Microsoft Corp is in talks to buy messaging platform Discord Inc for more than $10 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Discord is a VoIP, instant messaging and digital distribution platform designed for creating communities. Users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media and files in private chats or as part of communities called “servers.”
The vast majority of servers are private, invite-only spaces for groups of friends and communities to stay in touch and spend time together. There are also larger, more open communities, generally centered around specific topics such as popular games like Minecraft and Fortnite. All conversations are opt-in, so people have total control over who they interact with and what their experience on Discord is.
Discord is popular, and was valued at around $7 billion as of last December.
Discord has reached out to potential buyers and Microsoft is one of them, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. One person said it was more likely to go public than sell itself.
Earlier in the day, VentureBeat reported that Discord was exploring a sale and it was in final talks with a party.
Microsoft declined to comment, while Discord did not immediately respond to Reuters request.
The Xbox maker has been seeking to strengthen its video game offerings with $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media last year, its biggest gaming acquisition ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the prospects of gaming companies as people stayed at home and turned to video games for entertainment during lockdowns.
With its strong gaming business, Microsoft has also been looking to own mass social media platforms. Its last big social media deal was the $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016, while it failed in its bid for short video app TikTok’s U.S. assets in September last year.
Recently, the Financial Times reported about Microsoft’s interest in buying social media platform Pinterest Inc.