By Mike Murphy
Microsoft Corp. is in discussions to purchase videogame-focused chat platform Discord for more than $10 billion, according to a report by Bloomberg News ( ).
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Monday that a deal is not imminent and Discord has also been talking to others about a sale. Bloomberg said Discord has previously talked with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games Inc.
One source, however, told Bloomberg that Discord was more likely to go public than sell.
Discord recently hired a new chief financial officer as a first step toward a potential IPO, the Wall Street Journal reported () last week.
San Francisco-based Discord has raised about $480 million in funding, according to Crunchbase (), and most recently closed a $100 million funding round in December, at a valuation of around $7 billion.
Discord is a free service that lets users communicate through video, voice and text. It also offers a $9.99-a-month subscription service with additional features. According to the Journal report, the company had about 140 million monthly users last year, generating $130 million in annual revenue, about three times what it made the year before.
The company also made headlines in January after it briefly removed the WallStreetBets server (the meme-stock frenzy, though Discord said the move was to counter hateful and discriminatory conduct. Discord then reversed course and started helping WallStreetBets moderators ( ).
Microsoft (MSFT) has reportedly been targeting active online communities that it can pair with its cloud platform, and the Financial Times last month reported () it had tried to buy Pinterest Inc. (PINS) in recent months. Last September, Microsoft failed in its bid to buy TikTok ( ).
Later in September, Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media (), the parent of videogame publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash.
Microsoft shares are up 6% year to date, compared to a 7% gain by the Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which it is a component.
-Mike Murphy; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 22, 2021 23:24 ET (03:24 GMT)
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