Microsoft may be in talks to buy Discord for more than €10bn

23 Mar 2021

Image: © dennizn/Stock.adobe.com

The messaging platform for gamers is said to be weighing up its options for a sale, with multiple interested parties.

Discord, a social media platform popular with gamers, has reportedly held talks with Microsoft about selling the business, with an offer of more than $10bn said to be on the table, according to Bloomberg News.

VentureBeat also reported that the messaging company was “exploring its options for a sale” with interest from multiple parties.

Discord was founded in 2015 by CEO Jason Citron and CTO Stan Vishnevskiy as a platform that provides voice, video and text chat in online communities called ‘servers’.

It was originally aimed at the gaming community but has gradually broadened its sights, with users talking about big passions from sports and tabletop games to music and pets.

While the platform is free for most users, Discord makes money through monthly subscriptions that offer more advanced features such as higher resolution video, screensharing, extra sticker packs and larger upload limits.

Last summer, Discord announced that it raised $100m in venture funding, bringing its valuation to a reported $3.5bn. Six months later, it raised another $100m, doubling the company’s value to around $7bn.

Support Silicon Republic

If Microsoft were to buy Discord, it would follow the Xbox maker’s largest gaming acquisition to date. The $7.5bn purchase of Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, received the green light from the EU’s competition authority earlier this year.

It comes at a time when the game industry is reaping the benefits of Covid-19 restrictions, as people stuck indoors seek new forms of entertainment.

Outside of gaming, Microsoft has also been investing in social media platforms over the years, having acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for more than $26bn. According to the Financial Times, the tech giant also approached Pinterest in recent months about a takeover.

Discord’s messaging platform, which has around 140m monthly active users, could prove very appealing to potential buyers, including Microsoft.

However, Bloomberg sources said the deal isn’t a sure bet, with one person saying Discord would be more likely to go public than seek an acquisition.

Microsoft and Discord have not commented on the reports.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com