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Discord was released publicly in May 2015, following a concept developed by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevsky. Citron, who had also funded OpenFeint, sold the company to GREE in 2011 for $104 million. Citron used the proceedings to found Hammer & Chisel – a game development studio.
According to Citron, Discord came to life after noticing how difficult it was for his team to work out different tactics in various games using the available VoIP software. He then developed a chat service focused on user-friendliness and minimal impact on performance.
Hammer & Chisel gained additional funding from YouWeb's 9+ incubator, Benchmark capital, and Tencent for the software's development.
Discord became widely popular among sports and LAN tournament gamers. The company benefited from relationships with Twitch streamers and subreddit communities for Diablo and World of Warcraft.
As of June 2020, Discord shifted its business model from video gaming to more all-purpose communication & chat for all functions. The service is compatible with multiple platforms such as Windows, iOS, and Android, and users can sync their data with the likes of Spotify, Twitch, and YouTube for screen sharing.
According to Forbes, Discord could be valued at $17 billion.
Following its 2015 release, Discord underwent multiple funding rounds. In January 2016, the company raised $20 million, including an investment from WarnerMedia, while in April 2018, Microsoft announced that it would provide Discord support for Xbox Live users.
In December 2018, after a funding round led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Ventures, and Technology Opportunity Partners, Discord announced it raised $150 million at a $2 billion valuation.
In 2020, Discord revealed it had received $100 million more in investments to help shift away from video gaming, change its slogan, revise its website, improve the user onboarding experience, and increase server capacity and reliability.
In total, Discord underwent 15 funding rounds, raising $984.6 million. The latest was from a Secondary Market round on March 3, 2022. The company is valued at around $15 billion.
Basic info about Discord
- Has acquired three organizations: Blitz App, Ubiquity6, and Sentropy Technologies
- Got Microsoft's attention, turning down their $12 billion purchase offer
- Was backed by private equity and venture capital firms, including Fidelity, Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Franklin Templeton
Sources: Bloomberg.com, crunchbase.com, discord.com, forbes.com, venturebeat.com
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