2010 was an amazing year for us. It was just last May that Steve and I entered the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and whipped up a little prototype called groop.ly on the fantastic Twilio platform. We knew from the moment we started using it that we were onto something special. After a week, the product had already changed the way we communicate with our friends, families, and co-workers.
In July, Steve and I quit our jobs and started working on GroupMe full-time. We brought on some amazingly talented people—Pat, Brandon, Cameron, and Steve—raised a round of financing, and launched our beta at the end of September at TechCrunch Disrupt. We had a mission: we wanted to bring people closer together and make communication with friends as easy as possible.
Fast forward to 2011. Things have moved FAST. We bulked up our team, and now people all across the country are using GroupMe to do extraordinary things. The use cases are endless, and they’re beyond anything we ever envisioned. What was initially intended to be a tool to help coordinate friends going out has turned into something that changes people’s lives on a daily basis. The stories we hear are inspiring and keep us going. We wake up in the morning eager to please our users, and we have no intention of stopping.
Of course, we still have a ton of work to do. It was only several months ago when we showed GroupMe to the world, and we’ve only just started executing our initial roadmap. We’ve got some truly amazing product cooking.
And with all the wonderful things that have happened on our journey so far, we’re thrilled to announce that we just closed a $10.6m Series B round of financing with Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, First Round Capital, and our Series A supporters SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, and betaworks. We’re honored to have the continued support of our initial investors and the opportunity to bring on such a great new syndicate.
Joining Steve and myself on the GroupMe board will be David Weiden of Khosla Ventures and Ken Lerer of Lerer Ventures. David has deep domain experience when it comes to mobile networks and communication with TellMe and AOL, and Ken has helped turn brands like The Huffington Post and MTV into household names. It’s an absolute dream team for us.
With our fundraising complete we’ll be focusing on executing our product roadmap for the course of 2011. We’re also continuing to build our strong engineering culture with an amazing team, and innovate in the telco space. Expect a lot from us in 2011—we’re changing the way the world comes together, one group at a time. If you want to come join the best group in NYC, check out our jobs page. And make sure to stay up to speed by following us on Twitter or Facebook!
It’s been a surreal ride so far, and we’re just getting started. Thanks to everyone for all the support, and to our users who inspire us every minute of the day. We’ve got GroupMe running through our veins, and we’re going to knock the walls down in 2011.
—Jared & Steve