Yelp CEO Looking Ahead to IPO

Review site will 'probably' go public in the next year

SAN FRANCISCO—Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman hasn't made a secret of his plans to take the company public, but he offered a few more details Wednesday about when that might actually happen.

"We're venture-backed, we're going to go public at some point," said Stoppelman, who was speaking at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco. He added that the initial public offering will "probably" come "within the next year or so."

The timing isn't certain yet, however. Stoppelman said Yelp hasn't started talking to any bankers yet, much less filed anything with the Securities and Exchange Commission—which is one reason why he can talk about an IPO without running afoul of government regulators. And like other tech company executives, he downplayed the importance of the IPO to the company, repeatedly calling it something that Yelp would "pass through" without seeing it as a big cash-out.

"This isn't about, 'How do we rush to the exits?'" Stoppelman said. "I'll probably still be here at MobileBeat 2015 talking about what we're up to. We're in this for the long haul."

If any potential investors are wondering how Yelp is doing as a business, they'll have to wait until the IPO is closer—Stoppelman declined to say anything about his company's revenue. He did reveal that Yelp's websites get more than 53 million unique visitors per month, with 4.5 million unique visitors coming through mobile applications.

When pressed on whether Yelp needs to grow its pageviews if it wants to bring in significant ad revenue, Stoppelman said that has never been his concern. Yelp has always believed, he said, that if it builds a compelling consumer experience that's essential to local businesses, "the money will follow."

"I remain more bullish than ever that we're going to make a lot of money off this base," he said.