Discord escapes potential Microsoft acquisition

Rumors swirled that Microsoft was one of the companies eyeing a potential acquisition.

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Despite a host of rumors swirling around Discord and a third-party acquisition over the last few weeks, the online voice chat firm has chosen to suspend talks with potential suitors and instead focus on an initial public offering. Microsoft was believed to be one of Discord’s top suitors and considering a reported $10 billion dollar deal.

Microsoft has long been in pursuit of communications-focused acquisition targets over the last few years. The global pandemic and its effects on telecommunications likely hastened this drive within Microsoft. It entertained the idea of placing a bid on TikTok last year prior to the Trump Administration interference in talks

Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was in hot pursuit of a Discord acquisition. According to reports, at least two other companies were also involved in a potential acquisition of Discord before the company opted to remain independent.

Discord is well-known for its deep integration into the gaming industry, but its growing collection of online communities made for an attractive target for Microsoft, which has failed to establish a similar online presence for groups thus far. Its Teams software has potential but has yet to experience the growth Microsoft had hoped for at the time of this writing.

Discord has around 140 million monthly users and earned about $130 million in revenue in 2020, but still isn’t profitable, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 20, 2021 11:45 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Discord escapes potential Microsoft acquisition

    • reply
      April 20, 2021 10:46 AM

      Discord ends talks with Microsoft and will stay private

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/discord-ends-deal-talks-with-microsoft-11618938806

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        April 20, 2021 10:47 AM

        Those poor employees. So many retirements dashed.

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          April 20, 2021 11:07 AM

          "Porsche, Volvo, and BMW announced a massive return of new vehicles today in the San Francisco area..."

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          April 20, 2021 11:42 AM

          So, did the price of a future acquisition go up or down?

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            April 20, 2021 1:47 PM

            Who knows! But it's certainly not going to be sooner than later. Presumably they think they can get more in an IPO which is perhaps true. I wish em luck either way though! They made a good product, they deserve it

            They ESPECIALLY don't deserve to go through the hell that is M&A. Especially with MS. So in that regard good for them.

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        April 20, 2021 10:55 AM

        The WSJ article speculates that Discord is looking to IPO:

        "In a move that could facilitate an IPO, Discord last month hired its first finance chief, Tomasz Marcinkowski, a former Pinterest Inc. executive. While Discord isn’t a videogame company, many of its users rely on it to communicate with each other while playing games, and several businesses with ties to the videogame industry have gone public in the past year, including developers Roblox Corp. and Playtika Holding Corp. , game-hardware maker Corsair Gaming Inc. and game-creation tool provider Unity Software Inc."

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          April 20, 2021 11:13 AM

          after that 10 Billion number was thrown around, yep..

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      April 20, 2021 12:31 PM

      man I am so glad they bailed on this. Discord is still hands-down the best overall chat/voice platform I use and Teams is... not great. Would have been horrible to watch them splice together pieces of Discord into Teams.

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        April 20, 2021 1:12 PM

        Serious question: other than voice, what makes it such a great chat tool? I get that I'm an older gamer, but it seems nearly impossible to follow conversations. It's fine to read static posts from a developer, but not for community conversations. I keep feeling I must be missing something.

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          April 20, 2021 1:16 PM

          I don't like how it has mostly replaced community forums at all. Trying to find anything of value in a huge community server is the worst. But for small groups of friends, chatting about the games we're playing and voice while we play, it's fantastic. Can keep up the conversation on mobile, stream to each other with a button click, all seamlessly with no friction.

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            April 20, 2021 1:18 PM

            Agreed, big discords are like a 60hz stock ticker.

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            April 20, 2021 1:45 PM

            Ya, smaller groups makes more sense to me. General chat w/o threads is not useful.

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              April 20, 2021 1:46 PM

              That said, I think anything past like 6, or like a mid size guild may be too much. YMMV

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        April 20, 2021 1:15 PM

        The main thing I miss in discord is proper threads like slack has.

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      April 20, 2021 1:14 PM

      I'm still not sure what MS's goal would be here. It's not voip, and I still think chat is not a strength of the tool. Is it just they want to buy an established community portal? That's the only thing I see of value to them.

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        April 20, 2021 1:53 PM

        Microsoft has always had an issue with direct to consumer products. Buying Discord would allow them to take over a popular service that does just that.

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