Discord Inc. is the proprietor of Discord, a communication platform that found its inception in 2015 through the visionary efforts of Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy. Despite swirling rumors suggesting a potential Microsoft takeover, Discord remains securely in private hands, steadfastly preserving its independent status.
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Ownership Landscape Exploration
Let’s delve into a comprehensive exploration of Discord’s ownership, including both individual and institutional shareholders, and the influential figures that guide its trajectory.
Top Individual Shareholders
In the realm of privately held companies, such as Discord, information pertaining to top individual shareholders remains shielded from the public eye. Private entities are not mandated to divulge details about their ownership structure or disclose the identities of individual shareholders. This confidentiality serves to safeguard proprietary information and maintain privacy.
Institutional Shareholders at Discord
As a privately owned company, Discord is not bound by public disclosure regulations regarding institutional shareholders. Information of this nature is typically guarded within private companies. Consequently, such data is not available through accessible channels like financial reports or stock exchange filings.
Considering the scale and prominence of the Discord platform, it is undoubtedly an attractive prospect for a wide range of institutional investors. Private equity funds, venture capital firms, equity funds, and other substantial investment entities may have contributed financial support to Discord in exchange for equity stakes, thereby establishing themselves as institutional shareholders.
Current Custodians of Discord
While Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy initially orchestrated Discord’s emergence, the company is currently under the private ownership of Discord Inc. Noteworthy investors who have substantially contributed to shaping Discord’s ownership landscape include:
- Index Ventures
- Dragoneer Investment Group
- Franklin Templeton
- Fidelity Investments
These influential stakeholders have demonstrated profound belief in Discord’s transformative potential, further solidifying its position as a trailblazing communication platform.
The History and Worth of Discord
In the following sections, we will delve into the founding of Discord by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, as well as the current valuation of the Discord brand.
Founding of Discord by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy
The inception of Discord was spearheaded by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, drawing upon their profound experience in the mobile gaming industry. The duo shared a visionary goal of revolutionizing communication for gamers, stemming from their firsthand understanding of the gaming community’s needs. Their collaborative journey began at OpenFeint, a mobile gaming company established in 2008. OpenFeint served as a social gaming platform, equipping game developers with essential tools for crafting and distributing mobile games while fostering player connections.
In 2011, Citron and Vishnevskiy orchestrated the sale of OpenFeint to Japanese gaming company GREE, securing an impressive $104 million. Following this transition, Citron remained within GREE for a period before embarking on his independent gaming startup named Hammer & Chisel.
Initially focused on developing a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game named Fates Forever, the startup’s efforts did not achieve anticipated traction upon its release in 2014. The turning point emerged when Citron and his team recognized the unmet communication needs within the gaming community. They pivoted their endeavors toward creating a communication platform tailored for gamers, driven by attributes like ease of use, low latency, high-quality voice communication, and customizable features.
This transformative effort culminated in the birth of Discord, which debuted its beta version in 2015. Discord’s impact reverberated across the gaming landscape, garnering swift and widespread popularity. The platform’s success underscores the visionary acumen of Citron and Vishnevskiy, their astute comprehension of the gaming realm, and their adeptness in addressing a pivotal market gap.
Valuation of the Discord Brand
As a privately held entity, Discord’s precise brand value remains a guarded secret. Accurately estimating its worth is intricate, considering the diverse factors that contribute to brand valuation. Elements such as customer loyalty, brand recognition, financial performance, and market positioning interplay in this assessment.
While specific figures are not publicly disclosed, Discord’s valuation came into sharper focus during its latest funding round in 2021, which positioned the company at a staggering value of $15 billion. This valuation underscores Discord’s significance in the tech landscape and reflects its ascent as a dominant player in the communication platform arena.
Insights into Discord’s Attributes
In addition to its origin and value, there are several noteworthy facets that define Discord’s prominence:
- Multi-Platform Accessibility: Discord is seamlessly accessible across mobile, desktop, and web platforms, enhancing user convenience and engagement.
- Expansive User Base: With over 150 million registered users as of September 2021, Discord’s appeal continues to attract a vast and growing audience.
- Real-Time Communication: Discord empowers users with real-time voice and text chat functionalities, making it an ideal hub for online gaming and social interactions.
- Diverse Communities: Discord’s versatility resonates across diverse user segments, including gamers, artists, educators, musicians, and businesses.
- Customization Capabilities: Users can craft and tailor channels, permissions, and roles, facilitating the creation and management of online communities.
- Emphasis on Security: Security is paramount for Discord, evidenced by encryption, two-factor authentication, and IP location tracking to safeguard user data.
- Seamless Integrations: Discord seamlessly integrates with prominent services like YouTube, Spotify, and Twitch, streamlining workflows for enhanced user experience.
- Versatility across Segments: Discord caters to an array of customer segments, catering to gamers, artists, musicians, educators, and professionals alike.
Discord’s Journey Towards IPO
Discord, a platform that has seen exponential growth in its registered users over the past years, has achieved this expansion through successful funding rounds. Among these, the substantial funding round of 2022 elevated the company’s valuation to over $15 billion. While speculation about an impending initial public offering (IPO) circulates, the exact IPO date remains undisclosed.
Discord’s Revenue and Usage Statistics
Discord has demonstrated remarkable usage statistics, underscoring its ascendancy as a preferred communication platform:
- Active Users: By September 2021, Discord amassed over 150 million registered users globally, with new users continually joining each month.
- Monthly Active Users: By December 2020, the platform garnered over 140 million monthly active users, witnessing a substantial surge from 56 million in 2019.
- Daily Active Users: As of December 2020, the platform boasted 56 million daily active users, marking a significant growth from 13.5 million in 2019.
- Server Activity: In 2020, Discord reported hosting more than 19 million active servers on its platform.
- Voice Minutes: In December 2020, Discord users collectively spent over 4 billion minutes daily engaged in voice chats.
These figures highlight Discord’s steady and robust expansion, affirming its status as a favored hub for online interaction and collaboration.
Discord’s Revenue Generation and Business Strategy
Discord’s revenue generation is multifaceted. While the majority of its features (text, voice, and video communication) are offered free of charge, the platform generates revenue through user subscription packages, namely Basic, Classic, and Standard. These packages, ranging from $29.99 to $99.99, grant users benefits such as HD streaming, server boosters, and personalized emojis. In 2022, Discord garnered $220 million in revenue from premium membership subscriptions.
However, the first quarter of 2023 witnessed a dip in revenue to $55 million compared to the previous year. This downturn in revenue is attributed to the company’s strategic allocation of funds to enhance features and elevate platform quality, reinforcing its leadership position in the industry.
Discord’s Pivotal Business Milestones
Discord’s trajectory has been punctuated by key milestones, underscoring its rapid ascent:
- Founding and Launch: Established by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy in 2015, Discord introduced its beta version in the same year.
- Series A Funding: January 2016 saw Discord secure $8.2 million in a Series A funding round, spearheaded by Index Ventures and involving other prominent investors.
- Series B Funding: In February 2017, Discord raised $20 million through a Series B funding round led by Greylock Partners, alongside other investors.
- Nitro Subscription: The platform introduced the Nitro subscription service in January 2017, offering premium features like animated emojis and custom profile badges.
- Diversification of Features: Discord evolved beyond voice chat to encompass text chat, video chat, screen sharing, and additional communication tools.
- User Growth: By December 2020, Discord’s monthly active user count surpassed 140 million, while daily active users reached 56 million.
These milestones underscore Discord’s rapid growth and accomplishments within a short timeframe, propelled by innovation, community engagement, and a compelling user experience.
Recent Transformations in Ownership
Recent shifts in Discord’s ownership structure have captured attention, notably regarding its proposed acquisition by Microsoft. In December 2021, Microsoft unveiled plans to acquire Discord for a reported $10 billion. This acquisition aimed to position Discord as an autonomous entity within Microsoft, with co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy continuing to lead the company under Microsoft’s gaming division.
While this acquisition had the potential to reshape Discord’s future and integrate it into Microsoft’s expanding gaming ecosystem, the company ultimately chose to decline the acquisition proposal. This decision marked a turning point, leading to the reevaluation of Discord’s strategic direction.
Amid the changing landscape, Discord witnessed a surge in new user registrations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acquisition discussions with other entities, including Twitter, transpired, although these negotiations didn’t culminate in progress.