Skype buys GroupMe: Smart move all around
Mike Arrington has the story. (GroupMe was founded at a TechCrunch conference.)
This is a good move for everyone:
- Skype, the phone company of the future, gets a hand in the fast-growing group messaging market.
- GroupMe gets a wealthy parent company (Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft), doesn’t have to worry about raising money ever again, and can build out Skype’s presence in New York.
- GroupMe’s founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci, both young guys, get their first millions — Skype paid $85 million, according to All Things D — and don’t have to worry about “losing” to Facebook, Google, or Apple before they become financially comfortable.
What impressed me the most about the GroupMe guys in the brief time I’ve spent with them is that they really seemed focused on building a company where engineers feel valued and empowered. (As opposed to many other New York companies, where engineers are second-class citizens.) As a result, GroupMe was able to quickly build a great team and sell the company right after its first birthday. Nicely done.
(And for those keeping score, this is the second acquisition in two months for Brooke Hammerling and Dena Cook’s boutique PR firm, Brew Media Relations. Last month, eBay acquired its client Zong, a mobile payments company, for $240 million.)