Skype to acquire Groupme
Skype will acquire group messaging service GroupMe. GroupMe was founded by Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci in 2010. The company has already raised over $11 million from ventures and investors.
GroupMe allows you to create on the fly private phone groups with others, and then send text messages throughout the group and set up free conference calls.
Skype CEO Tony Bates says that he’s been talking to the company for a few months, at about the same time Skype was in negotiations to be acquired by Microsoft. The Microsoft transaction is still pending.
They’ll keep GroupMe as a standalone brand, Bates says, and look for integration points over time. “The group messaging space in general is one of the most important markets for Skype,” he told me via a Skype video call earlier today. He added: “GroupMe creates a very sticky instant feeling. Like Skype, it is an everyday interactive form of communication. Skype’s goal is to get to 1 billion users. Mobile is the place to do that.”
GroupMe, which has twenty employees, will remain in New York.
The terms of the deal, including price, aren’t being disclosed.