Popular chat app Discord raises $500m led by Dragoneer

16 Sep 2021

Image: © HTGanzo/Stock.adobe.com

The latest deal reportedly values the company at $15bn.

A Discord spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the company has raised $500m in a fresh round of funding.

This latest funding round was led by Dragoneer Investment Group, a San Francisco-based, growth-oriented investment firm. Other participants in the round included Baillie Gifford, Coatue Management, Fidelity Investments and Franklin Templeton.

Discord is a voice, video and text chat platform particularly popular with young gamers. Operating a ‘freemium’ model, the company’s revenue comes from monthly and annual subscriptions. Becoming a paid user offers premium features such as custom emojis, higher quality video, animated avatars and server boosts.

This latest investment round surpasses the total funding raised by Discord in the past, with previous investors including Index Ventures and Greylock.

A valuation of $15bn following the Dragoneer-led deal has been reported by Bloomberg, but has not been confirmed by Discord.

In April, Discord reportedly ended talks with Microsoft for a possible $10bn acquisition. The Wall Street Journal reported that Discord walked away from discussions, deciding instead to remain an independent company.

Discord is also said to be considering an initial public offering somewhere down the line.

In May, Discord signed a deal to integrate its services with Sony’s PlayStation Network in early 2022.

This deal involved a minority investment from Sony Interactive Entertainment as part of a Series H funding round for Discord. That last funding round raised $100m from investors led by Greenoaks Capital and valued the company at around $7bn. If the new $15bn valuation figure is correct, Discord will have more than doubled its value in less than a year.

The app’s popularity with younger users has often raised concerns. In the past year, the company has introduced changes centred on child protection, though it has not gone so far as to introduce strict parental controls with teenage users able to view and change their own account settings.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.