Telegram has raised greater than $1bn via bond gross sales to buyers together with Abu Dhabi state funds, because the encrypted messaging app tries to capitalise on a surge in customers.
In his Telegram channel, chief govt Pavel Durov mentioned the corporate had raised the funds from “a few of the largest and most educated buyers from everywhere in the world”, however didn’t share additional particulars.
Late on Monday Mubadala Funding Firm and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Companions introduced that that they had joined the funding spherical with a $150m funding. Abu Dhabi Catalyst Companions is a three way partnership between Mubadala, the Gulf emirate’s giant sovereign wealth fund, and the $4bn New York hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital.
The Kremlin-controlled Russian Direct Funding Fund advised the Ria Novosti information company it had additionally invested in Telegram — apparently capping a outstanding embrace of the app after Moscow deserted fruitless efforts to ban it final yr. However Durov advised the Monetary Occasions that RDIF “positively didn’t” spend money on the messaging app. “We wouldn’t be open to any transaction with this fund,” Telegram mentioned.
The encrypted messaging app, which is headquartered in Dubai, obtained an influx of latest customers earlier this yr, after issues about forthcoming adjustments to the privateness coverage of Fb-owned rival WhatsApp prompted customers to hunt different platforms.
Telegram, which says it now has greater than 500m lively customers, additionally obtained a lift as bigger platforms Fb and Twitter clamped down on hate speech within the wake of the US Capitol riots on January 6, whereas the encrypted messaging app has remained evenly moderated.
Its surging recognition has increased the costs Telegram faces to keep up the service. Durov has mentioned the corporate plans to stay impartial however generate income by introducing some paid-for premium options and promoting ads in public Telegram channels as quickly as this yr.
Buyers would be capable to convert the senior unsecured debt into fairness at a ten per cent low cost to Telegram’s preliminary public providing worth, in keeping with supplies despatched to potential buyers in February.
The supplies mentioned Telegram additionally had potential for “growing further non-ad income streams”.
In June final yr Telegram agreed to return greater than $1.2bn it had raised from buyers via an preliminary coin providing in 2018 and pay a $18.5m civil penalty to settle fees introduced by the US Securities and Trade Fee, which had argued the providing violated federal securities legal guidelines. Telegram didn’t admit or deny the SEC’s allegations.
Further reporting by Sujeet Indap in New York