The gaming community’s favorite communications service, Discord, is close to the end of its latest financing round that would potentially value the company at up to $7 billion, according to a report by TechCrunch.
Discord, so far has raised $379.3 million, and a recent $100 million investment into the company led to an increase in its valuation to $3.5 billion. If the sources are correct, after the end of the latest financing round, the company’s valuation will have doubled. Currently, Discord’s lead investors include Index Ventures, Greylock, Benchmark and Tencent Holdings.
Discord is a VoIP and instant messaging platform founded by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy. The company was publicly released in 2015, and has grown substantially since its initial release, both in its direction and in the number of active users. The platform was originally aimed at gamers, which allowed people to communicate with each other directly while gaming or create servers where a large number of people to come together and hang out, almost creating a sense of community.
This community aspect of the app caught on, and became the central aspect of the software. Although the platform did suffer because of groups like white supremacists who began using it to push their own agenda, Discord managed to take care of that issue soon with proper policies and their enforcement.
Now diverse groups such as developers, artists, students, teachers and casual groups use Discord, and the application has started evolving with its community. It is no longer all about gaming, it has became a virtual hangout place for people. The company even expanded its voice and video capabilities, which allows users to make group video calls, rivaling the likes of Zoom.
Once a platform mainly geared towards gaming, now describes itself on its official website as, “whether you’re part of a school club, gaming group, worldwide art community, or just a handful of friends that want to spend time together, Discord makes it easy to talk every day and hang out more often.”
Discord had over 250 million registered users in 2019 alone, and now has over a 100 million monthly active users. The software also registered 800,000 downloads a day this year, which is partly attributed to the game Among Us’ sudden rise in popularity, leading to a surge in users looking for a communications service while they are playing the game.
The biggest contributor to the increase in its user-base, however, is the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions and lifestyle changes have led people to rely on digital communications more than ever. Since Discord already offers a community like experience and a space that feels like a casual hangout place, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the number of users have skyrocketed this year.