Breaking news: GroupMe – the group text messaging service, was just acquired by Skype. GroupMe was founded just over a year ago (May 2010) in New York with now twenty employees and $11.5M in funding. Update 8/23/11 - Fast Company is reporting the price of the acquisition at $85M.
As part of the deal, GroupMe will remain in New York, team intact. The major difference will be that GroupMe now has access to Skype’s 175 million monthly connected users. As reported, the GroupMe product will be a stand-alone product for now.
This is interesting timing as Facebook just recently launched Facebook Messenger, which is a direct competitor to GroupMe in my opinion. Facebook Messenger comes after Facebook acquired GroupMe competitor Beluga in March.
After all of these recent acquisitions, the only real independent player in the group text messaging space is textPlus. texplus was founded in 2007 and has raised a staggering $28.3M in funding. Maybe all that funding is hindering textPlus from being acquired as quickly as some of these smaller startups like GroupMe and Beluga.
You can read about the acquisition on the GroupMe Blog.