Telegram app raises $1billion by selling bonds: founder

Filed on March 23, 2021

The app experienced a boom in new users after WhatsApp announced a change to its privacy policy.

The encrypted messaging app Telegram has raised over $1 billion by selling bonds to foreign investors, its Russia-born founder Pavel Durov said Tuesday.

Durov, 36, wrote on his Telegram channel that the bonds were sold to "some of the largest and most knowledgeable investors from all over the world".

He added that this will allow Telegram to grow "while sticking to its values and remaining independent".

Durov said the funds will fuel the app's monetisation strategy that was outlined in December, according to which the platform will launch paid services this year.

Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries, particularly in the former Soviet Union, and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.

It was founded in 2013 by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also founded Russia's social media network VKontakte.

According to Durov, the app had more than 500 million monthly active users at the start of January when it experienced a boom in new users after WhatsApp announced a change to its privacy policy.

Meanwhile, UAE's Mubadala Investment Company said on Tuesday it had invested $75 million in five-year pre-IPO convertible bonds of Telegram, with Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners investing a further $75 million.

The Abu Dhabi-based state investor said the strategic partnership between the companies is also expected to create new collaboration opportunities and thereby further advance Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem of innovative and tech-enabled companies.

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