Chat platform Discord hits $15bn valuation

San Francisco-based chat platform Discord has raised $500m at a $15bn valuation.

Discord logo seen on a smartphone                                 
Discord logo seen on a smartphone - Photo: Shutterstock

San Francisco-based chat platform Discord has raised $500m in a new round of funding with a $15bn valuation.

The round was led by Dragoneer Investment group and included participation from Baillie Gifford & Co, Coatue Management and Fidelity Management as well as existing investors, according to Bloomberg.

Discord broke into the scene in 2015 and became widely popular among gamers who wanted to communicate and share tips in one place.  It capitalises on the power of audio messaging; its vast database of more than 150 million users can message, text and video chat on the platform with their friends and community. Discord is also compatible with other applications such as Twitch and Spotify through an API. 

Growing demand during the pandemic

Discord was founded by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, both of whom shared a passion for video games, but found themselves relying on outdated websites and communication platforms.

Discord was born out of the frustration and lack of knowledge sharing platforms, as the founders decided to create a reliable way for gamers to talk, learn and communicate with each other. It has since amassed an array of users discussing popular topics such as art, TV and photography.

In 2020, it was reported that 70% of its userbase used the platform for non-gaming purposes. It also hit a $7bn valuation back in December 2020, when it raised $100m in a financing round to expand its product offering. 

Acquisition offers and a potential IPO

Back in April, it was reported that Discord walked away from potential acquisitions including a $10bn bid from Microsoft. Other past acquisition offers included Amazon, Twitter and Epic Games, according to Bloomberg

In an interview with CNBC, Citron confirmed: “Our business is doing really well and we believe we are positioned to build a next-generation communications service.”

A Discord initial public offering (IPO) could come later in 2021, although nothing has been confirmed. 

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