UPDATED 10:36 EDT / MARCH 23 2021


Messaging platform provider Discord reportedly exploring sale to Microsoft at $10B

Messaging platform provider Discord Inc. is exploring a sale that could value the company at $10 billion, and Microsoft is reportedly leading the suitors.

That’s according to reports Monday from VentureBeat, which first reported Discord’s plans, and Tuesday from Bloomberg, which reported Microsoft’s involvement.

One of Bloomberg’s sources said the talks were early and there’s no imminent deal. Indeed, the San Francisco-based company hired a chief financial officer this month, often seen as a prelude to an initial public offering of stock.

A deal to buy Discord would plunge Microsoft, already a gaming powerhouse with its long-running Xbox consoles, even deeper into games, which have boomed during the pandemic. Last September, Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media Inc., which owns several significant game studios, for $7.5 billion. And it bought “Minecraft” publisher Mojang AB for $2 billion back in 2014.

The VentureBeat report, referencing two people familiar with the matter, said Discord is exploring its options in the wake of interest from multiple parties that want to buy the company. One of VentureBeat’s sources said Discord has signed an exclusive acquisition discussion with one party, meaning it could be in final negotiations. Presumably that party is Microsoft.

Founded in 2012, Discord offers a voice, video and text communications service that allows users to talk and hang out with friends. A modern take on traditional web forums, the service was originally created for the computer gaming community but has since expanded to a far wider audience.

Discord was once smeared as being a “safe space for white supremacists,” but it has since overcome that reputation and grown quickly.

The company has found willing investors. According to Crunchbase, Discord has raised $479.3 million to date and includes among its investors Index Ventures, Spark Capital, FireMark and Greenoaks Capital. It last raised $100 million on a $7 billion valuation in December.

Discord currently has 140 million active monthly users. Although difficult to compare given the different metrics used, Twitter by comparison has 192 million monetizable daily users with a market cap of $52 billion.

Who may be interested in buying Discord is purely open to speculation. VentureBeat noted that it’s likely to be either a really large game company or a platform owner such as Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Twitter or Google LLC.

Jez Corden at Windows Central made the argument that Discord would be a perfect fit for Microsoft because the company’s existing messaging products are lacking. “Microsoft is a lumbering corporate giant and often fails to meet the pace of innovation smaller, more nimble teams can accomplish,” Corden wrote. “Few others represent this as succinctly as Discord, which not only destroys Skype and Xbox Live at texting, mobile quality and usability but arguably is even better than Microsoft Teams as an environment for professional use.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: Discord

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.