We Want Yelp to Be the Amazon of Local: CEO

Friday, 2 Mar 2012 | 11:49 AM ET

Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman told CNBC he has a "grand vision" for his newly public company: to be the "Amazon of local" advertising and information.

Yelp Inc., the site that lets users review everything from diners to dentists.
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Yelp Inc., the site that lets users review everything from diners to dentists.

"We want to bring Yelp to the world. We want to manage this mobile transition that’s happening. We want to play a big part" in that, said Stoppelman, whose consumer review website went public Friday. "We want to be the broadest and deepest content source for local information, really the Amazon of local."

On Thursday, Yelp priced its IPO at $15 a share, above its indicated price range of between $12 and $14. The company opened for trading Friday about 60 percent higher than its IPO price, giving it a value of about $1.43 billion.

With over 25 million reviews on its website to date, the eight-year-old company offers reviews of a range of local businesses and services including restaurants.

Yelp CEO on IPO & Profitability
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder & CEO, discusses when Yelp will be profitable: "There's a lot of leverage in the model and that's starting to show," he says.

Having 7.1 million shares sold on its first trading day "gives us a lot of flexibility," Stoppelman said, which includes funding an international expansion and investing in its sales force to bring in more of those local ads consumers will see.

Local advertising "is an enormous market" of more than $100 billion spent annually, Stoppelman said.

"We’re just scratching the surface. We’re just getting started. We have 24,000 customers in a sea of literally millions of local businesses, so there’s a lot of room for growth," he added. "Local advertising is at the core of what Yelp’s all about."

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