Elevation put $25 million into local business review site, Yelp, in January. The fund said it would raise its stake as high as $100 million through the purchase of additional shares. Yelp reportedly turned down a $500 million buyout from Google (GOOG). The search company is fortunate that its offer was rejected. Yelp’s San Francisco operation was sued last month charging that the services it provides are fraudulent. Yelp allegedly offered companies which got bad user reviews the opportunity to have them removed from the site in exchange for the purchase of advertising. ABC News recently reported that “since late February, at least three lawsuits seeking class action status have been filed against the site by a dozen companies, complaining that reviews are manipulated depending on which companies advertise on the site and which ones do not.” It may take years for the suits to be resolved, but Yelp’s image is permanently damaged. It is impossible to calculate how much Yelp’s value has dropped because it is a private company, but finding a buyer for the company now at any price is unlikely.
Bono has lost a great deal of money by investing with Elevation, certainly millions and millions of dollars. The Irishman would have been better off in CDs of the financial sort.
Douglas A. McIntyre
Sponsor: Free Options Tips & Proven Strategies from Professional Traders. Learn about the trading ‘secret’ so effective we were banned from sharing it with you. Plus, get 2 free options trades! Click here to learn more.