How rich is the CEO of Discord?

Jason Citron, the CEO and co-founder of gaming chat app Discord, has built immense wealth through his ownership and leadership of one of tech‘s rising stars. While his exact net worth is unknown given Discord remains a private company, estimates peg Citron‘s net worth between $1.5 billion to $3 billion based on Discord‘s valuation, his equity stake, compensation, and other factors.

As a seasoned entrepreneur who founded Discord after his first success with OpenFeint‘s $104 million acquisition, Citron was well-positioned to lead another company to explosive growth and a multi-billion dollar valuation. Let‘s analyze the various components that have contributed to Citron‘s massive fortune as Discord‘s CEO and controlling shareholder.

## Citron‘s Early Entrepreneurial Successes

Citron‘s interest in technology started early. As a child in the 1980s, he taught himself to code on an Apple II computer and took apart electronics to see how they worked. This passion for tech continued into starting his first company in 2001 while still in college.

His early ventures included Launchkey, a security startup, and Jaxara, a multimedia messaging company. But his big break came with OpenFeint. Founded in 2007, OpenFeint operated a social gaming network for mobile games like Fruit Ninja and Tap Tap Revenge. At its height, OpenFeint had over 240 million registered users.

In 2011, Japanese e-commerce company GREE acquired OpenFeint for $104 million. Citron reportedly made around $50 million personally from the OpenFeint sale. This remarkably successful exit gave Citron the resources and credibility as an entrepreneur to pursue his next venture.

## Discord‘s Monumental Growth to a $15 Billion Valuation

After the OpenFeint win, Citron connected with developer Stanislav Vishnevskiy to create Discord in 2015. Discord initially focused on providing a solution to gaming chat problems like lag and low audio quality.

Over the following years, Discord saw meteoric growth beyond its initial gamer audience:

– **19 million users** in 2017
– **90 million users** in 2019
– **140 million monthly active users** in 2021

The company also raised huge amounts of capital:

– **$20 million** Series A in 2016
– **$50 million** Series B in 2017
– **$150 million** Series C in 2018
– **$500 million** Series H in 2021 at a **$15 billion valuation**

This massive rise in users and funding established Discord as one of the hottest private tech companies globally. For comparison, Discord‘s main chat app rival Slack sold for $27.7 billion in 2020.

## Citron Likely Holds Significant Ownership

As a founder and controlling shareholder, Citron likely retained a sizable equity stake even after raising over $480 million. While his exact percentage is undisclosed, first-time tech founders often hold between 10-30% ownership.

* If Citron held **20%** of Discord at a **$15 billion valuation**, his stake would be worth **$3 billion**.

* Even at a **conservative 10%** with dilution, he would own **$1.5 billion** in stock.

This demonstrates how being a founder of a highly valued startup can translate to billions in personal wealth through equity alone.

## Executive Compensation Adds to Citron‘s Earnings

In addition to his equity, Citron earns income as Discord‘s CEO. While his exact compensation is private, we can estimate based on market data:

* According to Comparably, Discord‘s **"most compensated executive" earns $500,000 annually**. This is likely Citron as CEO.

* Estimates on Glassdoor suggest Citron‘s base **salary exceeds $300,000**.

* The average total compensation for similarly sized tech CEOs is over **$5 million** per year.

Much of this package includes bonuses, stock awards, and options that compensate based on company performance. As Discord grows, Citron‘s compensation likely rises in tandem.

## Citron‘s Estimated Net Worth Reaches Billions

Factoring in Discord‘s immense valuation, the typical founding equity stake, and CEO-level compensation, analysts estimate Citron‘s net worth between **$1.5 billion to $3 billion.**

Some experts project even higher at over $3 billion based on:

– Discord potentially reaching a $20 billion+ valuation.
– Citron possibly retaining equity ownership above 20%.
– CEO earnings exceeding average compensation.

These projections rely on private information and assumptions, but underscore how Citron is likely worth billions on paper based on his Discord equity and earnings alone.

## Inside a Billionaire Founder‘s Wealth Creation

Let‘s recap how Citron accumulated such immense wealth as Discord‘s founder and CEO:

– **Capitalizing on past success** – Citron reinvested his OpenFeint windfall into founding Discord. Prior wins provide capital and credibility.

– **Founder equity generates billions** – Retaining just 10-20% of a multi-billion dollar company creates tremendous value.

– **Leadership role earns outsized compensation** – As CEO, Citron earns salary, bonuses, stock awards exceeding normal employee pay.

– **Vision and execution leads to growth** – Citron‘s leadership and product-market fit drove user and revenue growth, increasing valuation.

– **Wealth snowballs quickly** – Equity value, compensation, and valuation build on each other exponentially. Within just 7 years of founding Discord, Citron reached billionaire status.

While not an exact science, these factors showcase how founders like Citron can create such enormous wealth in a short period.

## What‘s Next for Citron and Discord?

Citron has emphasized focusing on community and improving users‘ experience versus purely monetary gain. He turned down a $10 billion acquisition offer from Microsoft, showing his intention to keep growing Discord.

Discord is expanding into new areas like blockchain, social audio, and beyond gaming. Over the long-term, the company has the potential to eat into the social media market share of giants like Facebook.

As Discord ventures into new waters under Citron‘s continued leadership, his net worth will likely continue rising. But for Citron, his passion remains building products that connect people and create a sense of belonging through shared interests. The billions in personal wealth are just a byproduct of pursuing this vision.

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