Skype Purchases GroupMe

skypeAs Skype waits for its $8.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft to go through, it is been indulging in a small shopping of its own.

Yesterday it was announced that it is to take over GroupMe, which gives a mobile group messaging service that can assist Skype competitor Google+’s Huddle feature, FacebookMessages or iMessage of Apple.

GroupMe was founded just last year, allows users to make conference calls and free text messages with different circles of friends or coworkers, from a single contact to a broadcast over Twitter of Facebook.

Its app is free of charge and works across all platforms; the company says it presently carries around 100 million messages each month.

Tony Bates, Skype CEO says, “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.”

He adds, “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 terms of the agreement were not revealed, even though analysts suggest it is somewhere in the $50 to $80 million series. GroupMe’s 20 employees will join Skype, but remain in the New York office; the company’s app will remain separate from Skype for the time being, even though the two will be integrated at some point in future.

Microsoft announced in May that it was to buy Skype.  The agreement has been accepted by the US, though has not so far acknowledged the advance from international regulators.