Yelp gets $25M thumbs up from Elevation Partners

January 27, 2010 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- The online business rating site Yelp has raised $25 million from the private equity firm Elevation Partners.

The funding announced Wednesday comes a month after negotiations to sell to unraveled. Google at one point had offered about $500 million for Yelp, according to numerous published reports.

Elevation Partners bought stock at a price that values Yelp at about $475 million, according to a person familiar with the deal's terms. The person requested anonymity because Yelp is privately held.

Elevation also hopes to buy up to $75 million in stock from Yelp's 300 employees and other shareholders.

Yelp has raised a total of $56 million since its 2004 inception.

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