Yelp buys Germany’s Qype in $50 million deal

Online reviews site Yelp is to buy its biggest rival in Europe, Qype, to boost its business abroad.

It’s paying around $50 million for the German-based company, with $24.1 million in cash and 970,000 shares of its Class A common stock.

The move will mean a big increase in the company’s user base. Yelp claims 78 million unique visitors for the three months until June this year, and Qype a further 45 million or so, spread across 13 countries.

“We have built a solid foundation in Europe and this acquisition should significantly increase our international presence. With its strong local content in key markets like Germany and the United Kingdom, we believe that Qype will help Yelp become the de facto choice for local search in those markets,” says Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and CEO.

“Qype’s established European sales force will also bring more local business owners into the Yelp ecosystem, which in turn will bolster our mission to connect people with great local businesses all over the world.”

According to Stoppelman, the company plans to take things slowly when it comes to integrating the two services, but it intends to start with mobile. This makes sense: Qype already has more mobile users in Europe than Yelp, with mobile accounting for a quarter of its revenues. Around a third of reviews come from mobile devices, it says.

Yelp has also announced that it expects its third-quarter revenues to reach $36.4 million, with a net loss of around $2 million – a little better than forecasts.