Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy video-game chat startup Discord for more than $10 billion
Microsoft is in talks to acquire the popular video-game chat community app Discord for more than $10 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. If the deal goes through, it would be the latest—and biggest—play Microsoft has made to expand its gaming business, following the $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda last year and the $2.5 billion deal that scored the company the hit game “Minecraft” in 2014.
Discord was founded in 2012 by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy as an online voice, video, and text communication platform designed for creating communities. About two weeks ago, San Francisco-based Discord hired Tomasz Marcinkowski as its chief financial officer as part of the company’s effort to grow its revenue after a year of pandemic-fueled growth. Discord is an online voice, video, and text communication platform designed for creating communities.
According to people familiar with the company’s thinking, Microsoft buying Discord makes strategic sense. The tech giant has been shopping for startups that would provide the tech giant with thriving communities of users. Last year, Microsoft got close to acquiring popular video-sharing app TikTok but lost to Oracle. Microsoft also made a run at Pinterest for about $51 billion, according to a report in February by the Financial Times.
Discord is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice, and text. The platform became very popular last year as people who were stuck at home during the pandemic turned to Discord for study groups, dance classes, book clubs, and other virtual gatherings. Discord platform also includes an invite-only place with plenty of room to talk.
To date, Discord has raised a total of $479.3M in funding over 10 rounds. Its latest funding was raised on Dec 17, 2020 from a Series H round. Discord has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been elaborating its communication tools to turn it into a “place to talk” rather than merely a gamer-centric chat platform.