Qype Raises €6.5m

User-generated local review site Qype has raised €3.5m (£3m) from Vodafone Ventures and a further €3m from its existing three investors, Advent Venture Partners, Partech International and Wellington Partners.

Launched in March 2006, Qype’s communication platform offers user-generated reviews and recommendations of places, events and experiences. Qype covers more than 158,000 European towns and cities and has 17m unique visitors per month.

Qype enables users to search for and read trusted reviews about a venue or experience – from restaurants and bars to gyms and childcare. Qype’s iPhone, Blackberry and Android apps enable users to read and add reviews on their phone and use the app as a satnav to guide them to their chosen location. Since 2009, almost 1m people have downloaded the Qype mobile app in different European countries. Its benefits include the support of multiple languages to allow users to tap into local knowledge when abroad, and a five=star rating system showcasing the best places nearby in just one click.

The additional funds will be used to develop Qype’s mobile business. A result of the new agreement will be that a co-branded version of the Qype product will be pre-loaded on supported Vodafone Blackberry and Android handsets. Qype says this is a significant deal, covering Vodafones core European markets, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Ireland.

“Qype has emerged as the leading local reviews site on the web in Europe,” notes Peter Barry, head of venture group at Vodafone Ventures. “In the recent past, we have seen Qype rapidly scale its presence both on the mobile and beyond Europe. We are delighted to back a key player in the location-based services and user reviews arena, and we are looking forward to helping Qype accelerate its mobile business further and ultimately adding value to our customers.”