German-based local reviews site Qype has raised another EUR 6.5 million (8.7 million USD). Vodafone is an investor according to TechCrunch. That means Vodafone will pre-load the Qype app on selected handsets. Founded in 2006 in Hamburg the company operates throughout Western Europe, with the UK being one of its largest properties.
Qype competes with newer market entrant Yelp, which recently launched in Germany, as well as YP directory publishers like Yell and, of course, Google. In the UK Yell’s Mark Canon told me that he doesn’t see much competition from Yelp or Qype. Google is the main consumer traffic competitor.
According to figures cited by TechCrunch Qype has 17 million uniques throughout Europe.
Yell acquired TrustedPlaces, a Qype competitor, earlier this year. The great challenge for TrustedPlaces (then) and for Qype (now) is ad sales to local businesses. Qype appears to have a fair amount of national advertising on its site but may be using local sales reps and telephone sales. I don’t know for sure and haven’t talked to the company in some time.
The endgame for Qype is probably an acquisition by a directory publisher, other local media company or potentially an operator such as Vodafone.