With the mobile group messaging market becoming increasingly competitive, Skype needed to buy GroupMe.
The group messaging app start-up, GroupMe, is all set to be acquired by Skype. This is according to the announcement made by both companies. The financial terms have not been disclosed, but it is being expected that Skype would pay around $80 to $85 million for GroupMe. GroupMes users will be added to Skypes directory of more than 175 million users.
Based in New York, GroupMe is only a year old, and its business is made out of enabling people to send messages to each other for free over mobile devices. The company had raised $11.5 million from General Catalyst Partners, Vinod Khoslas Khosla Ventures and Lerer Ventures. It is interesting to note that the buyer in case of this deal, Skype, is itself in process of being taken over by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
According to GroupMe, the company sends 100 million messages a month. Of late group messaging apps have become popular. Recently Facebook launched a new instant messaging app in the USA, post its acquisition of Beluga, which has been one of GroupMes biggest rivals. Services have also been popping up from Apple and Google, both of which are trying to take on Blackberrys Messenger app.
Skype chief executive, Tony Bates, said, We think the mobile group messaging space is very important. It means furthering the breaking down of barriers to global communications. In context of the companys takeover by Skype, the GroupMe co-founder, Steve Martocci, said, There was perfect alignment. There are a lot of different areas where we can integrate.
The churning that is going on in the communications sector points towards a class of future services that can integrate mobile messaging, instant messaging, email and voice, all in one, and can be accessed from any device.