In my opinion, GroupMe built the very best team in the space, never stopped iterating, and still has a very big vision for the service. Through Skype, they’ll have a huge distribution channel, so this will be only the beginning for the company. It’s exciting to have gotten a chance to work with the Steve, Jared, and the team there from the very very beginning (see Jared’s story of how the company got started). It’s exactly the kind of thing we want to be taking a look at here at First Round—two people who hack a compelling product together with a lot of passion and a big vision. I still contend (original investment post here) that as between blasting out a tweet, telling everyone where you are with a location checkin, or connecting on a daily basis to a small important group, more people want to do the latter—and the sky is the limit for this team.
It’s also exciting to be able to see an exit this early in my venture capital career from start (literally) to finish. It was great working with Howard Morgan with the support of the First Round team on this investment. Steve and Jared run a mile a minute and it was often tough to keep up with them—turning around new features everytime we saw them and closing partners and investors left and right. It doesn’t surprise me at all that, within a year, they built a team and a product that one of the marquee communications companies of our generation—Skype—felt was strategically important to their roadmap.
To be clear, this wasn’t some kind of talent flip. A great offer was made that included enough of a shared vision of the future that it was obvious that Skype was the best place where their ideas could win.
Congrats Team GroupMe!