Yelp brings on big bankers and solidifies plans for IPO

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‘Tis the season for Internet company IPOs. Veteran local business review site Yelp has signed on bankers Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to lead its initial public offering at a valuation between $1 and $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Yelp could file with the SEC to become a publicly traded company as soon as early 2012, according to the Journal’s sources.

Yelp, founded in 2004, lets users post restaurant and venue reviews. The San Francisco-based company has raised $56 million in funding to date, has 800 employees and makes money through on-site advertising.

In September, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman indicated that the company was interested in going public — and soon. At the time, Yelp was attracting more than 62 million unique monthly visitors, and members were said to be adding 1 million new reviews to the site each month.

Yelp joins a batch of internet startups anxious to put their value in the hands of investors and shareholders. LinkedIn led the pack with a stock market debut in May. Deals juggernaut Groupon followed suit last week, and social gaming company Zynga may file its papers after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Yelp declined to comment on this story.

[Image via Yelp]

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