Yelp’s for sale, and the news has generated the usual, now-tiresome lists of potential buyers: Google, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook. It’s like all the money in the business world slid off one end of the table and sluiced down to Silicon Valley. Forget the old spend-a-week-without-the-Internet experiments; is it possible to spend a week without talking about one of those companies?
Speculation has it that the asking price of $3.5 billion might be too rich for any of those players, or anyone else. Yelp’s audience is still growing — up 7.5 percent year-over-year to 142.5 million in the first quarter — but its revenue and audience growth is slowing. Total revenue will come in at about $580 million this year. It’s lost 40 percent of its market cap in less than a year, as investors have decided it’s lost its growth mojo.