Skype — a company which is in the midst of being acquired by Microsoft — announced on August 21 that it is acquiring GroupMe.
GroupMe offers a messaging and conference call service, which it launched about a year ago. GroupMe officials referred to the service as “your real-life network,” and offers users a private chat room on their phones. GroupMe enables users to chat within their groups while circumventing SMS (and thus, not deducting from users’ SMS balances).
GroupMe allows users to have multiple “disposable” groups, and works on a variety of phones, including iPhones, Blackberries, Android phones and feature phones. When I talked with company backers a couple of months ago, they were porting their application to Windows Phones, and had big plans for the “Mango” Windows Phone release (allowing users to pin groups to their start menus and obtain real-time notifications).
Skype and GroupMe are not disclosing terms of the deal, but estimates have the deal valued at more than $50 million.
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