Gaming platform Discord on Wednesday said it has raised $500 million in a new funding round led by Dragoneer Investment Group.
Discord, which enables public and private groups to aggregate and chat in text, audio and video via the social platform, is currently worth $15 billion, according to data from Pitchbook. This is more than double the last round’s $7.3 billion.
In December 2020, Discord raised $100 million over a previous round of funding of more than $7 billion, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Green Oaks Capital. Additional investors include Index Ventures, Gray Rock Partners, Accelerator Partners and Tencent Holdings.
The company was ranked third in this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list. Additional investors include Bailey Gifford, Court Management, Fidelity Management and Franklin Templeton.
Earlier this year, Discord will close talks with Microsoft, build a chat platform out of a rapidly growing user base during the pandemic, and expand its business as an independent company focused on making money. said. According to sources familiar with the matter, a public list is on the table, but it is not imminent.
Jason Citron, co-founder and CEO of CNBC’s Squawk Box, said: “I believe people want a safe environment where they can be themselves, relax and hang out with their friends. Most of them Feel your space, privacy and security. Grow.”
Discord’s business model differs from that in the social network space, where many tech companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on advertising for most of their revenue. According to the company, the industry will be more creative about monetization and will not be fooled by criticism from other social media giants. “If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product,” Citroen said.
Citron and his Discord co-founder Stanislav Vishnevsky began the business as a platform for gamers like Citron himself, who are dissatisfied with Internet communications technology, which they say doesn’t keep up with the pace of change. Rice field. Many people communicate using services like Microsoft’s Skype, and six years ago, the company focused on creating ways for people who played video games and talked to each other better.
But many changes have taken place.
Live voice chat is currently the hottest trend on social media, thanks to apps like Clubhouse, which ranked 33 on this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list, and Twitter’s new Spaces feature. Facebook is also building a live audio product. Discord is in the early stages of the trend, and its live audio chat feature is popular with video gamers who want to chat about what’s playing in real time.
Beginning this summer, team communications app maker Slack will let organizations pay for software access to new features that allow collaborators to initiate voice-only calls to specific channels or Direct Messages. Also announced.
“We see a great opportunity to grow our business model,” Citroen told CNBC in May.
The San Francisco-based company claims to have about 150 million active users a month and doesn’t make money from advertising. Discord sells premium service subscriptions that allow customized profiles and high-resolution images and videos for $4.99 or $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year.
Citroen says it’s bringing enhancements to its ability to keep people online, new features that allow users to organize their own methods of communication, and investing in subscription services, similar to the way Discord makes money. Is.
Sign up for a weekly original newsletter called Beyond the List for a closer look at 50 companies like Discord and founders like Jason who continue to innovate in every sector of the economy.