A month after reports that Microsoft sought to buy the hot voice chat app Discord, those talks appear to be off. The Wall Street Journal and Reuters both report that Discord now plans to stay independent, possibly charting a path to its own IPO in the not-too-distant future.
Microsoft was reportedly in “advanced” talks to purchase the company for around $10 billion before Discord walked away. According to the WSJ, Microsoft was just one of three companies in acquisition talks. Neither publication cited named sources in their reports that any deal was off.
Discord’s valuation doubled in less than six months last year and its stock is only looking hotter in 2021. A well-loved voice chat app originally built for gamers, Discord was in the right place well ahead of the current voice chat trend that Clubhouse ignited. As companies from Facebook to Twitter scramble to build their own voice-based community tools, Discord rolled out its own support for curated audio events last month.
Discord’s decision to veer away from a sale makes sense for a company keen to keep its unique DNA rather than being rolled into an existing product at a bigger company. The choice could also keep the company distant from a protracted antitrust headache, as lawmakers mull legislation that could block big tech deals to prevent further consolidation in the industry.