The popularity of the Discord messenger has grown significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition to text messaging, the application allows you to organize voice and video conferences with detailed configuration of communication channels. Discord works on Windows, iOS and Android, there is also a browser version.
The advantage of the messenger is the lowest possible consumption of device resources, since it is initially designed for gamers to communicate and should not affect the quality of the game. In addition, Discord has occupied a niche that no company has ever claimed before — an ideal voice chat during the game.
Discord has also launched integration with YouTube in test mode. The Watch Together feature allows chat participants to watch videos together. Players can share screen images with each other while using a minimum amount of resources.
Discord is estimated at $15 billion after the next stage of financing in September 2021. The company's leading investor was Dragoneer Investment Group, which previously invested in Spotify, Uber and Snap.
Discord is thoroughly preparing for an IPO in 2022, but the official date of placement is still unknown. To increase the company's potential, investments were attracted for the development of the technologies used, and in the spring of 2021, the first financial director Tomasz Marcinkowski, who had previously worked at Pinterest, was hired.
The concept of Discord came from Jason Citron, who had founded OpenFeint, a social gaming platform for mobile games, and Stanislav Vishnevsky, who had founded Guildwork, another social gaming platform. Citron sold OpenFeint to GREE in 2011 for US$104 million, which he used to found Hammer & Chisel, a game development studio, in 2012. Their first product was Fates Forever, released in 2014, which Citron anticipated to be the first MOBA game on mobile platforms, but it did not become commercially successful.
According to Citron, during the development process, 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. This led to the development of a chat service with a focus on user friendliness with minimal impact to performance.
To develop Discord, Hammer & Chisel gained additional funding from YouWeb's 9+ incubator, which had also funded the startup of Hammer & Chisel, and from Benchmark capital and Tencent.
Discord was publicly released in May 2015 under the domain name discordapp.com. According to Citron, they made no specific moves to target any specific audience, but some gaming-related subreddits quickly began to switch their IRC links with Discord links. Discord became widely used by esports and LAN tournament gamers. The company benefited from relationships with Twitch streamers and subreddit communities for Diablo and World of Warcraft.