Sunday Skype announced that it is acquiring mobile group messaging service provider GroupMe. According to Skype, the latter company has created an "incredibly sticky" group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making it a perfect addition to the Skype client's library of features.
"This acquisition is another step towards our vision to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience," Skype said in a blog. "It complements our existing leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class mobile text-based communications and innovative features around group messaging that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties."
"This latest acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Qik earlier this year, augments our role as an innovator in driving unique mobile user experiences," the company added.
The news arrives months after Microsoft Corp purchased Skype Global for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Ballmer in May. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."
Microsoft said that Skype will support devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and "a wide array of Windows devices." In turn, Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities, and will also continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
As for the latest acquisition, GroupMe was founded in 2010 at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon and is headquartered in New York, New York. The company informed its users on Saturday by way of a company blog, thanking everyone who used the service over the past year for making it such an immediate success.
"This has been a remarkable year for GroupMe, and we believe that this is a big win. And not just a big win for GroupMe and our amazing investors, but also for New York City," the blog reads. "As part of the deal, GroupMe will remain in New York, team intact, working on our standalone application. The major difference will be that we will now have access to Skype’s 175 million monthly connected users. 175 million people. That’s a very big deal."
Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed, Skype said.