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Yelp jumps across the pond

Business reviews site has launched a U.K. edition, adding to its original U.S. site and the Canada edition that launched over the summer.

User-generated business reviews site Yelp has officially launched a U.K. edition, meaning that no business in England, Scotland, or Wales is safe any longer from the wrath of notoriously opinionated Yelpers.

Yelp had already gained a following in the U.K., the company said, because travelers bound for the U.S. use it to look up hotels, restaurants, bars, and the like. More than 100,000 of its visitors in the past month came from the U.K.

San Francisco-based Yelp, which accepts reviews of any business in the U.S. but also clusters businesses into subdirectories by city, quietly expanded to Canada several months ago. The company raised a fresh $15 million in funding early last year.

But the site's free-for-all, say-what-you-want nature may be under scrutiny: a Yelp reviewer was recently sued over a negative review of a chiropractor. If the lawsuit is successful, Yelp may have to crack down on particularly colorful reviews -- the content that has made it stand out from other business reviews sites.