Yelp launches its reviews site in Australia

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Popular online review site Yelp, which filed for an initial public offering earlier this month, said Tuesday that it has launched in Australia.

Yelp Australia, online at www.yelp.com.au , will initially focus on growing in Melbourne and Sydney, the company said. Yelp is now available in 12 countries and hosts more than 22 million reviews. The site was visited by 61 million people per month, on average, during the third quarter.

San Francisco-based Yelp was founded in 2004 by former PayPal employees Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons as a way for consumers to post reviews about — and discover — local businesses ranging from all-you-can-eat buffets to zip line operators. Stoppelman, 34, is currently its CEO.

The company disclosed its plans to raise $100 million through an initial public offering in a Nov. 17 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount of money the startup is seeking in its IPO will likely change as its bankers determine how many shares should be sold and at what price. The process typically takes three to four months.