Groupthink

GroupMe ‘Experiences’ Helps Friends with the Dreaded Task of Splitting the Bill for Events

1-Experiences by GroupMe Homepage

A little less than a year after being acquired by Skype for an estimated $80 million, GroupMe’s* founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci are still in startup mode. Today the company released “Experiences by GroupMe,” the biggest expansion beyond its core group messaging function.

The service, which was released to select New York users this morning, offers groups of friends a handpicked list of events like, say, a concert, dinner, or UCB improv showcase in Central Park. Each event comes with an “I want to do this” button and lets users create a landing page with a unique URL to recruit friends to sign up. Experiences then lets you split the bill–using standard Visa, Amex, and Mastercard options that won’t charge your card until all the spots have been reserved. Better still, GroupMe builds a group around the event for you to communicate with everyone who’s attending.

“We own the experience end-to-end,” Mr. Hecht told Betabeat over the phone. Read More

Made in NYC

Wanna Drink and Play Pinball With GroupMe? That’ll Be $20

groupme-pinball

GroupMe, the humble startup that went from hackathon to $85 million exit in less than two years, is now officially owned by Microsoft. But they’re still GroupMe from the block! The startup is offering a meet-and-greet through Sidetour, a TechStars startup trying to create a freelancer-powered activity market. “Talk Startups and Play Pinball With GroupMe” will set you back $20, which goes to benefit the HackNY startup internship program. Read More

SkypeMe

GroupMe Founders: Business As Usual After Skype Acquisition, Just With Hella More Traffic

GroupMe co-founders Jared Hecht (left) and Steve Martocci (right), with GroupMe app model (and Mr. Hecht's fiance) Carrie Weprin.

“We feel fantastic! It’s great. We feel very good about it, it’s a really great thing for us,” GroupMe co-founder Jared Hecht told Betabeat when we reached him this afternoon. Mr. Hecht sounded as polished and level-headed as usual, if not terribly articulate while co-founder Steve Martocci claimed to be recovering from last night’s celebratory karaoke. The pair were in the backseat of a taxi on the way to film an interview about the 16-month old group messaging start-up’s recently many-million dollar acquisition by  Skype. “GroupMe and Skype as a whole is just a positive thing.” Read More