GroupMe announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by Skype. GroupMe is a popular group messaging service.
On its company blog, GroupMe writes:
Over the last few months, we had been in talks with Skype that started with discussions about potential commercial partnerships. As we got to know the core Skype team better, though, and as our conversations evolved, it quickly became evident that our visions were perfectly aligned. Both companies are focused on changing the way the world communicates, and helping people stay in touch with the people they really know. With a shared vision—an ambitious one—we decided our efforts to own real-time communications and the real life network could be best executed as one company.
This has been a remarkable year for GroupMe, and we believe that this is a big win. And not just a big win for GroupMe and our amazing investors, but also for New York City. As part of the deal, GroupMe will remain in New York, team intact, working on our standalone application. The major difference will be that we will now have access to Skype’s 175 million monthly connected users. 175 million people. That’s a very big deal.
@aaR4 really truly. Our whole team is remaining in New York and the app will stay separate. #)
"This acquisition is another step towards our vision to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience," says Skype CEO Tony Bates on Skype's blog. "It complements our existing leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class mobile text-based communications and innovative features around group messaging that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties."
"This latest acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Qik earlier this year, augments our role as an innovator in driving unique mobile user experiences," he adds.
Qik would be the company's live streaming video offering.
"The GroupMe team has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making it a perfect addition to our voice, video and text products," says Bates. "We're excited about introducing their disruptive product to our global user base."
Skype itself of course recently agreed to be acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
According to Tricia Duryee, citing people familiar with the matter, Skype is paying about $85 million for GroupMe. This is unconfirmed. Terms were not discussed by Skype or GroupMe.