Discord is a proprietary freeware VoIP application and digital distribution platform — designed initially for the video gaming community — that specializes in text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel.
Discord runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and in web browsers. As of 21 July 2019, there are over 250 million unique users of the software. The initial work on Discord is thanks to Jason Citron, who had founded OpenFeint, a social gaming platform for mobile games, with a release in 2015. To develop Discord, Citron sold OpenFeint to GREE in 2011 for $104 million, and founded Hammer & Chisel, a game development studio, in 2012. Hammer & Chisel gained additional funding from YouWeb's 9+ incubator, Benchmark Capital, and Tencent.
Discord was publicly released in May 2015. According to Citron, the only area that they pushed Discord into was for the Reddit communities, finding that many subreddit forums were replacing IRC servers with Discord ones. Discord became popular among eSports, LAN tournament gamers, and other Twitch streamers. The company raised an additional $20 million in funding for the software in January 2016 and brought on WarnerMedia as an investor.
In December 2018 the company announced it raised $150 million in funding at a $2 billion valuation, led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Ventures, Greylock, and Technology Opportunity Partners.