Discord Raises $500M at $15B Valuation
Discord has raised $500 million in a Series I funding round led by Dragoneer Investment Group. The investment values Discord and its expanding digital communications and social audio service at $15 billion, or a whole herd of unicorns in venture capital minds.
Discord saw a huge spike in users over the last couple of years as the COVID-19 pandemic kept people’s social lives restricted to screens. The company focused on expanding its userbase and features, including a complete revamp of its social audio offerings. Discord raised $100 million from Sony and other investors after a $7 billion valuation in December to keep fueling that growth this year. And it seems to have worked. The company claims it tripled revenue and doubled visitors from 2019 to 2020. There are now more than 150 million monthly visitors to the platform, and Discord has doubled the number of employees, with more hiring ongoing. The company’s broadening scope from video game chats to events and conversations on pretty much any subject a user wants (including Voice AI) provides a lot more opportunity for those looking for a digital communications platform.
“The focus of the round is to give us the ability to continue to invest in making the best community app and services that we can bring to market for people,” Discord CEO Jason Citron said in a CNBC interview about the funding. “We believe that people want to have safe environments where they can be themselves, relax, hang out with their friends.”
The social audio push that has been a crucial element for Discord’s growth is centered on the company’s Stage Channels, which first appeared in March. The digital spaces are themed around events and shows with public and private services but are aimed at reducing interruptions, long pauses, and other issues found on other social audio platforms. The company’s Stage Discovery tool for finding social audio live events arrived in June. The earlier partnership with Sony has also helped spread Discord, with the company adding social interactions to the Sony PlayStation’s network.
“We are continuing to build off of a successful few years thanks to all of the friends and communities who are using Discord as we create space where anyone can find belonging,” Discord wrote in a blog post. “We’re energized about our future and are continuing to work toward our mission of creating space to help people find belonging, have fun with their favorite people and explore their favorite things. Keep an eye on how Discord evolves as the future unfolds.”