose “Start chat.” Once you finally start speaking with a Skype representative, tell that person that you want to permanently close your account and that you want your Skype name removed from the company’s directory. You’ll probably be asked some questions, but if you answer them, you should be fine. Techboomers warns that it can take as long as one month for Skype, a Microsoft unit, to finally remove you from its service. Skype did not respond to a request for comment. Closing Yelp requires users to deal with the company's customer service, a process akin to cutting cable. Jim Young/Reuters Yelp is yet another service like Spotify that requires users to contact the company’s support team if they want to delete their account. While logged in, users can head to this page, where Yelp asks users to explain why they wish to close their account. Explain your situation and send off the message. “Yelp should process your request within the next few days, and your account will be permanently gone,” Techboomers says on its delete Yelp page. “When a user account is closed, Yelp removes any content they've posted (reviews, photos, tips, etc.) and we want to be sure users are aware of this before that content is permanently deleted," Yelp told International Business Times in a statement. Netflix users can cancel their subscriptions at any time, but they have to wait a year before Netflix will delete their accounts, unless they specifically request Netflix do that. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images As frustrating as Spotify, Groupon, Skype and Yelp are, at least users get their accounts deleted in a reasonable amount of time. That’s not the case with Netflix. Sure, canceling a Netflix subscription is no big deal (just head to your account page, click the great big “Cancel Membership” button and take it from there), but Netflix makes it much more difficult for users to delete their accounts. "Netflix deletes user accounts automatically within a year of a user ending their subscription and earlier if the user requests it," a Netflix spokeswoman told the International Business Times following the publication of this story. To request that Netflix delete your account, try contacting them over social media or head to their Help Page, scroll to the bottom and contact them over instant message or on the phone. If you haven’t signed up for Netflix yet, beware of this little detail, and perhaps consider Amazon or Hulu instead, both of which do let users delete their accounts more quickly. If you would rather not give up your data to these services, there are a few things you can do. For starters, many of these services have several competitors, some of which may give users an easier time when it comes to deleting data. Additionally, some experts recommend registering for services using an email address that isn’t linked to your other online activity. “If you’re worried that a company isn’t going to be willing to delete your data later, then don’t hand them any data that you don’t want them to have. That could be all sorts of information about you, including potentially your real name,” Reitman said. This post was updated at 3:45 p.m. EDT to include a response from Netflix.
News Article | October 30, 2015
Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, co-owners of Portland-based Otto's Pizza, will be the keynote speakers at Mainebiz's Momentum Convention on Nov. 10 at the Augusta Civic Center. Keon and Allen, who founded Otto's Pizza in 2009, will be speaking about the convention's theme of "managing growth" and will share their experiences in building a pizza chain with 10 locations in Maine and Massachusetts. On their company website they state: "It takes more than a good idea to turn out extraordinary food. It takes teamwork, and [we] have sought out the best people to join [our] team. Each member shares our vision of consistently well-executed, uncomplicated food." Otto's Pizza recently was selected by Yelp as one of 100 "top-rated businesses" in America and is the only Maine business invited to Yelp's San Francisco headquarters on Nov. 4-5 to participate in its "Coast-To-Coast: Coming Together Because We Mean Business" conference. The Momentum Convention offers a day full of learning, networking and inspiration that will help give any Maine business the momentum it needs to reach the next level. In addition to networking opportunities, the convention features three "Mainebiz U" sessions, which will give participants the opportunity to learn from Maine CEOs via an interactive panel discussion format. Each session will offer speakers leading discussions on "profit, people and process." · Intercultural Competency: What Is It and Why Does It Matter To You? · Solving the Financing Puzzle for Short- and Long-term Growth · Securing the Legacy of Your Family-Owned Business. Following the Momentum Convention, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mainebiz will announce the winners of its first "Fastest Growing Companies in Maine" awards. The reception and announcements will take place at the Augusta Civic Center from 4-6 p.m.