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Yelp yanks another $15 million

The San Francisco-based reviews site finds more funding--from existing and new investors--to address site growth and a new office in downtown New York.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

Yelp, the business reviews site that has gained a loyal following of opinionated young urbanites, as well as a couple of haters, announced on Wednesday that it has raked in a fresh $15 million in venture dough. The funding round, which closed Tuesday, comes from new investor DAG Ventures, as well as a number of existing investors.

Representatives of Yelp, which earns money through advertising revenue and sponsored listings, and has some much larger competitors, such as InterActiveCorp's Citysearch, say the current tally of reviews posted on the site is 2.3 million. Traffic is steadily climbing.

Google Analytics places Yelp's October 2007 traffic at 5 million unique visitors, then 6 million in December and 7 million in January 2008. Traffic for February, according to the same metrics, is set to pass 8 million.

Server space to handle higher traffic isn't Yelp's only reason for needing new funding: the company is opening an office in downtown New York, the company's first outside San Francisco. The new digs, in the West Village neighborhood, will open on March 3. And Manhattan real estate ain't cheap, especially in that part of town.