In a move to carve a niche for itself in the burgeoning group messaging serviec market, Skype has agreed to takeover start up GroupMe.
Skype is set to face tough competition from Apple, Google and Facebook that are also going to offer group messaging service
GroupMe application allows users to make conference calls and share text with the selected users.
Skype gears up to acquire Start-Up GroupMe
The Start-Up service will compete with the Messenger service from Facebook and the ‘Huddle’ application of Google+.
Apple is also going to launch a new group messaging service on its smartphones soon
Skype CEO, Tony Bates wrote in his blog that this acquisition could boost their efforts to provide, “a global multi-model and multi-platform communications experience.”
He appreciated the efforts of the GroupMe team that has succeeded in creating a cohesive group messaging experience which will perfectly supplement the present video, voice and text services of Skype.
Even analysts believe that it is a good time to sell GroupMe which was only one-year-old.
Insiders say the company has been sold for around $80 million and the deal is expected to be finalized soon.
Emphasizing the importance of the deal for Skype, Bates said, “We think the mobile messaging space is very important. It means furthering the breaking down of barriers to global communications.”
GroupMe to operate independently
All the GroupMe’s present 20 employees will join skype including the two co-founders, Jared Hecth and Steve Martocci.
Skype indicated that for now GroupMe will be operating independently and its mobile applications will continued to exist, though sometimes in near future the two companies will combined their technical knowhow to create innovative products for their users.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced that it will be acquiring Skype for $ 8.5 billion and the deal has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission, but the process of approval is still pending before the European Commission.
Microsoft said that it aims at integrating Skype into its Kinect, Windows Phone, Office 365 and X-Box 360.
The addition of GroupMe means closed group text messaging service will be added to the mobile apps offered in the Windows Phone 7.
GroupMe users send around 100 million messages in a month claimed the company.
The GroupMe team said in their official blog, “This has been a remarkable year for GroupMe and we believe this is a big win. And not just a big win for GroupMe and our amazing investors but also for New York city.”