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Skype has announced that it plans buy mobile messaging startup GroupMe, for an undisclosed sum of money.
GroupMe is a mobile messaging platform which utilises a wireless connection for group instant chat on Blackberry, iPhone and Android platforms. One of the most prominent features of GroupMe’s product is that it can switch to text-based services if there is no usable data connection.
The deal, when combined with the purchase of mobile video provider Qik, is set to augment Skype’s role as an innovator in driving user experiences. as stated by the company earlier this year.
In an official statement on the deal, the global VOIP provider said:
Through the acquisition of GroupMe, Skype continues its drive to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience. The acquisition of GroupMe complements Skype’s leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties.
GroupMe will remain in its New York offices, as stipulated in the deal with Skype. Skype users may now acquire the ability to send group text messages as well as initiate conference calls from their mobile phones. It is unknown, however, exactly how GroupMe will integrate with Skype.
GroupMe has seen phenomenal growth since its founding at the 2010 Techcrunch Disrupt Hackatahon. It now has a 175-million strong installed user base and will continue to work on its standalone product as the Skype deal unfolds.
Skype CEO Tony Bates said that GroupMe had developed an “incredibly sticky” group messaging platform that works flawlessly across the various mobile devices, this ensures that it will be an easy fit into the text, video and voice products in the Skype application range.
Skype is currently in the process of being purchased by Microsoft, with the deal set to be finalised in October when the European regulators stamp their approval on the multi-billion dollar transaction.