Skype buys GroupMe for $ 85 million

Original author: Alyson Shontell
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This is a translation of an article clarifying the details of the Skype and Groupme deal.

TechCrunch said Skype buys GroupMe, a one-year-old startup. Tricia Duri of All Things D says the purchase price was $ 85 million. GroupMe will remain independent and will continue to be located in New York. The deal is a huge win for the company and its investors, including Lerer Ventures, Betaworks, and First Round Capital.

The deal was announced after the startup celebrated its first birthday. GroupMe was founded by Steve Martochchi and Jared Hitcht. He received about $ 11 million in investments from Betaworks, SV Angel, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures.
More than 100 million text messages per month pass through GroupMe; the service has several million users. Partnerships are also established with major brands such as Oxygen.
Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, said companies have been negotiating for months. “The GroupMe team has gained incredibly high-quality experience in the field of multi-user chats between mobile devices and platforms, which is a great addition to Skype's text, voice and video products,” says Bates.
Bates hinted that Skype will use GroupMe technology in tandem with the technology of Qik mobile startup (I recall that one of the founders of the startup is our compatriot, approx. Per.) , Which was also acquired by Skype this year.
For GroupMe, this is a good shift in the facing competition with Facebook Messages, iMessage, and Google+.
You can find out how GroupMe came to what we have today on their blog in the entry “Year of the 11 millionth startup, GroupMe”

Of course, you don’t have to expect much from Bates’s hints, but, from the fact of the purchase itself, it’s obvious that Skype is making long-term plans for the market of modern mobile devices: they recently started supporting video calls in Android, Skype WiFi, they bought a Qik video streamer. Now they are buying a company for group calls from mobile devices and it is logical to expect the corresponding functionality under the Skype brand. On the other hand, the same Qik was bought half a year ago, and no Qik features have yet reached users. But what’s interesting: there are rumors that some of the functions of GroupMe will become part of Microsoft products, in particular Windows Phone.

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