Discord - Bringing People Together Around Games

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Apr 8, 2021 10 min read
Discord - Bringing People Together Around Games

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Discord.

People love to stay in touch whether its talking to friends and family through video calls, or messaging through apps or touching base working remotely. Gamers are no different. That's why online gaming and chatting go together like Han and Chewy.

Gamers have always faced two problems, how to talk to one another and how to organize people to get an online game going. Discord is one such app that was created by the gamers for the gamers to solve such problems. But outside of the gamers realm, what is discord all about?

Discord - Company Highlights

Startup Name Discord
Developer Discord Inc.
Headquarters San Francisco, CA
Industry Social Media, Gaming
Founded May 13, 2015
Founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy
CEO Jason Citron
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.discord.com

About Discord And How it Works?
Discord - Target Market Size
Discord - Name, logo and Tagline
Discord - Founder and History
Discord - Vision and Mission
Discord - Business Model
Discord - Revenue Growth
Discord - Funding and Investors
Discord - Acquisitions
Discord - Partnership
Discord - Competitors
Discord - Challenges Faced
Discord - Future Plans
Discord - FAQs

About Discord And How it Works?

Discord is an easy to use free communication app, similar to apps like Skype or Slack but aimed mainly at gamers with a lot more features. Discord lets friends chat with each other at one to one or as a group via a server.

It provides user friendly text, voice, screen-sharing, and video chat services through public or private servers that can be set up pretty quickly and easily. No doubt Discord started out as a gamers' chat app and became quite famous for it. But its users started finding non-gaming ways of using this platform which inspired Discord to make few changes.

Discord specializes in text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel. Discord runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and in web browsers. One of the most critical differentiators that makes Discord the go-to app for video gamers is its open-bot friendly ecosystem.

Then COVID-19 happened which forced everybody to social distance and communicate via chatting platforms. So, because of its users and the pandemic Discord thought about growing beyond its only for gamers image, and now it wants to be seen as a general purpose chat app for everyone with even non gaming needs and wants, to go mainstream all over the world, just like Zoom. Discord is for anyone who could use a place to talk with their friends and communities.

Discord - Target Market Size

Founded in 2015, Discord successfully identified who the early adopters of their platform would be, the gamers.

However, in recent years, as the company continues its expansion, the target market size has also been growing hand in hand with the same. The vicinity of their platform’s services is gradually starting to attract more users outside of the gaming community.

From large corporate meetings to job recruitments, from live karaoke nights to virtual wedding parties, the possibilities are pretty endless. That's why they have changed the branding and introduced the new tag line which specifically says, "Your place to talk".

In short, Discord is projecting itself because the way forward for platforms where you'll chat with friends, learn something online, or simply share ideas albeit you are not into gaming. They have successfully gained a sustainable advantage above their competition within the gaming sector and now the company appears to have shifted their focus to target users from various industries.


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Discord - Name, logo and Tagline

Discord's Company Logo
Discord's Company Logo

Whether you’re a part of a faculty club, gaming group, worldwide art community, or simply a couple of friends that want to spend time together, Discord makes it easy to speak a day and hang around more often.

About the Discord's logo, the most popular theory is that the discord logo is a game controller, with a face. But according to it’s twitter account it’s actually a friendly bot named Clyde.

Discord's tagline says, "Your place to talk." Whether you’re a part of a faculty club, gaming group, worldwide art community, or simply a couple of friends that want to spend time together, Discord makes it easy to speak a day and hang around more often.. Discord is not just for people with gaming requirements, but for everyone with an aim to communicate.

Discord - Founder and History

Founded in May 2015 by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, Discord continues to be the most preferred app for gamers for communicating while gaming.

The idea of Discord came in Jason Citron's mind when he noticed how difficult it was for his team to work out tactics in games like Final Fantasy XIV and League of Legends using available voice over IP (VoIP) software. He founded OpenFeint, a social mobile gaming platform that got sold in 2011 for US$104 million.

Founders of Discord - Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy
Founders of Discord - Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy

He founded a game development studio, Hammer & Chisel in 2012. Their first product was Fates Forever, released in 2014, which Citron anticipated being the primary MOBA game on mobile platforms, but it didn't become commercially successful. He then noticed the glitches and issues faced by gamers all over the world while gaming which was basically communication. He also found that some VoIP options required players to type in IP addresses just to connect, while others were resource-heavy and had known security problems. This led the developers to develop a chat service that was much friendlier to use and based on more modern technologies.

Discord addressed all of the issues of its predecessors. It was free to use. It had a remarkable product design. It had a desktop client, but it also had an internet app. Users could invite friends with a link and start conversing through the browser without downloading anything.

Discord was publicly released in May 2015 under the URL discordapp.com. consistent with Citron, the sole area that they pushed Discord into was for the Reddit communities, finding that a lot of subreddit forums were replacing IRC servers with Discord ones. Discord became a known name among Esports and LAN tournament gamers, and other Twitch streamers.

Discord - Vision and Mission

"Discord  wants you to build genuine relationships with your friends and communities close to home or around the world. Original, reliable, playful, and relatable. These are the values that connect our users and our employees at Discord."

Discord’s mission is closely associated with its vision. Its mission is bringing people together around games. That's why most of the app’s features consider meeting the requirements of gamers. For Discord, diversity and inclusiveness are a critical a part of how it intends to succeed in its mission.

"It’s where your world talks. Discord is a voice, video and text communication service used by over a hundred million people to hang out and talk with their friends and communities."

Discord - Business Model

Discord is against advertisements and selling of user data. It has been relying on the funding money till recently and have no intentions to make users pay to use the application in future.

Discord's basic service is free. But there's also a premium version called Nitro that comes with added features—custom emojis, higher-quality video for sharing gaming screens, higher file-upload limits—that costs $10 monthly.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Citron said,

“I didn’t want to sell ads because I felt like selling ads would require us to spend a tremendous amount of energy investing in building ad technology that doesn’t make the end user experience better. It actually subtracts from the end user experience. So, we would be spending a ton of energy taking value away from our users so that we could make money. And I wanted to build a business where the incentives of our team and our user base were directly aligned. And that is why, at that moment, I said let’s not do the easy thing and slap ads on this. Let’s double down on Discord Nitro, which is all about making it more fun to talk and hang out, and see if we can build a real business around that.”

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Discord - Revenue Growth

  • Discord generated $130 million revenue in 2020, an 188 percent increase year-on-year
  • Almost all of Discord’s revenue comes from its Nitro, its premium enhancement bundle
  • Discord has over 140 million active monthly users and 300 million registered accounts
  • In 2021, it was valued at $7 billion, doubling its value in under a year

Discord - Funding and Investors

Discord has raised a total of $479.3M in funding over 10 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Dec 17, 2020 from a Series H round. Discord is funded by 18 investors. Greenoaks Capital and Index Ventures are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Dec 17, 2020 Series H $100M Greenoaks Capital
Sep 29, 2020 Secondary Market - -
Jun 30, 2020 Series G $100M Index Ventures
Dec 21, 2018 Series F $150M Greemoaks Capital
Apr 19, 2018 Series E $50M -
Jan 1, 2017 Series D $50M Index Ventures
Jan 26, 2016 Series C $20M Greylock, Spark Capital
Feb 10, 2015 Series B - 9+ Program, Benchmark, Tencent
Nov 21, 2013 Series A $8.2M Benchmark
Jul 11, 2012 Seed Round $1.1M -

Discord - Acquisitions

Discord has acquired Blitz App on Nov 6, 2018.

Acquiree Name Date Amount About Acquiree
Blitz App Nov 6, 2018 - Your personal gaming coach for League of Legends, Valorant, CSGO, Fortnite and more— powered by AI and built with professional players.

Discord - Partnership

After the initial growth spurt, Jason’s team had to come up with a strategy to reach out to a larger target audience for which they partnered with video game streamers such as Twitch. This partnership did result in more visibility, allowing more gamers to adopt as well as invite others to join the discord users' community.

Discord - Competitors

Top 10 competitors of Discord are:


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Discord - Challenges Faced

But obvious, Discord also faces a number of challenges. Principal among them is that it allows users anonymity that creates an "anything goes" environment. Anybody from anywhere can technically create "servers," which are basically chat groups. This could also lead to younger users being exposed to adult content or bullying. For his part, Citron defended Discord by saying it kicks out users who are younger than 13 if they’re found, but verifying ages on the service is almost impossible.

"For teenagers, you know, obviously, it's still important that parents are aware of apps that their kids are using, and sort of who they're talking to on the internet," says Citron.

Discord has also shut down nearly 133,000 accounts in the past because of spam content like inappropriate pictures shared without a person's consent or two minors users swapping intimate photos.

“The truth is that yes, I am [frustrated],” says Citron about the abuse. “We built Discord to be a way for people to be together with their friends and, as a parent, it's important to me for that to be safe for everyone. Ensuring Discord is an inclusive and welcoming place for our users is our highest priority.”

Discord - Future Plans

Discord leveraged heavily on the essential human need for communicating. The strength of Discord lies in its ability to cater to the growing needs of huge web-based communities.

Discord continues to refresh and refine its services by creating perks like a guided bot, meme bots, bots that could fetch player stats, and many more which makes discord a fun platform for users to interact via. All of this could happen only because of the founding team’s in-depth knowledge of the gamer's mindset and insight into industry trends.

It's pushing to show the platform into a communication tool not only for gamers, except for everyone from study groups to sneakerheads to gardening enthusiasts. At the top of June, Discord's rebrand was complete. Its new tagline was "Your place to speak," which cleared the misunderstanding of the many folks that the app is simply for gamers.

In the coming years, according to Citron, Discord has many works to do including improving moderation tools and making sure the communities on its platform operate the way the company hopes that is not being just confined to a group of people with gaming interests.

Discord - FAQs

What kind of company is discord Inc .?

Discord is an easy to use free communication app, similar to apps like Skype or Slack but aimed mainly at gamers with a lot more features. Discord lets friends chat with each other at one to one or as a group via a server.

Who founded Discord?

Discord was founded in May 2015 by Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy.

How does Discord make money?

Discord is against advertisements and selling of user data. It has been relying on the funding money till recently and have no intentions to make users pay to use the application in future.

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