Microsoft Reportedly Eyeing $10 Billion Acquisition Of Discord Messaging Platform

Microsoft's next big acquisition could be a $10 billion payout for Discord, the popular text and video messaging platform that is widely used by gamers. That is if Discord decides it makes more sense to sell itself than to go public, which is another option that is on the table (as is finding a buyer that is not named Microsoft).

This would be the latest in a long line of relatively interesting purchases made by Microsoft. For example, earlier this month Microsoft received regulatory approval to move forward with a $7.5 billion buyout of ZeniMax, which owns Bethesda. Other major purchases made within the past decade include $7.5 billion for GitHub, $26.2 billion for LinkedIn, and $2.5 billion for Mojang.

Microsoft is not afraid to spend big when it sees something it wants, and Discord would be a logical addition, if it indeed strikes a deal. That is not a forgone conclusion, though. According to people familiar with the matter who spoke with Bloomberg, Discord is more likely to go the IPO route than be acquired. That said, Discord is also reportedly in talks with multiple buyers.

It's easy to see why Microsoft would be interested in acquiring Discord. While obviously best known for its Windows operating system, Microsoft continues to increase its focus on gaming, primarily with its Xbox branding. Discord is hugely popular among gamers, with 140 million active users as of last December, which is double that of the previous year.

"We are humbled and honored by the growth we’ve seen among so many incredible and diverse communities that have made Discord their place to hang out," Discord CEO Jason Citron said last December. "As we look to 2021, we are excited about what we have in store and plan to use this funding to help make Discord even better—both for our free service and our Nitro subscribers."

At the time, Discord had raised an additional $100 million in funding, bringing its overall tally to nearly $480 million. That round of funding reportedly raised Discord's valuation to $7 billion, though the company is said to not yet be profitable.

Whether or not Microsoft can seal the deal remains to be seen. In addition to mulling the prospect of an IPO, Discord in the past has also apparently generated interest from Amazon and Epic Games. If either or both of those are still in the mix, it could turn into a bidding war.