Discord inks funding and partnership deal with Sony

4 May 2021

Image: © dennizn/Stock.adobe.com

After acquisition talks with Microsoft ended, the messaging app has signed a deal to integrate its services with PlayStation Network.

Sony has invested an undisclosed amount in Discord, the messaging platform for gamers.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has not disclosed how much it invested in Discord but stated that the minority investment was part of the company’s Series H round. The deal comes just weeks after the messaging app’s acquisition talks with Microsoft reportedly came to an end.

Discord’s Series H round was first announced in December 2020, when the company revealed that it raised $100m led by Greenoaks Capital. The company is valued at around $7bn and its other backers include Index Ventures and Greylock.

“From our very first conversation with [Discord] co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, I was inspired by their lifelong love for gaming and our teams’ shared passion to help bring friends and communities together in new ways,” Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan said.

“Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do, so we are beyond excited to start this journey with one of the world’s most popular communication services.”

As part of the investment, Sony and Discord will partner up in a deal that will see the messaging app integrated into PlayStation Network in early 2022.

While details are scant so far, Ryan said the link-up will allow for users on Discord and PlayStation Network to “communicate more easily while playing games together”.

Discord has 140m users and is particularly popular among gamers. It generates revenue from subscriptions and, according to reports, it made around $130m in revenue last year.

Up until last month, the company was reportedly in talks with Microsoft about a possible acquisition for up to $10bn.

While Microsoft was likely eyeing up the deal to strengthen its position in gaming – Discord’s services are already integrated with Xbox – the talks are said to have led nowhere.

Discord is now reportedly considering an initial public offering further down the line.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin