Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said an initial public offering "is back on the table," according to an interview in The Wall Street Journal published today.
Stoppelman stopped short of saying when the user-generated reviews site would file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to start the process of going public, but he did say that his company is currently looking for a chief financial officer to help it achieve its goal, according to the Journal story.
In late 2009, Google was reportedly in talks to acquire Yelp for about $500 million, but the deal fell apart. A story last year in the Journal quoted Stoppelman as saying the company "will definitely not go public this year. 2011, who knows? But why rush out the door if I can avoid it?"
In the Journal story today, Yelp's CEO saidl the company is ready to go public.
"We could raise another private round [of funding] and push it off, but I don't see any reason to do that," Stoppelman said. "Our existing model feels like a stable platform."
Yelp's plans are only further fueling speculation that a new wave in Internet IPOs is coming. In January, LinkedIn filed an S-1 form with the SEC, officially making its intentions known. Pandora did the same in February. Zillow followed that up with an S-1 filing of its own last week. Demand Media made its way through the IPO process and joined the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year.
But even as those online firms travel to Wall Street, the company everyone is hoping will do the same--Facebook--has yet to make its move, even though at this point, given the social network's size, an IPO is all but inevitable.
Speculation that Facebook would file for an IPO began in 2009 when the company modified its stock structure. After opting against an IPO at the time, new rumors suggested that it would go public in 2011. That speculation was quickly squashed when a Bloomberg report published last year suggested the social network's management wasn't even considering an IPO until 2012 at the earliest.