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Qype GmbH
IndustryBusiness ratings and reviews
FateBought by Yelp, Inc.
FoundedMarch 2006
HeadquartersHamburg, Germany
Key people
Stephan Uhrenbacher, Founder, CEO from 2006-2010 and Board Member from 2010-13 Founder; Ian Brotherston CEO 2011-2013,
Number of employees
approx. 160[1]

Qype /ˈkwp/ was a Hamburg-based web 2.0 company centred on social networking and local reviews. They operated websites in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Italy and Brazil, and had approximately 22 million monthly unique European visitors.[2]

Competitor Yelp announced their acquisition of Qype[3] in October 2012 for a reported US$50m.[4] Qype reviews were merged into the Yelp site by October 2013.

Company history[edit]

Qype was founded in March 2006 by Stephan Uhrenbacher for the German market. The initial funding came from Partech Ventures (Paris) and Advent Ventures (London).[5]

In July 2007 Qype UK was launched, adding English to the interface and content. In January 2008 the website was translated into French, in anticipation of the launch of Qype France. Subsequent versions localised for the Spanish market (October 2008), Ireland and Austria (Summer 2008) in local language have followed. In 2008 Brazil was added, and Qype's first iPhone application was launched.

In 2008, Uhrenbacher secured 8M US$ in funding from Wellington Partners (Munich)[6]

In summer 2011, Qype launched sites in the Netherlands and Portugal as well as an application on Windows Mobile.

Site features[edit]

Qype hosted an online database of user-generated reviews of local businesses in Europe. Users could add new places to the database, upload photos, review places in 7 languages and engage in community activities. Qype listed reviews on a wide range of categories, listing all places in a user-based rank-order. Selected reviews were also presented in the weekly Qype newsletter, and on city and country pages.

There was a de facto reputation system, where users could see which members are the most popular, respected, and prolific contributors. Users could also check out who shares their interests or indeed their opinions of specific places. Qype fostered the community with events for members at local bars and restaurants, as well as B2C events for Qype members.

Qype's features included:

  • Private messaging
  • Tagging other members' reviews as "helpful" or "well written", allowing dialogue with comments to each entry
  • User-created city guides
  • User-created groups/forums
  • Lists of "friends"
  • Qype was one of the first companies to utilize Google Maps , one day after the launch of Google Maps.
  • Badge system
  • Sharing reviews on Twitter and Facebook


Qype offered a directory for anyone to search for businesses. Certain features, such as the ability to contribute a review, or add a comment to a discussion, were available only to users with verified accounts, which were free. Those members whose contributions have been recognized with a certain number of feedback points were promoted to "insider" status and receive a visual marker in their profile, as well as additional invitations to real-world events. Business owners may participate in the site as well by contributing company profiles.

User profiles included a standard set of attributes such as photographs and several fields relating to the user's location, hobbies, preferences etc. Qype allowed wide latitude for personal expression on the site and did not routinely moderate or censor content. Some innocent playfulness was tolerated, such as reviews of non-businesses ( e.g. private stories, public art and memorable weather conditions), especially if they include associated photos and receive positive reviews of other peers. However, the company strongly encouraged members to participate in a sincere and mature way. Abusive or improper behaviour was strictly forbidden and could result in the deletion of the respective profile and its content, as well as possible legal consequences.[citation needed]

Scope of reviews[edit]

Users could review any local business, but also places of interest such as public gardens and beaches. In a high-usage city such as Hamburg or Berlin, London or Paris, a large percentage of all restaurants, bars and retail stores were listed with numerous reviews and there was considerable competition among users to be the "first to review" a new establishment (for which the user also received an extra feedback point). There was also considerable coverage of professional services, medical providers, automotive services, cultural venues, hotels, museums, parks, attractions, government services, etc. Users could add new businesses and update business information if they notice any missing or incorrect coverage.[citation needed]


External links[edit]