Why We Invested: Discord
With seemingly endless options for virtual connection these days, there are a variety apps that allow for engagement with people in our immediate circles. This includes, friends, alumni classes, members of organizations, co-workers, etc. However, these apps do not focus explicitly on individuality and interest, often leaving people to feel like outcasts on social media. Research by the Royal Society for Public Health reports that 63% of users of today’s most popular social app felt miserable upon engagement with the platform. Apps that focus on real-time conversation like Facetime and Discord had much stronger happiness rates according to a study conducted by the Economist.
Many of these social media apps also have minimal regulations for content that is considered acceptable. While freedom of speech is very important, voicing evil and hate should never be tolerated, especially on virtual platforms that allow adolescents to engage. Unfortunately, the posts may be monitored and censored at best, but can still be permitted on social platforms.
Discord is a place to connect and talk where users engage in the topics they choose. Discord gives users space to connect with individuals who have similar interests such as fans of a television show, books, or even the love of plants without necessarily meeting in person or knowing each other at all. This grants the opportunity to discuss and collaborate with people across the world based on likemindedness.
The lack of pressure makes Discord a platform that people visit to find positive connection and access the information they are seeking. This principle is embedded in Discord’s construction, condemning negativity, and taking action against those who attempt to use the platform to spread lies, racism, and violence. They went so far as to implement a task force to combat hate, promote social justice, and even hire underrepresented employees to increase diversity to the company.
Why We Invested
We echo Discords claims that the platform enables a sense of belonging amongst its users with relatability being a key theme within the servers. Discord’s founders and their intentionality drew us to the platform as both users and investors. In a Medium post, they explain that the intention behind creating Discord was to supply an easy way to capture and enable the feelings they experienced growing up playing video games with friends. There is no algorithm constantly making suggestions to you, no likes or timeline, just content that users have deliberately chosen to engage in. These features are what enables that sense of belonging, making Discord a welcoming, worry-free platform based on community and safety.
Discord’s founders strive to make the platform a safe and encouraging space, and even publish transparency reports to highlight the action they take to ensure that it is. The founders have also been flexible and open to the way the platform has evolved, even though it has pivoted from its original plan. While originally created to appeal to gamers, Discord now welcomes and provides space for users discussing a vast variety of topics.
Discord enhances togetherness, connecting people of various backgrounds, united by joint interest. The platform allows users to promote their businesses, has initiated positive movements, and provided space for constructive conversation.
The Discord teams demonstrated efforts are directly in line with the principals through their support of the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Bail Fund Network, and more with $150,000 donated in 2020. They also encourage charity work by giving their employees two off days per year to support charitable initiatives they are passionate about.
As of November 2021, the company is valued at nearly $18B and has turned down acquisition opportunities from Twitter and Microsoft. Over 100M users engage with Discord monthly and spend 4 billion minutes in conversation daily. Arch Capital is thrilled to play a part in the continued growth of Discord and will look forward to supporting in the future.
Arch Capital Partners, LLC is an investment firm that provides support, including capital to companies across the globe on a mission to ethically and sustainably evolve and enhance humanity.