Who owns Discord? A look at company's whopping net worth as Microsoft gets in talks over $10B acquisition

The 'Slack for gamers' software was founded by CEO Jason Citron to help players work out tactics using VoIP


                            Who owns Discord? A look at company's whopping net worth as Microsoft gets in talks over $10B acquisition
Jason Citron is the CEO of Discord (Getty Images)

Microsoft is in talks with gaming-focused chat software Discord to acquire the instant messaging and digital distribution platform for more than $10 billion, sources said to Bloomberg on Monday, March 22. Xbox chief Phil Spencer is said to be discussing about the potential deal with the company.

The voice over IP (VoIP) software, which is often called 'Slack for gamers' where users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media and files in private chats or as part of communities called "servers", has over 250 million users, according to a 2019 report. Here's what you need to you about who owns the company.

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Jason Citron attends TechCruch Disrupt SF 2013 at San Francisco Design Center on September 9, 2013, in San Francisco, California (Getty Images)

Jason Citron, founder and CEO

Discord launched in 2015, pitting itself against Skype and TeamSpeak. Neither were excellent, says a Business of Apps report, leading to Discord generating so much traffic that it had several server crashes, as the company struggled to meet demand.

The concept of Discord came from its CEO, Jason Citron, who also founded OpenFeint, a social gaming platform for mobile games. Citron sold OpenFeint to GREE in 2011 for $104 million, which he used to found Hammer & Chisel, a game development studio the next year. Their first product was Fates Forever, released in 2014, which Citron anticipated to be the first multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA game on mobile platforms.

Although the venture wasn't a commercial success, Citron began to notice, during the development process, how difficult it was for his team to work out tactics in games like Final Fantasy XIV and League of Legends using available VoIP software.

Hammer & Chisel gained additional funding from YouWeb's 9+ incubator and from Benchmark capital and Tencent, to develop Discord. Citron's invention meant that instead of searching on Reddit or forums, gamers could join a server specifically dedicated to a game of their choice to communicate. As servers ballooned in popularity, admins were given the ability to add sub-channels for specific topics or game modes.

Jason Citron (Getty Images)

How much is Discord worth?

A November 2020 Forbes report stated that the chat app was worth approximately $7 billion, doubling in value in less than a year. In June that same year, the chat app got a funding of $100 million at an estimated $3.5 billion valuation. The company has about 140 million monthy users, according to The Verge

Discord’s software is free for most users. However, it makes money through $9.99 monthly Nitro subscriptions that have more advanced features on offer, including higher resolution screensharing, extra sticker packs, and larger upload limits. Discord is available as a web app that runs in most browsers. A desktop version can also be downloaded for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android.

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