Group.me is an application for group texting and calling that works in any handset. Created in October 2010, it has recently launched its version 2.0 that includes new features such as location and photo-sharing.
Co-founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci developed Group.me after a TechCrunch disrupt Hackathon. Pat Nakajima, Brandon Keene, Cameron Hunt and Zach Sims complete the team.
The NY startup has secured $11.5m in two rounds of funding that included many high-profile New York investors. It raised a first round of angel funding ($850K) with Betaworks, First Round Capital and Thrive VC, among others. In the beginning of 2011, a series B round of $10.6M brought Khosla Ventures, Lerer Ventures, General Catalyst and Founder Collective on board.
The application has had notorious success in tech events such as South by Southwest and by May 2011, had sent 100 million messages. The company was recently on the news again after acquiring blackberry application developer Sensobi for an undisclosed value.
There is a lot of competition in the group texting sector. Fast Society targets parties and concerts’ fans. Yobongo focuses on geo-located chat rooms. Instant messaging Kik also provides group-texting features and Beluga was recently acquired by Facebook. Group.me’s new features also point towards a more comprehensive ‘private network’ like Path.