Skype to buy group-messaging company GroupMe

The year-old group-messaging start-up offers "an incredibly sticky group messaging experience" across a range of mobile platforms, says Skype CEO Tony Bates.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

Skype announced today it has agreed to acquire group messaging service GroupMe. Financial details of the deal were not revealed.

"Skype and GroupMe have a shared vision of creating applications and experiences that are the daily communications choice for a billion people," Skype CEO Tony Bates said in a statement announcing the deal. "The GroupMe team has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making this a perfect addition to the voice, video and text products in the Skype family."

Related stories:
Group-texting market shaken up with Facebook buy
Facebook, Skype, and Microsoft's savvy investment
Skype Wi-Fi comes to iOS devices

The year-old service, which combines free group texting and conference calling to create ongoing mobile-based group conversations, is part of a market that turned red hot earlier this year. GroupMe competitor rival Beluga was snapped up by Facebook in March.

GroupMe, which proudly announced in February that it's sending a million text messages a day, launched a revamped version of its iPhone and Android apps in March that feature an improved interface, photo sharing within groups, and location sharing.

GroupMe has raised nearly $11 million in venture funding from partners such as Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Betaworks, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, and Founder Collective.

The acquisition comes as the Luxembourg-based VoIP company itself is the subject of an acquisition by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.