Discord earns nearly $50 million in funding, insiders say
Since refocusing from a mobile MOBA game developer to a voice and text chat tool in 2015, Discord has grown exponentially—now reportedly earning around $50 million in funding.
A report from TechCrunch suggests that Index Ventures led a $50 million funding round in January, where Discord had a "pre-money valuation of $750 million." Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, and Benchmark also participated in the funding round, according to TechCrunch.
Discord confirmed to TechCrunch that a funding round had transpired earlier in the year. "Any investment we earn is poured directly into making Discord better and supporting the massive growth we've seen over the past year," Discord CEO Jason Citron told TechCrunch. More funding is likely incoming, a TechCrunch source added.
The platform is increasingly popular in gaming circles, with different games and gaming personalities creating communities and servers on Discord for information sharing and chatting. Over the past few years, it's become as ubiquitous to gaming as tools like Twitch and TeamSpeak. Still, Discord will have to continue to set itself apart and stabilize to put up a fight against Twitch, which acquired Discord's competitor, Curse, last year—rebranding the app to Twitch in March.
TechCrunch sources also reported that some of Discord's newly-earned funding was put toward "cashing out employees" looking to sell Discord staff's secondary shares. Another TechCrunch source added that Discord's initial mission has changed, and the liquidation of shares is in effort to ensure all parties' interests are aligned.
Discord operates as a free service to its community, with an alternative subscription package priced at $5 a month. Those who purchase the Discord Nitro package receive access to avatars and emotes, but largely access the same service as free users.
When it comes to in-game communication, Discord has secured itself as a leader. But to stay there, the service will need to find new ways to generate income.