Social networking startup Discord is expected to announce a new funding round that could value the company at $15 billion after turning down acquisition offers from multiple interested parties.
What Happened: Dragoneer is expected to lead a $500-million funding round for Discord that values the company at $15 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Several existing investors are expected to participate in the round, according to Bloomberg's sources.
Discord has been rumored to be exploring an IPO, and this could be considered a pre-IPO funding round.
Earlier this year, the company turned down an acquisition offer from Microsoft Corporation MSFT worth a rumored $10 billion.
Sony Corp SONY joined Discord and an investor and partner in May announcing it would integrate a better social experience for its Playstation users.
Sony said the partnership will create experiences for console and mobile starting next year “allowing friends, groups and communities to hang out, have fun and communicate more easily while playing games together.”
Other investors in Discord include Greylock, Spark Capital, Benchmark and Tencent Holdings TCEHY.
Why It’s Important: Launched in 2015, Discord has seen strong growth as a social platform to connect users via text, audio and video.
Discord grew in popularity among gamers who shared common interests or wanted to play games together.
Discord is now popular amongst stock traders with rooms to share trading ideas.
The company has also seen growth as a go-to source for NFT communities.
Discord had 140 million users in December 2020, which was more than double the amount it had in the previous year.
“As we look to 2021, we are excited about what we have in store and plan to use this funding to help make Discord even better – both for our free service and our Nitro subscribers,” co-founder and CEO Jason Citron said in December.
The company also reported that revenue grew from $45 million in 2019 to $230 million in 2020.
“Rather than throwing raw content at you, like Facebook, (Discord) provides a shared experience for you and your friends,” Danny Rimer of Index Ventures, which led a $100-million round, said last year.
Rimer said Discord is doing for social conversations what Slack has done for professional conversation.
Photo: courtesy of Discord.
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