Yelp shares soar 64% after New York listing

Yelp sign
Image caption Yelp was set up in 2004 but remains a loss-making business

Shares in consumer review website Yelp finished 63.9% higher on their first day of trading following the company's stock market flotation.

Yelp had set a price of $15 a share for its debut, which was above the expected range of $12-$14.

The shares initially rose more than 70% to $26 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, before closing at $24.58.

The share sale valued Yelp at $900m (£565m), but its market capitalisation has risen to about $1.5bn .

Yelp expects net proceeds of $111.2m from the share sale.

The San Francisco-based firm, set up by former Paypal engineers, has never made a profit. It recorded a net loss of almost $17m in 2011, following a loss of $9.6m in the previous year.

The site offers consumers a platform to review local businesses and earns money by selling advertising.

It has more than 66 million visitors every month, and operates websites in the UK, the Irish Republic, France, Germany and elsewhere.

However, Yelp faces a string of rivals, from upstarts such as Foursquare to established web giants such as Google and Facebook.

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