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Who Owns Discord? (Ownership Structure)

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Who owns Discord?

If that’s what you’re wondering right now, you have landed in the right place.

Discord is a well-known instant messaging and VoIP social platform that people use to communicate with each other through text messaging, voice calls, and video calls.

But what’s unique about Discord is that communications happen on private virtual communities, also known as “servers.”

If you’re a gamer or if you listen to gaming streams quite often, you must already know how popular Discord is among the gaming community.

It’s literally the lifeline of gamers, where they chill and communicate while playing games together.

To be honest, I also love playing video games in my free time.

And a few days back, when I was playing a game and communicating with my peers on Discord, one thing clicked into my mind – who owns Discord?

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In this post, we will uncover the mystery and figure out who owns Discord.

Not only that, but we will also talk about the origin story of the platform and how it became a sensation among gamers.

So, without wasting any further time, let’s dive right in.

Who Owns Discord? (Ownership Structure)

So, what company owns Discord?

Discord Inc., the platform’s parent company, currently owns Discord. As Discord Inc. is a privately held company, it has not yet released any proper proof that outlines the current Discord ownership. 

However, according to some reports, Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, Discord’s co-founders, are very likely to still own the majority share in the company. Jason is the largest shareholder.

As per laws, private companies are not required to make their company information, such as investments and shareholders, public.

Most large tech public companies still share their shareholding information with the public.

But Discord doesn’t do that.

Even though Microsoft and Discord have been discussing an approximately $10 billion acquisition, the deal eventually fell apart for unknown reasons.

Who Founded Discord And How it Was Started

Discord was founded by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy in 2015.

Who owns Discord

However, Discord was not the first startup for either of these co-founders.

Before Discord, Jason Citron founded OpenFeint, which was a social gaming platform for mobile games.

On the flip side, Stanislav Vishnevskiy also founded a social gaming platform called Guildwork.

In 2011, Jason sold his first startup, OpenFeint, to GREE (a Japanese social network) for $104 million.

Soon after he sold OpenFeint, he started another startup, a game development studio called Hammer & Chisel.

Under this studio, he released their first-ever product, Fates Forever, a mobile multiplayer game. 

Unfortunately, despite being insanely good, the game failed to generate money for the company and was a disappointment commercially.

However, even though the game failed, Jason noticed something during the development process of the game, which eventually gave birth to Discord.

Jason noticed that while their team members played multiple-player video games, like League of Legends, it was insanely difficult for them to communicate using the VoIP available in the existing software. It was ugly, and most of the time, they got disconnected without any reason.

This frustration led to the development of a user-friendly chat system known as Discord today, which completely changed the way people used to communicate within the gaming industry.

To develop discord, they raised an undisclosed amount from YouWeb’s 9+ incubator, Benchmark Capital, and Tencent.

They launched the platform for the public in May 2015, and it quickly became a hit among esports and LAN tournament gamers.

In 2016, they again conducted a funding round, raising $20 million from WarnerMedia for further expansion and product improvement.

Exactly two years later, the company raised a huge round of funding worth $150 million at a whopping $2 billion valuation from various investors, such as Greenoaks Capital, Tencent, Firstmark, IVP, Technology Opportunity Partners, and Index Ventures.

The company’s biggest shift came when it announced that it was shifting its focus exclusively from video gaming to becoming a more accessible communication platform for everyone.

Although this shift initially received some negative attention, it later proved to be a huge game changer for them.

That same year, they almost doubled their user base to 140 million monthly active users and saw a 3X revenue jump.

Discord Business Model

Now that you know who is the owner of Discord, let’s quickly have a look at how it makes money.

As per reports, Discord made a revenue of $445 million in 2022. Their revenue is growing at almost 40% YoY.

But the question is, how do they make money?

Let’s have a look at their business model and their current revenue streams.

1. Discord Premium Subscription

Unlike other social media platforms and communication tools, Discord doesn’t make a large chunk of its money from ads.

In fact, most of their revenue comes from their premium subscription model.

While you can use the Discord platform completely free of cost, the premium subscription provides some additional benefits and features that can enhance your experience on the platform.

Some of the added benefits of Discord premium plans are larger file upload size, custom emoji, unlimited super reactions, a special premium badge on your profile, HD video streaming, server boost, custom profiles, and much more.

Currently, Discord offers two premium subscription plans:

  • Nitro Basic: $2.99/month
  • Nitro: $9.99/month

2. Discord Merchandise

Discord also operates an eCom platform where they sell a variety of merchandise and gaming-related accessories such as keyboards, streaming gear, headwear, drinkware, collectibles, and more.

Although the numbers are not clear, it’s assumed that they make a decent chunk of their revenue from the Discord Merch store.

3. Game Distribution Store

Discord owns a platform where game developers can sell their games directly to Discord users.

Like any other app or game platform, Discord charges a tiny percentage of the sale from the developer as a fee for listing the game.

This is a win-win for both, as game developers gain a broad reach of potential customers, and Discord earns a steady stream of revenue from its existing users.

4. Server Boosts

Servers boost allows users to add additional benefits and features to their Discord servers, such as improved audio quality, increased emoji slots, better live stream quality, custom invite links, server optimization, and much more.

Discord makes a decent chunk of money from this revenue stream as well.

FAQs on Who Owns Discord

Is Discord an American company?

Yes, Discord is an American company with headquarters in San Francisco.

Does Amazon own Discord?

No, Amazon does not own Discord. Discord is owned by its parent company, Discord Inc. 

Is Discord Profitable?

As Discord is a privately held company, it’s difficult to know whether it is profitable. However, according to some reports published by large publications, It has not yet turned profitable.

Is Discord Owned by Microsoft?

No, Microsoft does not own Discord. Microsoft did try buying Discord for a whopping $10 billion, but the deal eventually fell through.

Does Dragoneer Investment Group own Discord?

No, Dragoneer Investment Group is a key investor in Discord.

Final Words on Who Owns Discord

Discord’s ownership structure is simple.

It is an independent company mainly owned by its co-founders, Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy.

While building the product, they conducted some funding rounds, so there are some other investors within the company as well, but they hold a tiny percentage of the company.

Microsoft also tried acquiring them with a shiny $10 billion valuation, but the founders decided not to go that route and keep control of the company in their hands.

Unlike most large tech companies, Discord is also very private in terms of revenue numbers and investments. 

So, being an outsider, it’s impossible to know the company’s current ownership structure and revenue numbers.

Author

  • Jennifer Smith

    Jennifer Smith is a writer at Famoid.com specializing in social media and digital marketing. She likes to make complicated things easily understandable for everyone. Her writing expertise includes how-to guides, social media tips and tricks, and digital marketing. When she's not writing, she is either traveling in some part of the world or painting in her house. She has been writing for the past 7 years and has written dozens of blog posts and articles around various digital marketing and social media topics.

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