• A Group Messaging Roundup To Help You Stay In Touch At SXSW

    By now you’ve doubtless heard of the many group messaging startups looking to help multiple people keep in touch with each other — there’s been endless buzz about how these will likely be some of the breakout stars of SXSW. However, most of these companies do far more than just send texts to multiple people: some of them offer location sharing, conference calls, and… Read More

  • GroupMe Squeezes Out A "2.1 More Thing" Release Before SXSW

    GroupMe Squeezes Out A "2.1 More Thing" Release Before SXSW

    Startups gearing up for the SXSW are shining up their apps and hoping to Wow the crowds of iPhone-toting hipsters by releasing major upgrades in advance of the Austin conference. Among group texting apps alone, in the past week we’ve seen new releases from GroupMe, Fast Society, Beluga, and others. Everyone’s put their best face forward and now the race is on to see which one… Read More

  • Fast Society Is Ready To Party At SXSW (Exclusive Demo Video)

    Fast Society Is Ready To Party At SXSW (Exclusive Demo Video)

    If you are a group texting startup worth your salt, you’ve got to have a new app ready for the upcoming SXSW conference in Austin. GroupMe, Beluga (which was just bought by Facebook), Kik, TextPlus, and offshoots like Yobongo will all be strutting their stuff. Not to be outdone, Fast Society just pushed out a completely revamped iPhone app and an Android app is coming out today as… Read More

  • The iPad2, Motorola Xoom, and Group Texting

    OMG/JK: A Kiss For iPad 2, A Slap For Xoom

    It’s war! This week, I went to the unveiling of the iPad 2 and got some hands-on time with the device afterwards. Meanwhile, Jason bought a Xoom and has been extensively testing it out. The consensus? iPad 2: Good. Xoom: Bad. At least for now. I haven’t extensively played with iPad 2 yet, and Google is undoubtedly going to patch the Xoom. But still, first impressions are key. Jason… Read More

  • Foursquare Dennis Crowley Rapid Fire Questions

    (Founder Stories) Foursquare's Dennis Crowley: "Stop Sketching, Start Building"

    All this week, we’ve been running segments of our Founder Stories interview with Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley (see links at bottom for past episodes, or watch the whole 45 minute interview below). In this final episode (video above), Crowley answers some rapid fire questions from host Chris Dixon. What was his best business decision ever? What does he like least about being a CEO? … Read More

  • GroupMe Gives Push Notifications A Big Hug, Also Maps And Foursquare Check-ins

    GroupMe Gives Push Notifications A Big Hug, Also Maps And Foursquare Check-ins

    Well, well, looky here. GroupMe just got a lot app-friendlier. The group texting app is pushing out a massive new update today for both the iPhone and Android that supports push notifications as the default messaging option instead of costly SMS, maps, inline photos in chats, better Foursquare integration, and contact syncing with Twitter, Facebook, and email. Up until now, the GroupMe app… Read More

  • Yobongo Will Be In The Running For The Addictive App At This Year's SXSW

    A month ago, we detailed a new location-based realtime chat service called Yobongo. At the time, co-founder Caleb Elston didn’t want us to show shots of the app in action because it was still a work-in-progress. But now he’s finally comfortable enough with everything that he’s asking beta testers to do just that. And he should be, as the app both looks great and needs to… Read More

  • Groupme And Foursquare Allow You To Create Texting Groups With Friends Nearby

    TechCrunch Disrupt finalist Groupme has launched a cool new feature today, in advance of tomorrow’s Foursquare hackday. People who link their Foursquare accounts to Groupme here can pull up an interface of all friends in the vicinity of their last checkin. You can then select which friends you want to be a part of a group, and the app will notify those selected with a text and the… Read More

  • GroupMe Is Now Sending One Million Texts Every Day

    GroupMe Is Now Sending One Million Texts Every Day

    Call it the anti-Facebook effect, but this private group text messaging thing is starting to get some serious traction. The chart above shows the growth in text messages per day going through GroupMe, the group chat startup that launched last May at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. By the time our San Francisco Disrupt came around in September, GroupMe had reached its one millionth… Read More

  • Fly or Die GroupMe, Uber and Square Review

    Fly Or Die (Crunchies Edition): GroupMe, Uber, Square

    In this week’s episode of Fly or Die, the show where CrunchGear editor John Biggs and I attempt to predict the survival chances of hot new products, we did a special Crunchies edition. Each of the companies we feature—GroupMe, Uber, and Square—was nominated for a Crunchie award. At some point in the show, a founder of one of the three companies comes on to respond to… Read More

  • Fast Society: Not Your Mother's Group Messaging App (TCTV)

    When a good idea comes along, often what you see are multiple startups pop up who were all working on it independently but launch around the same time. Look at Foursquare and Gowalla in geo-location apps or Instagram, PicPlz, and Path in geo-photo apps. Right now, a lot of the action seems to be in group messaging, with Groupme, Beluga, and Fast Society all vying for mobile group supremacy. Read More

  • GroupMe Scores $10.6 Million From Khosla Ventures And Others

    GroupMe, a startup conceived at the TechCrunch Disrupt: New York hackathon, has closed its second round of financing. This new round, $10.6 million, is a big round for a startup that’s just 8 months old and had previously raised $850,000. Khosla Ventures led the round, and partner David Wieden joins their board of directors. New investor General Catalyst Partners also participated, as… Read More

  • Beluga: I May Have Finally Found My Group Messaging White Whale

    Beluga: I May Have Finally Found My Group Messaging White Whale

    Group messaging has been something that has been pretty hot for a while now. In fact, it’s gotten so hot that products from other hot spaces are starting to pivot towards it — see: Brightkite. But despite the hotness, I’ve yet to find one of these apps that really hooks me. But a new entry in the space, Beluga, may just be my elusive white whale. As first covered yesterday… Read More

  • I Have Seen The Future, And It Looks A Lot Like Bump (Without The Bump)

    There is something about exchanging information by bumping fists that is deeply satisfying. What I like most about the iPhone app Bump is that it’s different. Its features are nifty enough; transfer money, information, and as of last week, music to someone else by tapping your phone against theirs. More importantly, though, it’s a harbinger of the next wave of the mobile… Read More

  • GroupMe For Android Is Now Live

    TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon alumnus GroupMe has come out with an Android app today to supplement its iPhone offering, which like social texting app Fast Society allows you to text within groups through private SMS. Founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht explain on the company blog that Android users were already using the text version of the service “in droves.” The app will… Read More

  • ChatSquare Brings Chatrooms To Foursquare and Facebook Places

    What happens when you add a chat room to Foursquare or Facebook Places? You get ChatSquare, of course. ChatSquare is a mobile app developed by ISraeli entrepreneur Nir Ofir. It works in the browser on iPhones and Android phones. You connect to your Foursquare or Facebook accounts and the app lets you check into places in their geo-directories and chat with anyone else there. There are… Read More

  • Steve Martocci on GroupMe's Inception and New Features

    TC Hackathon Alum GroupMe Hits 1 Million Texts, Adds Sponsored Groups

    Born from the cradle of Disrupt’s NY Hackathon, GroupMe is turning the codefest into something of a company tradition. The startup, which officially launched in August and recently raised $850,000 from a few prominent investors, took the stage on Sunday at the San Francisco Design Center to pitch their latest hack in 60 seconds or less. Read More

  • Inception: A Hackday Dream (The Story Of GroupMe)

    Yesterday we wrote about the launch and funding of GroupMe, a new startup that was conceived and built at the TechCrunch Hackday in New York in May. We asked cofounder Jared Hecht to tell us about the experience. His response is below. Several days before the TC Disrupt Hackathon in May, my fiancé started complaining about an email chain she was on. Her friends were coordinating a trip, and… Read More

  • GroupMe, Born At TechCrunch Disrupt, Secures Funding And Launches

    GroupMe, Born At TechCrunch Disrupt, Secures Funding And Launches

    On May 22 this year 300 hackers converged in New York at TechCrunch Disrupt for a day and half long hack day before the conference itself started. At least one of the projects created at the hack day has now become an actual business, and has raised an angel round of funding from top tier investors. GroupMe launches today. What is it? It’s a dead simple way to create a private SMS group… Read More