New York

How meta! Meetup just acquired Dispatch, which got its start at a meetup

Above: Meetup's headquarters.

Image Credit: Meetup

Meetup just made its first acquisition: a tiny startup called Dispatch.

The New York-based Dispatch is working to banish the “reply all” button with its group e-mail addresses for projects. It’s three founders, including 19-year-old entrepreneur Alex Godin, will join Meetup.

Meetup has not disclosed the final sum or any of the financials of the purchase.

Scott Heiferman, Meetup’s chief executive, recently learned that Dispatch’s founders first connected at a meetup. Meetup helps groups of people with shared interests — like tech and mobile app development — plan real-world events.

It’s a cute story, but Heiferman has had his eye on Dispatch’s technology for some time. Meetup’s engineering and design team is currently brainstorming ways to make it easier for group organizers to communicate. “Dispatch was the perfect match,” he said.

Heiferman refers to Meetup as a “9/11 baby” as it was formed nine months after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Heiferman said he grew closer to his neighbors during that time as he sought comfort from his community. He began to wonder how to use the Internet to make it easier to organize groups get-togethers — and Meetup.com was born.

“This is a weird company,” he admits. “We’re using the Internet to get people to meet off the Internet.”

Meetup is also a profitable company, and it continues to grow. Heiferman isn’t looking to raise any additional venture funding in the near future, as he claims he doesn’t need to.

Meetup is currently operating in 1,000 cities in over 100 countries around the world. According to Heiferman, Meetup’s new member signups increased by 40 percent in the first quarter of 2013.