Yelp’s product focus may be local, but its business focus is undeniably global.
That’s clear from the news today that the company is buying Qype, its largest European counterpart, for $50 million.
Founded in 2006, Qype’s bread-and-butter is in listings for countries like the United Kingdom and Germany, where it’s had a much greater influence and marketshare than Yelp. Europe has been a significant point of focus recently for Yelp, which launched in Poland two weeks ago and in countries like Finland, Norway, and Denmark earlier this year.
In addition to market share, buying Qype also gives Yelp access to the company’s sales team, which is certainly more experienced in dealing with European businesses than Yelp is.
And we can’t ignore the Google factor here, either. As with Yelp’s June deal with Bing Local Search, today’s news comes as Yelp continues to push back against the force that is Google Places. Europe, it seems, is just one theater in a much larger local listings war.