This is a translation of an article clarifying the details of the Skype and Groupme deal.
TechCrunch announced that Skype is buying a one-year-old startup GroupMe. All Things D's Trisha Duri said the purchase price was $ 85 million. GroupMe will remain independent and remain 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 investment from Betaworks, SV Angel, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, General Catalyst Partners and Khosla Ventures.
More than 100 million text messages a month pass through GroupMe, the service has several million users. There are also partnerships with major brands such as Oxygen.
Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, said that the company has been negotiating for several months. “The GroupMe team has gained incredibly high-quality multi-user chat experience between mobile devices and platforms, which is a great addition to Skype text, voice and video products,” says Bates.
Bates hinted that Skype will use GroupMe technology in tandem with mobile startup technology Qik (one of the founders of the startup is our compatriot)
, which was also acquired by Skype this year.
For GroupMe, this is a good shift in the facing competition with Facebook Messages, Apple iMessage, and Google+.
Find out how GroupMe came to what we have today in their blog on “Year of 11 Millionth Startup, GroupMe”.Of course, there is not much to expect from Bates’s hints, but, in my opinion, it’s obvious from the very fact of purchase that Skype is making far-reaching plans for the market of modern mobile devices: support for video calls in Android, Skype WiFi has recently begun to appear, they have bought the 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 already bought six months ago, and no functions of Qik have yet reached the users. But what is interesting: there are rumors that some of the GroupMe features will become part of Microsoft products, in particular Windows Phone.