Gaming chat provider Discord, Inc. has reportedly completed a new funding round that values the company at over $2 billion.
The company, which makes software that allows gamers to connect via voice and text while playing, announced that it had raised $150 million in the latest deal. News of the fundraising round was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
This is the second time this year that Discord has tapped the private markets. Discord previously raised $50 million in April at a valuation of around $1.65 billion. Greenoaks Capital was the lead investor in the round, the firm and Discord said.
Discord’s ability to access the market at an increased valuation speaks to how positively investors view its product, especially during a tough time for tech stocks. The NASDAQ fell Friday in volatile trading and is now nearly 19 percent off its 52-week high. A 20-percent decline over the same period would plunge the tech index officially into bear territory.
Discord has reportedly reached 200 million users, an over 50-percent increase since May and quadruple the number it had a year ago. According to CEO Jason Citron, the company plans to use the new funds to help it build out its fledgling PC-game download store and a new $9.99 monthly game-subscription service. Getting the biggest, best-known games into a store can be expensive, he said. “It’s always better to raise if you can, because you never know what’s going to happen,” Citron said, perhaps alluding to recent turmoil in the markets.
The move would tie the company even closer to the development of the general gaming industry, which has experienced tremendous growth recently due to the success of games like Fortnite. But opening a store also brings the company into direct competition with Valve Corp.’s Steam software, which allows users to download games and manage their licenses in one application.
Discord also faces competition in its core voice product from companies like TeamSpeak and Mumble. Competition may also come from game publishers like Riot Games, which have begun experimenting with embedding voice chat in its League of Legends game client. Discord has not yet turned a profit, and with its communications platform being free-to-use, it’s counting on products like the store to drive revenue growth to support its new valuation.