August 23, 2011- Skype will purchase GroupMe, a New York based company, that will help the internet calling giant move into the group messaging business on smartphones. The app for GroupMe allows users to send text messages and have conference calls with groups of colleagues or friends.
The start-up won many followers but is facing the competition of technology giants like Google, Apple and Facebook that are in the midst of releasing new messaging services for smartphones that include group messaging.
Because of the competition many investors and entrepreneurs said the right time to sell GroupMe was now. The company is only one-year old and was purchased by Skype for a little more than $80 million.
This deal comes with Microsoft Corp. still waiting for regulators to approve their purchase of Skype. The FTC approved the sale but the company is waiting for approval from the European Commission. The technology from GroupMe could become very valuable for Microsoft as they look for means to set apart their smartphones based on their Windows operating system.
GroupMe was founded in 2010 and says they send out over 100 million messages each month. Steve Martocci, co-founder of the business, says the chances of the start-up being successful will be increased because of it being paired with a business that is more established and has more resources.